November 20, 2013

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) applauds today’s directive by Transport Minister Lisa Raitt, requiring rail companies to share information with municipalities about the nature and volume of dangerous goods being moved through their communities. CIAC was also pleased that Transport Canada chose to highlight the association’s Responsible Care® initiative, in a backgrounder accompanying today’s announcement.

“Transportation safety is a top priority for Canada’s chemistry industry,” said Richard Paton, CIAC’s President and CEO. “And our members see information-sharing as essential to safety.”

Through Responsible Care® – the association’s U.N.-recognized sustainability initiative – CIAC’s members commit to choosing the safest mode, route and carrier possible to move their products. They also work with their transportation partners to promote the safe handling of dangerous goods, and to ensure that first-responders are informed about what is being shipped through their communities.

CIAC members already go above and beyond Canadian laws related to the transportation of dangerous goods, and remain committed to working with governments, transportation partners and communities to further enhance safety, and to ensure that Canada has the strongest transportation safety standards in the world. However, as decision-makers consider who should pay in the aftermath of a catastrophic event such as the Lac-Mégantic, Que. disaster, CIAC urges the federal government to carefully weigh the implications for safety if liability were to be shifted away from railways.

“Railways – like all carriers – are responsible for risk management, and for upholding the standards and operating procedures around the transportation of dangerous goods,” said Paton.

“We need to make sure that they continue to assume that responsibility, and to do everything possible to ensure the safe transportation of these products.”

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada is the voice of Canada’s $47-billion chemistry sector. CIAC represents the interests of Canada’s leading chemistry companies – from petrochemical, inorganic and specialty chemical producers, to bio-based manufacturers and chemistry-related technology and R&D companies. Canada’s chemistry industry employs 87,000 Canadians directly, and supports another 435,000 jobs in the Canadian economy.

To learn more about Responsible Care®, visit