Bill S-4

Safer Railways Act

An Act to amend the Railway Safety Act and to make consequential amendments to the Canada Transportation Act

This bill was tabled by on Oct. 7, 2011.

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How does a bill become a law?

Don’t trust Schoolhouse Rock – that’s for Americans. To become a law, a bill in the Canada’s Parliament needs to go through the following steps, and pass when voted on during each step:

  • It all starts with the first reading, when the bill is introduced.
  • Next comes the second reading, when other MPs or Senators get to debate the bill.
  • After that, the bill goes to a committee that studies and amends it line-by-line. Once they finish, the bill goes returns to the House or Senate for the report stage, where anyone can propose amendments.
  • The third reading is the moment of truth: no more changes, just a debate and a final vote on whether or not the bill should pass.
  • If a bill makes it through all of those steps – in both the House of Commons and Senate – it’s ready to get Royal Assent and become a law.

Status of this Bill

Royal Assent

Activity Feed

  • Ms. Jody Wilson-Raybould (Regional Chief, British Columbia, Assembly of First Nations) spoke

    Gilakasla. Good morning, members. Thank you for having me here. ... more

    May 2, 2013,   Parliament
  • Photo of Matthew Dubé
    Matthew Dubé spoke about Government Orders > Fair Rail Freight Service Act

    With “on the right track”, I will assume no pun was intended there ... more

    Feb. 4, 2013,   Parliament
  • Photo of Denis Lebel
    Denis Lebel spoke

    Thank you very much, Mr. Chair. ... more

    Nov. 29, 2012,   Parliament
  • Mr. Michael Bourque spoke

    The specific example here is that during the passing of Bill S-4, the Railway Safety Act, we asked for the exemption to be 12 months instead of six months. That's simply because we operate in four seasons, and in order to introduce a new technology, we need to test it in all of those seasons before we can be certain it's going to be effective. We thought that was a relatively simple request to understand and implement, and it is important to our industry, yet we still are faced with the six-month exemption. That means it adds complexity and difficulty to anything we introduce if there's going to be a significant difference between the way that piece of equipment operates in the heat of the summer versus the cold of the winter.

    June 12, 2012,   Parliament
  • Photo of Scott Brison
    Scott Brison spoke

    We just finished with Bill S-4 on the Railway Safety Act. Why weren't these changes included in that piece of legislation?

    May 28, 2012,   Parliament
  • Photo of Barry Devolin
    Barry Devolin spoke about Royal Assent

    I have the honour to inform the House that a communication has been received as follows: ... more

    May 17, 2012,   Parliament
  • Photo of Olivia Chow
    Olivia Chow spoke

    Thank you, Mr. Chair. ... more

    May 10, 2012,   Parliament
  • Photo of Jean-François Fortin
    Jean-François Fortin spoke about Government Orders > Safer Railways Act

    Mr. Speaker, the members of the Bloc Québécois will vote in favour of Bill S-4. This is no surprise, I agree. We have before us what I would call an apple pie bill, meaning that it is good and that everybody likes apple pie. Nobody is against motherhood and apple pie. So, obviously, the Bloc Québécois is in favour of rail safety. ... more

    May 1, 2012,   Parliament
  • Photo of Philip Toone
    Philip Toone spoke about Government Orders > Safer Railways Act

    Mr. Speaker, thank you for your intervention, which I found very fair. ... more

    May 1, 2012,   Parliament
  • spoke about Government Orders > Safer Railways Act

    The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill S-4, An Act to amend the Railway Safety Act and to make consequential amendments to the Canada Transportation Act, be read the third time and passed.

    May 1, 2012,   Parliament
  • Photo of Dan Harris
    Dan Harris spoke about Government Orders > Safer Railways Act

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate my colleague for his tireless leadership on the rail issue, his involvement in the rail caucus and everything he does to try to improve rail and rail safety in the country. ... more

    May 1, 2012,   Parliament
  • Photo of Jeff Watson
    Jeff Watson spoke about Government Orders > Safer Railways Act

    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the member opposite's intervention about high-speed rail. However, since Bill S-4 is about a safer railways act, I wonder if the member has any comments on the requirement for a rail operating certificate.

    May 1, 2012,   Parliament
  • Photo of Brian Masse
    Brian Masse spoke about Government Orders > Safer Railways Act

    Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Scarborough Southwest. ... more

    May 1, 2012,   Parliament
  • Photo of Barry Devolin
    Barry Devolin spoke about Government Orders > Safer Railways Act

    Order. Before I go to the member for Timmins—James Bay, I would like to remind all hon. members that the matter before the House is Bill S-4, which deals with certain matters. I would encourage all hon. members to make their comments relevant to that, and the questions as well. ... more

    May 1, 2012,   Parliament
  • spoke about Government Orders > Safer Railways Act

    The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill S-4, An Act to amend the Railway Safety Act and to make consequential amendments to the Canada Transportation Act, be read the third time and passed.

    May 1, 2012,   Parliament
  • Photo of Niki Ashton
    Niki Ashton spoke about Government Orders > Safer Railways Act

    Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Timmins—James Bay. ... more

    May 1, 2012,   Parliament
  • Photo of Jamie Nicholls
    Jamie Nicholls spoke about Government Orders > Safer Railways Act

    Mr. Speaker, I am going to take a break from these rather technical discussions to talk a little about philosophy. I would submit that we sometimes have to look to philosophy to light our way and our common future. ... more

    May 1, 2012,   Parliament
  • Photo of Malcolm Allen
    Malcolm Allen spoke about Government Orders > Safer Railways Act

    Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the fabulous member for Vaudreuil-Soulanges. ... more

    May 1, 2012,   Parliament
  • Photo of Mike Sullivan
    Mike Sullivan spoke about Government Orders > Safer Railways Act

    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate this opportunity to continue my discourse on Bill S-4. ... more

    May 1, 2012,   Parliament
  • spoke about Government Orders > Safer Railways Act

    The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill S-4, An Act to amend the Railway Safety Act and to make consequential amendments to the Canada Transportation Act, be read the third time and passed.

    May 1, 2012,   Parliament
  • Photo of Mike Sullivan
    Mike Sullivan spoke about Government Orders > Safer Railways Act

    Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to again speak to Bill S-4, the Railway Safety Act, at third reading and report stage today. ... more

    May 1, 2012,   Parliament
  • Photo of Kevin Lamoureux
    Kevin Lamoureux spoke about Government Orders > Safer Railways Act

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague, the member for Bourassa, for splitting his time with me. I do know that, as our Liberal Party critic, the member for Bourassa has done an outstanding job in terms of ensuring there is this sense of urgency to see this particular bill pass through the system. ... more

    May 1, 2012,   Parliament
  • Photo of Denis Coderre
    Denis Coderre spoke about Government Orders > Safer Railways Act

    Mr. Speaker, these are ongoing issues. There are two questions. First, it may be about alternative technology to address the noise. Second, with Bill S-4, I believe it is also a matter of prevention. ... more

    May 1, 2012,   Parliament
  • Photo of Denis Coderre
    Denis Coderre spoke about Government Orders > Safer Railways Act

    Mr. Speaker, if members want to support it now, then let us do it. I have fast-tracked it already in committee. ... more

    May 1, 2012,   Parliament
  • Photo of Denis Coderre
    Denis Coderre spoke about Government Orders > Safer Railways Act

    Mr. Speaker, everybody is happy about this debate because it is probably the only bill that everyone agrees on. I thank the member for Beauce, who was initially against the bill, but then supported it later on. Apparently, even he sometimes sees the light. We thank him. ... more

    May 1, 2012,   Parliament
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