New fines issued for violating Railway Safety Act

Emergency workers work on the site of the train wreck in Lac-Megantic in this July 12, 2013 file...

Emergency workers work on the site of the train wreck in Lac-Megantic in this July 12, 2013 file photo. (REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger)

Giuseppe Valiante, National Bureau

, Last Updated: 5:07 PM ET

OTTAWA - Transport Canada said Friday it plans to side-step the courts and slap violators of the Railway Safety Act with fines up to $250,000.

Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said in a statement that the new fines are an "additional enforcement tool."

Individuals will have to pay up to $50,000 and companies up to $250,000.

The government is still able, however, to pursue people or companies in court.

The public is still waiting for the government's decision on how much liability insurance rail companies and oil shippers will be required to have to operate in Canada.

After the train derailment at Lac-Megantic, Que., last summer, where 47 people died, taxpayers were on the hook for tens of millions of dollars because the company that owned the train didn't have enough insurance and went bankrupt.


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