Every year, thousands of buried facilities such as cables, wires, pipelines, water mains and sewer lines are accidently damaged by excavators. Services are interrupted in nearly every case and sometimes incidents lead to injury, death and/or significant environmental contamination. In its report tabled today entitled Digging Safely: One-call Notification Systems and the Prevention of Damage to Canada's Buried Infrastructure, the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources has outlined four recommendations to the federal government to improve public and worker safety and to prevent damage to buried facilities in Canada.
"Damage to buried infrastructure strains public resources such as emergency response personnel and can result in economic costs, such as construction delays, repairs and traffic congestion. These incidents are an unnecessary risk to the public, a waste of economic resources and a burden on taxpayers and ratepayers. Our Senate Committee is recommending that owners and operators of federally regulated buried infrastructure be required to become members of a provincial or territorial one-call service, where they exist. We believe our recommendation could help reduce these incidents and their negative impacts on the wider community."– Senator Richard Neufeld, Chair of the Committee
"Our Committee was encouraged to learn during our hearings that a standard for the Damage Prevention for the Protection of Underground Infrastructure, also known as CSA Z247, is being developed through the Canadian Standards Association. Therefore, our report is recommending that the federal government reference the CSA Z247 standard in relevant federal legislation and encourage provinces and territories to reference the standard in their legislation."- Senator Paul Massicotte, Deputy Chair of the Committee
- Canada's first one-call centre began operating in Alberta in 1984.
- Today, six provinces have one-call centres (AB, QC, BC, ON, SK, MB).
- In 2012, nearly 8,000 damage incidents to buried infrastructure were reported in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. This translates to 31 damages for every business day in 2012.
Associated LinksMore information can be found under the news section of the Canadian Common Ground Alliance or your provincial chapter.
For more information, please contact:
Ceri Au Senate Communications 613-944-9145 Ceri.Au@sen.parl.gc.ca
Lynn Gordon Clerk of the Committee: 613-991-3620 Lynn.Gordon@sen.parl.gc.ca