Hundreds of thousands of kilometres of underground infrastructure provide essential services to Canadian communities, including clean water, power, telephone, heat and internet. Damages to this infrastructure by third parties and the corresponding interruptions to these services cost Canadians $1 billion each year, even though damage is avoided 99 per cent of the time when a locate request is made to a One Call notification centre.*

Safety is our number one priority. This includes protecting our pipelines from damage caused by excavation and other ground disturbance activities. As part of this commitment, we are fully supporting two key initiatives championed by the Canadian Common Ground Alliance (CCGA):  effective Canada-wide damage prevention legislation and a damage prevention pilot project with the federal government. 

Bill S-229

The Underground Infrastructure Safety Enhancement Act, or Bill S-229, promotes improved safe digging practices in Canada by:

  • Requiring operators of underground infrastructure that is federally-regulated or located on federal land to register with a notification (One Call) centre
  • Requiring anyone who plans to dig to call a One Call centre to make a locate request
  • Requiring registered operators to respond to locate requests by marking the location of their underground infrastructure on the ground or providing an accurate written description of their location

The Act – led by support from the CCGA and Senator Grant Mitchell – passed its third reading in the Senate in 2017 and is now pending introduction in the House of Commons. 

To help protect all underground infrastructure, we encourage you to visit www.ICanDigSafe.ca and www.canadiancga.com/Legislation. On www.ICanDigSafe.ca, you can also send a letter directly to your member of Parliament to request they vote in favour of this important safety initiative.

Pilot Project

On June 21, 2018, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the CCGA and Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) to improve the protection of underground infrastructure – such as pipelines – located on federal lands. The PSPC is responsible for internal servicing and administration for federal departments and agencies.

Building on the important work already undertaken by Senator Mitchell and the CCGA to advance Bill S-229, the PSPC and the CCGA will launch a pilot project to improve and coordinate current notification processes for work on federal lands. This initiative is intended to strengthen existing processes, ensure safety for the public and workers, and prevent damage to and improve the safety of federally-regulated underground infrastructure by facilitating a government-wide approach.

Each of these damage prevention measures is essential to keeping workers and the public safe, reduce the unnecessary cost of damages and ensure the protection of underground infrastructure.

*Canadian Common Ground Alliance (2016)