The government of Canada announced a new rail safety funding program called the Program to Enhance Rail Safety Engagement to “encourage Indigenous and local communities to participate in rail safety initiatives in Canada,” as well as a Call for Proposals for the program, with up to $1.6 million in funding, open now until February 16, 2023, Transport Canada reported Dec. 15.
The new program, which builds on rail safety funding announced last year through the Community Participation Funding Program, will “further expand opportunities for those interested in sharing their knowledge and expertise about local environments,” Transport Canada said. “The knowledge and expertise of Indigenous and local communities is vital in making sure rail safety initiatives and future programming continue to keep communities in Canada safe,” the agency added.
According to Transport Canada, the program aims to:
- “Provide capacity and relationship building funding for Indigenous and local communities, organizations and entities to establish engagement processes specific to rail transportation in the relevant geographic area; and
- “Support Indigenous and local participation in developing and improving Canada’s rail safety system by providing opportunities to consult, engage, collaborate, participate in processes and undertake research or studies.”
“Our government recognizes the importance of working with Indigenous and local communities to improve Canada’s rail transportation system,” said Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra. “Traditional Indigenous knowledge will help inform our future actions and initiatives so that Canada’s railway network continues to operate as safely and securely as possible.”