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Wednesday,  June 12, 2024 11:24 PM 

Transport Canada slammed for "slow progress" on safety recommendations

Transport Canada slammed for "slow progress" on safety recommendations

The Transportation Safety Board is taking Transport Canada to task in its latest safety watchlist, citing the ministry’s “slow progress” on 52 safety recommendations which have gone unaddressed for more than a decade.

The TSB’s watchlist, released this week, lists a number of key safety issues across Canada’s air, marine, and rail sectors. In addition to concerns raised over fatigue amongst rail operators, the TSB cites 52 recommendations which Transport Canada has yet to address, some outstanding for more than 20 years, as a key issue in the latest edition of the list.

“There are currently 52 TSB recommendations that have been outstanding for ten years or more. Over three dozen of those have been outstanding for more than twenty years,” said TSB Chair Kathy Fox in a statement. “There is no reasonable excuse for taking that long — especially in cases where TC agrees that action is needed.”

Among the recommendations to Transport Canada are steps to improve runway safety at airports by creating run-off zones which comply with international standards (currently a minimum of 150 metres). The recommendation followed a 2005 incident at Toronto Pearson International Airport involving an Air France plane, which skidded off a wet runway and crashed in a ravine after landing during a severe thunderstorm.

The Toronto Star reported that Pearson will be among the first stops for the TSB to address these recommendations, where airport officials have taken steps to improve safety by creating run-off zones at the end of all runways.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau responded to the release of the watchlist, stating that he has “directed Transport Canada to provide me with specific areas where faster progress in reducing risks can be made.”