Canada advances review of rail safety law

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OTTAWA, Ontario — Canada's transportation minister has moved up, by a year, a planned review of the Rail Safety Act.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced the decision saying rail safety remains his top priority.

"One of the most important things we can do as a government is to review our rail safety legislation to ensure it meets the needs of the industry and Canadians," he says in a statement released Wednesday. "I am very happy that we were able to launch this review one year earlier and look forward to the Panel's recommendations."

Garneau has appointed a three-member panel to conduct the review engaging stakeholders and inviting anyone with an interest in rail safety to express their views. The panel's recommendations on strengthening rail safety are expected to be ready in May 2018.

The last review was completed in 2007.

Heading the panel is Richard Paton, past president of the Chemical Industry Association of Canada. He also held senior executive posts during a 24-year career in the federal government. Vice-chair of the panel is Brenda Eaton who holds a master's degree in economic, served in senior positions in the British Columbia government, and currently is a member of several private, public, nonprofit and crown-corporation boards of director.

The third member of the review panel is Pauline Quinlan who served as co-chair of the Federal of Canadian Municipalities Rail Safety Committee following the explosion of a runaway oil train that killed 47 people in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, in 2013. She is an educator and has the mayor of Bromton, Que., since 1998.

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