November 03, 2009 13:04 ET

The Government of Canada Invests in Safety With New Funding for Grade Crossing Improvements

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 3, 2009) - Today at the North American High Speed Rail Summit, the Honourable Brian Jean, MP, announced that the Government of Canada will provide $3.8 million in funding to upgrade 35 high-priority rail grade crossings in communities across Canada for the safety of Canadians.

"Keeping Canadians safe is a top priority for the Government of Canada, and upgrading rail grade crossings is an important action we are investing in to enhance public safety and save lives," said Mr. Jean. "This year, under Canada's Economic Action Plan, our government boosted funding to get work underway at many critical grade crossings across the country."

Canada's Economic Action Plan provides $28 million over the next five years to further enhance safety at grade crossings. The $3.8 million announced today will upgrade 35 grade crossings in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. These projects are in addition to the Government of Canada's earlier round of grade crossing projects announced on May 12, 2009.

"Safety at railway crossings is something we can all get behind," said Canada's Transport Minister John Baird. "Communities across the country will be safer because our government is making these safety improvements happen."

"Today's funding builds on the government's commitment to improve safety at rail crossings across Canada," said the Honourable Rob Merrifield, Minister of State (Transport). "By continuously collaborating with rail companies and communities, we are improving safety for motorists and pedestrians alike."

The projects range in magnitude and complexity from simple electronic improvements in existing systems to full signal system installations. Under the Government of Canada's Grade Crossing Improvement Program (GCIP), eligible railway crossings are upgraded, relocated or closed, based on an assessment of factors such as traffic volume and accident history.

The funding announced today is part of an unprecedented financial commitment to build and renew federal public infrastructure, including funding to VIA Rail Canada. In 2007, the Government of Canada committed to spend $516 million over five years to help VIA provide faster, cleaner, more frequent and more reliable passenger service across Canada. The Government of Canada built on this investment in Budget 2009 by providing an additional $407 million to VIA for infrastructure and other capital improvements.

Backgrounders on railway crossing facts and tips, and crossings scheduled for improvements are available at the following address

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Contact Information

  • Media Relations
    Transport Canada, Ottawa