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Railway Safety Act

[SBC 2004] CHAPTER 8

Assented to March 31, 2004

Contents
1Definitions
Part 1 — Administration of Act
2Administration of this Act
3Registrar of railway safety
4Railway safety inspectors
5Agreements
6Delegation
7Delegation does not make authority an agent of the government
8Exchange of information
Part 2 — Permits and Applicable Safety Provisions
9Adoption of other provisions
10Permit required
11Registrar may issue permit
12Permit remains valid unless cancelled or suspended
13Reconsideration
Part 3 — Offences, Penalties and Fees
14 Offence Act
15Offences
16Offences by corporations
17Limitation period
18Penalties
19Power of an authority to set fees
20Fees to recover costs
Part 4 — Regulations
21Minister's power to make regulations
22Lieutenant Governor in Council's power to make regulations
Part 5 — Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments
23Transitional
24Transitional — authorizations under the Railway Act
 25–33 Consequential Amendments
34Commencement

Definitions

1  In this Act:

"administrative agreement" means an agreement under section 5;

"adopted provision" means a provision adopted under section 9 (1) and, if changed under section 9 (2) (a), means the provision as changed under that section;

"applicant" means a railway company that has submitted an application for a permit under section 10;

"authority" means

(a) the government of Canada, or an agent of the government of Canada,

(b) the British Columbia Safety Authority, or

(c) any other person

with which the minister has entered into an administrative agreement;

"permit holder" means a railway company that holds a valid permit issued under section 11;

"railway" means a railway as defined in section 1 of the Railway Act;

"railway company" means a company that has received an authorization under section 3 of the Railway Act;

"railway safety inspector" means a person appointed as a railway safety inspector under section 4;

"registrar" means the registrar of railway safety appointed under section 3.

Part 1 — Administration of Act

Administration of this Act

2  The minister is charged with the administration of this Act and the regulations except to the extent that the administration of any provision of this Act or the regulations is delegated to an authority under section 6.

Registrar of railway safety

3  (1) The minister must appoint, under the Public Service Act, a registrar of railway safety.

(2) The registrar has the powers conferred and the obligations imposed on the registrar by this Act and the regulations.

Railway safety inspectors

4  (1) The minister may appoint any person as a railway safety inspector for the purposes of this Act.

(2) Railway safety inspectors are subject to and have the powers and obligations set out in the provisions adopted under subsection (3).

(3) The minister may adopt by regulation provisions of the Railway Safety Act (Canada) for the purposes of subsection (2) and may prescribe changes to those provisions.

Agreements

5  (1) The minister may enter into an administrative agreement with an authority to administer any provisions of this Act and the regulations.

(2) An administrative agreement must include provisions that specify all of the following:

(a) the acceptance by the authority of the responsibility to administer powers delegated to the authority under section 6;

(b) the terms for financial arrangements between the authority and the government;

(c) the right of access of the authority to records created by the government and the right of access of the government to records created by the authority;

(d) requirements for the authority to report to the government on matters related to the operation of powers administered by the authority under this Act;

(e) the obligations of the parties if the agreement is terminated;

(f) provisions for the settlement of disputes.

Delegation

6  (1) If the minister enters into an administrative agreement with an authority under section 5, the Lieutenant Governor in Council, by regulation, may delegate to that authority the administration of any of the provisions of this Act and the regulations except

(a) the power to appoint a registrar under section 3,

(b) the registrar's powers under sections 11 and 12,

(c) the power to charge fees under section 20, and

(d) the power to make regulations under Part 4.

(2) If an amendment to the regulation making a delegation under subsection (1) could substantially affect an agreement referred to in subsection (1), the minister must give reasonable notice to the authority of the proposed amendment and must consult on it with the authority.

(3) If the Lieutenant Governor in Council repeals a regulation under subsection (1), the agreement is terminated.

Delegation does not make authority an agent of the government

7  An authority to which the administration of any of the provisions of this Act and the regulations are delegated under section 6 is not an agent of the government for the purposes of that administration.

Exchange of information

8  (1) In this section, "records" includes, but is not limited to, records regarding a railway company's compliance or failure to comply with any provision of this Act, the regulations or the Railway Act.

(2) If the minister has entered into an information-sharing agreement with an authority to which the administration of any provisions of the Act or the regulations is delegated under section 6, the minister may disclose or transfer records to, and share records with, the authority in accordance with the agreement.

(3) The minister may enter into an information-sharing agreement for the purposes of subsection (2).

Part 2 — Permits and Applicable Safety Provisions

Adoption of other provisions

9  (1) The minister may adopt by regulation provisions of

(a) the Railway Safety Act (Canada), the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act, the Canada Transportation Act, and the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada Act,

(b) any regulations, standards, codes, rules or procedures made under any Act referred to in paragraph (a), and

(c) a code or standard regarding railway safety established by any other standard making body,

and, subject to subsection (2) and section 11, the adopted provisions apply to railway companies.

(2) The minister may

(a) prescribe changes to any provision adopted under subsection (1), and

(b) make regulations providing for the administration of adopted provisions.

Permit required

10  (1) A railway company must not operate a railway unless the company has a valid permit issued by the registrar under section 11.

(2) An application to the registrar for a permit must

(a) be made in the form and manner approved by the registrar,

(b) include information required by the registrar, and

(c) be accompanied by the prescribed application fee.

Registrar may issue permit

11  (1) The registrar may issue a permit to a railway company in response to an application under section 10 if the registrar considers the applicant capable of operating the railway in a safe manner.

(2) If the registrar issues a permit, the registrar may

(a) exempt the permit holder from the application of any adopted provisions or from a regulation or any part of a regulation made under section 9 (2) (b), or from both, and

(b) establish terms and conditions that apply to the permit.

(3) A permit holder must comply with

(a) the adopted provisions that apply to the permit holder,

(b) the terms and conditions that apply to the permit holder's permit, and

(c) any order or directive made to the permit holder by a railway safety inspector acting under the authority of a provision adopted under section 4.

(4) The registrar, at any time by notice in writing, may

(a) vary or cancel an exemption granted to a permit holder under subsection (2) (a), and

(b) exempt a permit holder from additional adopted provisions or regulations under subsection (2) (a).

Permit remains valid unless cancelled or suspended

12  (1) A permit issued under section 11 remains valid unless it is cancelled or suspended under this section.

(2) A permit holder's permit is cancelled automatically on the permit holder's loss of an authorization under section 3 of the Railway Act.

(3) The registrar may cancel or suspend a permit if the permit holder has

(a) in the opinion of the registrar, ceased operations for a period of 12 consecutive months or more,

(b) failed to pay, within the time required, fees charged by an authority under section 19 or by the minister under section 20, or

(c) failed to comply with a term or condition of the permit holder's permit.

(4) If the registrar cancels or suspends a permit under this section, the registrar must notify the permit holder in writing of the cancellation or suspension and the notice must

(a) advise the permit holder of the reason for the cancellation or suspension, and

(b) in the case of a suspension, advise the permit holder of the term of the suspension.

(5) The registrar must publish in the Gazette notice of a cancellation or suspension made under this section.

Reconsideration

13  (1) A railway company may apply to the deputy minister for a reconsideration of a decision of the registrar under section 11 (1) or (2) or 12 (3) by sending an application to the deputy minister.

(2) An application for a reconsideration must

(a) be made within 30 days of the date of the registrar's decision,

(b) be in writing, and

(c) set out the reasons on which the application is based.

(3) On receiving an application, the deputy minister must

(a) consider the matter,

(b) affirm, change or rescind the decision of the registrar, and

(c) notify the railway company in writing of the result of the reconsideration.

Part 3 — Offences, Penalties and Fees

Offence Act

14  Section 5 of the Offence Act does not apply to this Act or the regulations.

Offences

15  A person who does one or more of the following commits an offence:

(a) operates a railway without a valid permit issued under section 11;

(b) contravenes, or fails to comply with, an adopted provision or a minister's order or directive made under an adopted provision;

(c) contravenes, or fails to comply with, an order or a directive of a railway safety inspector made under a provision adopted under section 4.

Offences by corporations

16  (1) If a corporation commits an offence under this Act, an employee, officer, director or agent of the corporation who authorized, permitted or acquiesced in the offence also commits that offence, whether or not the corporation is prosecuted or convicted.

(2) In a prosecution for an offence under this Act, it is sufficient proof of the offence to establish that it was committed by an employee, officer, director or agent of the defendant.

(3) Subsection (2) applies whether or not the employee, officer, director or agent is identified or has been prosecuted for the offence, but that subsection does not apply if the defendant establishes that

(a) the offence was committed without the defendant's knowledge or consent, or

(b) the defendant exercised due diligence to prevent commission of the offence.

Limitation period

17  The time limit for laying an information for an offence under this Act is 2 years after the time when the subject matter of the proceedings arose.

Penalties

18  (1) An individual who is convicted of an offence under this Act is liable to a fine of not more than $100 000 or to imprisonment for not more than 18 months, or to both.

(2) A corporation that is convicted of an offence under this Act is liable to a fine of not more than $200 000.

(3) If a person commits an offence and the commission of that offence occurs on more than one day or is continued for more than one day, the person is liable to the penalties set out in subsections (4) and (5).

(4) In the case of a continuing offence, an individual who commits the offence is liable to a further penalty of not more than $5 000 for each day during which the offence continues.

(5) In the case of a continuing offence, a corporation that commits the offence is liable to a further penalty of not more than $10 000 for each day during which the offence continues.

Power of an authority to set fees

19  (1) Despite any power of the Lieutenant Governor in Council or the minister to prescribe fees for matters under the administration of the government, but subject to section 20, an authority may set fees in accordance with a fee setting process established by the authority for any matter required under the authority's administration.

(2) The fee setting process established under subsection (1) must be in accordance with criteria that are established by the minister by regulation.

Fees to recover costs

20  (1) The minister may charge a railway company a fee to recover the costs incurred in respect of the railway company by the minister under an administrative agreement for the administration of this Act.

(2) If the minister charges a railway company a fee under subsection (1) in respect of any matter required under an authority's administration, the authority may not charge the railway company a fee under section 19 in respect of the same matter.

(3) A railway company charged a fee under subsection (1) must pay the fee within the prescribed time period.

Part 4 — Regulations

Minister's power to make regulations

21  (1) The minister may make regulations referred to in section 41 of the Interpretation Act.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the minister may make regulations as follows:

(a) adopting provisions for the purposes of sections 4 and 9 and making changes to those provisions;

(b) providing for the administration of adopted provisions;

(c) requiring a railway company or a class of railway companies to submit to the registrar a safety management plan in the prescribed form;

(d) prescribing fees to be submitted on an application under section 10;

(e) prescribing criteria for the purposes of section 19 (2);

(f) prescribing the time period by which railway companies must pay fees charged under section 20.

Lieutenant Governor in Council's power to make regulations

22  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations, for the purposes of section 6, delegating to an authority the administration of any of the provisions of this Act and the regulations.

Part 5 — Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments

Transitional

23  (1) and (2) [Repealed 2004-8-23 (3).]

(3) [Spent. 2004-8-23 (3).]

Transitional — authorizations under the Railway Act

24  (1) In this section:

"applicable provisions" means the provisions of the preceding Act and of the regulations made under that Act that were applicable to a railway company with an authorization;

"authorization" means an authorization under the preceding Act to operate a railway;

"preceding Act" means the Railway Act as it read before the coming into force of any of sections 26 to 30 of this Act.

(2) Subject to subsection (4) and to regulations made under section 23, if, immediately before the coming into force of this section, a railway company held a valid authorization under which the railway company was operated, that authorization remains in full force and effect, subject to the applicable provisions, until April 1, 2005, and, while that authorization is in effect,

(a) the railway company is not required to comply with section 10 [permit required] or, subject to paragraph (b), any adopted provisions under this Act, and

(b) the railway company is subject to any orders or directives made by an authority to which the administration of any provisions of this Act has been delegated under section 6.

(3) An authority referred to in subsection (2) (b) may administer the applicable provisions of a railway company's authorization.

(4) A railway company referred to in subsection (2) may, at any time before April 1, 2005, apply for a permit under this Act, and if the company is issued a permit, the company's authorization is invalid on and after the date the permit is issued.

Consequential Amendments

[Note: See Table of Legislative Changes for the status of sections 25 to 33.]

Section(s)   Affected Act
25   Highway (Industrial) Act
26–30   Railway Act
31   Safety Authority Act
32   Safety Standards Act
33   Workers Compensation Act

Commencement

34  This Act comes into force on April 1, 2004, and is retroactive to the extent necessary to give it effect on and after that date.