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Message from the President – November 2023

Safety is job one for every Canadian railroader. It is at the heart of railway operations 24/7/365. And it is engrained into our members’ corporate culture (including as a key value for those of us at the RAC).

It is also a key part of sustainability.

In November, we had several marquee opportunities to explore the links between safety and sustainability, and to celebrate the leadership of Canadian railways and the people powering them in these areas.

Mid-month, we were pleased to partner with the Association québecoise des transports (AQTr) for a first of its kind, pan-Canadian symposium on safety and climate resiliency. As you will see in the piece below, we had a series of great conversations in both official languages over two days in Montréal – one of North America’s great rail cities. My sincere thanks to our presenters, sponsors, and attendees.

I also had the opportunity to attend the Rail Trends conference in New York with rail industry leaders from across Canada and the U.S., including senior executives from Class Is, shortlines, and passenger railways. What really struck me from those conversations was the industry’s ongoing investments in technology innovations that are driving safety throughout North America.

Late in the month, we welcomed RAC members, associate members, Parliamentarians, and other dignitaries to Ottawa for our annual holiday reception and Safety and Environment Awards. This year’s event was particularly well attended, and the conversations sparked by the member stories we were able to share were excellent. Planning is already underway for next year.

Canadian railways have exceptional stories to tell when it comes to safety and sustainability. And it is our job – in fact, it’s all our job – to share these stories with others outside the industry.

Your RAC team in Ottawa and across the country is proud to collaborate with members, governments, and communities to ensure that Canada’s rail sector is recognized as one of the safest, more competitive, and most sustainable in the world.

We do this by taking part in Parliamentary committee studies, drafting submissions and research papers, and by conducting our regular and ongoing outreach to stakeholders, regulators, and influencers.

We have the facts on our side as you will see below. And we have brilliant, committed people – including an RAC team member who is brand new to the industry, but ready, willing, and eager to learn as we all do each day.

RAC’s vision, reaffirmed at an invigorating all-staff session held in conjunction with our holiday reception, is to continue to lead the railway industry toward a safe and sustainable future. That is the future our members want. That is what Canadians expect. And it’s what we will continue to work to deliver.

Yours in safe and sustainable rail,