The Senate of Canada voted last week to adopt Bill S-229, An Act respecting underground infrastructure safety, on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 following its third reading. The bill, which was introduced by Senator Grant Mitchell in September, will now proceed to the House of Commons where, if passed, it will receive Royal Assent and be made law.
“No doubt that today is a big day for the CCGA and damage prevention in Canada,” said Mike Sullivan, executive director of the CCGA. “We’ve never gotten this far in our goal to achieve damage prevention legislation.”
Inspired by the “Call or Click Before You Dig” principle, the bill will:
- Require operators of underground infrastructure that is federally regulated or on federal land to register that infrastructure with a notification centre.
- Require people who are planning to dig to first make a “locate request” with the relevant notification centre.
- Require operators of underground infrastructure to respond to locate requests by either locating and marking the ground, providing a clear description of the location of the underground infrastructure in the vicinity of the proposed excavation, or providing an all clear to proceed with the excavation.
“Bill S-229 represents very positive and unique public policy,” said Senator Grant Mitchell. “This bill will significantly reduce societal, economic and business costs, and significantly enhance public safety. And, it will do this at no appreciable cost to government.
I am very pleased that S-229 was passed by the Senate with vast support from all groups. Now that the bill has been sent to the House of Commons, I trust that it will be given due consideration in order to help ensure the safety of individuals, workers and the public in proximity to excavation work, and protect the integrity Canada’s underground infrastructure.”
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