|New safety regulations for railways were announced in response to the tragedy in Lac-Megantic, Que. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)|
Railway operating certificates from the federal government become mandatory Jan. 1, at least for new operators.
This new requirement for rail companies follows a recommendation of the Auditor General after the train derailment and explosions that devastated Lac-Megantic, Que. in 2013.
Now Transport Canada will have the power to shut down a railroad's operations without going to court. The ministry says a revocation will only happen if there is an extreme violation of the safety regulations.
On the other hand, should an extreme violation happen and the government not act, it may be held to account.
Transport Canada says it will take only an hour to complete the certificate, but it is giving existing railways two years to do so.