OTTAWA — The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and Mr. Cliff Mackay, president and chief executive officer of the Railway Association of Canada (RAC), today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to strengthen railway security.

"The safety and security of the travelling public are top priorities for the Government of Canada and much has been accomplished to enhance transportation security in the past few years," said Minister Cannon. "I am pleased that our strong working relationship with the Railway Association of Canada has led to the development of a new railway security Memorandum of Understanding that will benefit all Canadians."

"This agreement demonstrates the trust and respect that exist between Canada's government and the railway industry in this critical area of Canada's security," said Mr. Mackay. "Security is part of the industry's work every day, at every level of our freight and passenger operations, throughout the whole network."

This MOU replaces the one signed by the RAC and Transport Canada in July 1997. It is one of a series of security measures implemented in the last few years to enhance the security of rail and transit operations. The updated MOU primarily addresses security of freight rail and complements the security measures being implemented for passenger operations through the Transit–Secure program.

The main component of the new MOU is that each railway operator who is a member of RAC will prepare a security plan based on risk assessment. These plans will be provided to the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and each will be reviewed no less than once a year. The MOU also includes important elements, such as maintaining records, performing exercises and drills, appropriate training and awareness for new employees, and reporting incidents to the Minister as soon as possible.

The MOU reflects the core principles and best practices of the railway industry. It is an important voluntary action by RAC members to enhance the security of rail operations.

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