BILL NO. 236
2nd Session, 63rd General Assembly
69 Elizabeth II, 2020
The Honourable Lloyd Hines
Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal
First Reading: February 28, 2020
Second Reading: March 3, 2020
Third Reading: March 9, 2020 (WITH COMMITTEE AMENDMENTS) (LINK TO BILL AS PASSED)
Clause 1 adds definitions of "non-licensed railway", "non-operating railway" and "qualified engineer".
(a) provides that the Act applies to the Sydney Coal Railway;
(b) clarifies that the Act applies to operating railways, discontinued railways and abandoned railways; and
(c) provides that the Act does not apply to non-licensed or non-operating railways except where expressly provided.
(a) requires the operator of a railway to provide crossings where track divides a continuous area of privately-held land or a private road; and
(b) sets out rules for determining who is responsible for paying for the crossings.
(a) requires licence holders to maintain their railways in a safe condition as a condition of their licence; and
(b) where a railway is not in a safe condition, makes the licence holder responsible for the cost of repairs.
Clause 5 requires
(a) the inspection of a railway and the repair of any deficiencies before a licence may be issued; and
(b) licence holders or former licence holders to maintain safety standards, insurance coverage and financial viability even while their licence is suspended or after it has been revoked.
Clause 6 requires proof of the safe condition of a railway before a railway licence can be automatically renewed.
(a) allows the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board to suspend or revoke the licence of a licence holder where the licence holder fails to maintain the railway in a safe condition;
(b) provides that a deemed notice of discontinuance is given where a licence holder does not resume operation after a suspension;
(c) allows the Board to grant a temporary licence to operate a railway where a licence holder is deemed to have applied for discontinuance;
(d) requires safety inspections of railways by a qualified engineer and the repair of any deficiencies prior to reinstatement of a suspended licence; and
(e) provides that, where a licence is revoked, the former licence holder is deemed to have applied for discontinuance and, where the former licence holder cannot find a buyer, the railway may be purchased by the Government of Nova Scotia for its salvage value.
Clause 8 provides that the obligation of a railway company to maintain the railway continues until the railway is sold, even if it is discontinued or abandoned.
(a) allows the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal to require a railway company to conduct repairs necessary for the safety of the public; and
(b) allows the Minister to conduct repairs or modifications of a railway where necessary as a result of a state of emergency or imminent threat to the safety of the public.
Clause 10 requires railway companies to conduct a thorough inspection of their railways at least once every 5 years and permits the requirements for those inspections to be established by regulation.
(a) requires a plan for the discontinuance of a railway line to include
- (i) how the railway company intends to deal with safety and maintenance, and
(ii) an inspection, if one has not been completed in the previous 5 years; and
(b) allows the Minister to
- (i) order that a railway company is deemed to have applied for abandonment of a railway line where it has not done so in the time required by the regulations, and
(ii) complete any necessary repairs.
Clause 12 requires an application for abandonment of a railway line to include either a statement affirming its safe condition or indicating any necessary repairs. It also allows the Minister to complete any necessary repairs at the railway company's expense.
Clause 13 corrects a reference to whom is responsible for the approval of an abandonment plan.
Clause 14 allows the Governor in Council to make regulations
(a) prescribing the qualifications necessary for a person to be a qualified engineer; and
(b) establishing requirements for inspections.
Clause 15 provides that an exclusion of the application of the Municipal Government Act and prescribed enactments only applies with respect to an operating railway.
Clause 16 provides that this Act comes into force on proclamation.
1 Section 3 of Chapter 11 of the Acts of 1993, the Railways Act, as amended by Chapter 12 of the Acts of 2001 and Chapter 57 of the Acts of 2014, is further amended by
- (da) "non-licensed railway" means an operating railway whose licence has been suspended or revoked;
(db) "non-operating railway" means a railway that is the subject of a valid licence but is not actively operating in accordance with its licence and has not had an application made for its discontinuance or abandonment;
- (fa) "qualified engineer" means a person who meets the qualifications prescribed in the regulations;
- (2) For greater certainty, this Act applies to the Sydney Coal Railway.
- 13 (1) Where
the operator of the railway shall, on the request of the owner of the land, provide a crossing across the right of way and any track located on the right of way that is appropriate for the intended use of the crossing by the owner of the land.
(2) A crossing that is provided under this Section must remain in place until the owner of the land notifies the operator of the railway that the crossing is no longer required or the crossing is removed pursuant to an agreement between the owner of the land and the operator of the railway.
(a) where the right of way existed before the owner of the land acquired the land on both sides or either side of the right of way, the owner of the land is responsible for the costs of constructing, maintaining, repairing and removing the crossing; or
(b) where the owner of the land acquired that land before the right of way that separated that land came into existence, the operator of the railway is responsible for the costs of constructing, maintaining, repairing and removing the crossing.
- (i) a road that is not a highway, or
(ii) a highway that is not owned or otherwise under the direction, control and management of Her Majesty in right of the Province or Canada, a member of the Executive Council or a municipality and the highway is designated as a private road by the Minister;
the operator of the railway shall, on the request of the owner of the private road, provide a crossing across the right of way and any track located on the right of way that is appropriate for the intended use of the crossing by the owner of the private road.
(3) A crossing that is provided under this Section must remain in place until the owner of the private road notifies the operator of the railway that the crossing is no longer required or the crossing is removed pursuant to an agreement between the owner of the private road and the operator of the railway.
(a) where the right of way existed before the private road existed on both sides or either side of the right of way, the owner of the private road is responsible for the costs of constructing, maintaining, repairing and removing the crossing; or
(b) where the private road was in existence before the right of way that separated that road came into existence, the operator of the railway is responsible for the costs of constructing, maintaining, repairing and removing the crossing.
- (2A) It is a condition of every licence that the licence holder maintain the railway in a safe condition.
- (aa) has had the proposed railway and proposed railway service inspected by a railway inspector and has addressed any deficiencies identified in the inspection to the satisfaction of the railway inspector;
- (3) The duties imposed under subsection (2) continue to apply to a licence holder or former licence holder even if the licence has been suspended or revoked until such time as the railway has been sold or transferred to another person.
7 Section 21 of Chapter 11 is amended by
- (2) Where a licence holder fails to comply with the condition referred to in subsection (2A) of Section 16, the Board shall suspend or revoke the licence of the licence holder until the licence holder complies with the condition and that compliance is verified by a qualified engineer.
(3) Where a licence holder whose licence has been suspended does not resume operating the railway within thirty days after the suspension is ended or any longer period that the Board may allow, the licence holder is deemed to have given notice on the thirtieth or final allowed day to the Board pursuant to Section 41 requesting authorization to discontinue service on the railway.
(b) make any orders the Board considers necessary in relation to the temporary operating licence, including a requirement for the temporary operating licence holder to maintain the condition of the railway.
(5) Where the safety inspection of the railway by a qualified engineer is more than five years old, a licence holder whose licence has been suspended shall provide the Board with a report from a qualified engineer confirming the safe condition of the railway before the Board may reinstate the licence.
(6) Where a report required under subsection (5) identifies any deficiencies, those deficiencies must be remedied to the satisfaction of the qualified engineer before the Board may reinstate the licence.
(8) Where an application is deemed to have been made under subsection (7) and the former licence holder has not sold the railway to another person within a period of not less than six and not more than twelve months, as determined by the Board,
(9) The sale of a railway under subsection (8) does not relieve the seller of any duty, debt or obligation, including a duty, debt or obligation under the Environment Act, the Pension Benefits Act or any other enactment, in respect of the railway, its employees or former employees or any related land or thing.
- (2) The obligation respecting maintenance in subsection (1) continues to apply
- 22A (1) The Minister may, by order, require a railway company to perform any repairs to the railway company's railway that the Minister considers necessary for the safety of the public.
22B (1) Where repairs or modifications to a railway are needed as the result of a declared state of emergency or an imminent threat to the safety of the public, the Minister may have the repairs or modifications completed without notice to the railway company that operates the railway.
- 35A (1) A railway company shall, at least every five years,
- (1A) A discontinuance plan filed under clause (b) of subsection (1) must include how the railway company intends to deal with the safety and maintenance of the railway line during any period of discontinuance.
- (5) Where a railway company has not applied for abandonment of a railway line under Section 42 within the time required under subsection (4), the Minister may order that the railway company is deemed to have applied under Section 42 for abandonment of the railway line.
(7) The cost of any repairs or maintenance completed under subsection (6) is a debt owed by the railway company to Her Majesty in right of the Province and is recoverable in any court of competent jurisdiction.
- (3) An application under subsection (2) must include a statement from a qualified engineer
(4) Where a statement required under subsection (3) indicates that repairs are necessary to restore the railway line and any related infrastructure to a safe condition, the Minister may take steps to complete the repairs.
14 Subsection 48(1) of Chapter 11, as amended by Chapter 27 of the Acts of 1995-96 and Chapter 12 of the Acts of 2001, is further amended by
- (a) prescribing the qualifications necessary to be a qualified engineer;
- (va) prescribing requirements for the purpose of an inspection under Section 35A;
- (2) For greater certainty, subsection (1) does not apply to
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