Canadians who wish to use unmanned aerial vehicles - more commonly known as drones - will have a new set of rules to keep in mind moving forward.
Connected and automated vehicles will bring about significant transformation in our transportation system, our communities, and our economy. They have the potential to improve road safety, reduce congestion, increase mobility, protect the environment, and generate new economic opportunities for middle-class Canadians.
Ontario Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca used the backdrop of the Ontario Trucking Association's 88th annual convention to make three major policy announcements – including support for ELDs and roll stability technology on trucks – before a crowd of about 500 industry executives on Wednesday night.
Construction of the Combo Project, an important investment along the Roberts Bank Rail Corridor (RBRC), was celebrated by the Honourable Ed Fast, Canada's Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway; the Honourable Mary Polak, B.C. Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure; Mayor Dianne Watts, City of Surrey; Mayor Peter Fassbender, City of Langley; Mayor Jack Froese, Township of Langley; and Robin Silvester, President and CEO of Port Metro Vancouver as well as other stakeholders.
The project involves the construction of rail crossing overpasses at 192nd Street, 54th Avenue and 196th Street in Surrey, B.C., which will increase road capacity while addressing the needs expressed by these communities to reduce delays and mitigate the impacts of increasing commercial traffic. These new road-rail grade separations will enhance rail operations and accommodate anticipated growth in rail and road traffic along the Roberts Bank Rail Corridor.
"Investments in projects along the Roberts Rail Bank Corridor are improving the flow of traffic, enhancing the efficiency of the transportation system, bringing benefits to B.C.'s Lower Mainland and contributing to Canada's global competitiveness," said Minister Fast. "The federal government is committed to continuing to work productively with our partners as we build on the success that has made the Asia-Pacific Gateway the gateway of choice between fast-growing Asia-Pacific markets and North America."
"B.C.'s increasing trade with Asia means more jobs, but also more traffic through our communities," said Minister Polak. "We have heard about congestion from residents and that's why B.C. is joining our Roberts Bank partners in investing in the Combo Project. The overpasses will ensure residents can travel safely, with minimal delays and impacts on their quality of life and will provide a reliable route for transit and first responders."
"The Roberts Bank Rail Corridor project is an important infrastructure partnership that will improve the safety and efficiency of the region's transportation network, enhance trade and economic development, and eliminate vehicle delays at crossings," added Mayor Watts.
"Today's RBRC announcement supports growing trade and the local economic benefits that come with that; and importantly eases the impact of a growing port on local communities," said Mr. Silvester. "Today's announcement is collaboration in action with all levels of government and industry working together to ensure British Columbians realize the maximum benefit of international trade."
The total cost of this project is estimated at $121.5 million, including $43 million from the Government of Canada's Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative, $25.6 million from Port Metro Vancouver, $25.5 from the Province of British Columbia, $13.6 from the City of Surrey, $8.3 from the City of Langley and $5.5 from the Township of Langley.