Law:Bridges Act

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R.s.c., 1985, c. B-8

An Act respecting bridges


Contents

Short Title

Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Bridges Act.

R.S., c. B-10, s. 1.


Interpretation

Definitions

2. In this Act,

“bridge”

« pont »

“bridge” means every bridge to which this Act applies;

“company”

« compagnie »

“company” means any company incorporated under the authority or within the jurisdiction of Parliament, not being a railway company or otherwise subject to the control of the Minister;

“Minister”

« ministre »

“Minister” means the Minister of Public Works and Government Services.

R.S., 1985, c. B-8, s. 2; 1996, c. 16, s. 60.


Application

Application of Act

3. This Act applies to every bridge and the approaches thereto, and the appliances or works appurtenant thereto, built or constructed by any company.

R.S., c. B-10, s. 3.


General

Notice

4. No bridge shall be opened for public use

(a) until one month after notice in writing of intention to open the bridge has been given to the Minister by the company to whom the bridge belongs; or

(b) until ten days after notice in writing has been given by the company to the Minister of the time when the bridge will, in the opinion of the company, be sufficiently completed for inspection and use with safety.

R.S., c. B-10, s. 4.

Proceedings on receipt of notice

5. (1) The Minister, on receiving a notice under section 4, shall direct an engineer attached to or employed by the Department of Public Works and Government Services to examine the bridge proposed to be opened and report to the Minister, in writing, his opinion as to the completeness and sufficiency of the bridge, with the grounds for that opinion.

Postponement if the bridge is reported unsafe

(2) Where the engineer reports pursuant to subsection (1) that, in his opinion, the bridge would, by reason of incompleteness or insufficiency, be dangerous to the public using it, the Minister, with the approval of the Governor in Council, may order the company to whom the bridge belongs to postpone the opening for a period not exceeding one month.

Further inspection

(3) The Minister may, with the approval of the Governor in Council, from time to time thereafter, on further inspection of the bridge by an engineer directed under subsection (1) after the ten days notice given under paragraph 4(b), and on a report from the engineer as to the incompleteness or insufficiency of the bridge, make a like order for postponement of the opening of the bridge until it appears to the Minister that the opening of the bridge may take place without danger to the public.

R.S., 1985, c. B-8, s. 5; 1996, c. 16, s. 61.

Copy of report to accompany order

6. No order made under section 5 is binding on any company unless a copy of the report of the engineer on which the order is founded is delivered to the company with the order.

R.S., c. B-10, s. 6.

Inspection of unsafe bridge

7. The Minister may direct any engineer attached to or employed by the Department of Public Works and Government Services to examine, inspect and report to the Minister on any bridge, whenever he receives information to the effect that the bridge, through want of repair, insufficiency or erroneous construction, or from any other cause, is dangerous to the public using the bridge, or whenever circumstances arise that, in the opinion of the Minister, render an examination or inspection expedient.

R.S., 1985, c. B-8, s. 7; 1996, c. 16, s. 61.

Minister may condemn bridge

8. (1) The Minister, on the report of the engineer under section 7, may

(a) condemn the bridge or any portion thereof, or any of the works or appliances connected therewith; and

(b) with the approval of the Governor in Council, require the substitution of a new bridge for that bridge, or a portion thereof to be renewed, or the use of any materials for any part of that bridge, or any change or alteration therein or any part thereof.

Changes or alterations

(2) The company to which the bridge referred to in subsection (1) belongs, or the company using or controlling the bridge, in case the bridge is in use or controlled by another company, shall thereupon, on notice from the Minister of any defect or insufficiency in the bridge or any portion thereof so reported, or of any requirement of the Minister under subsection (1), proceed to make good or remedy the defect or insufficiency, and make the change, alteration, substitution or use of material specified as a requirement in the notice.

R.S., c. B-10, s. 8.

Power of engineer

9. Any engineer authorized to inspect any bridge may, at all reasonable times, on producing his authority, if required, enter on and examine the bridge.

R.S., c. B-10, s. 9.

Company to furnish information

10. Every company and the officers and directors thereof shall afford to an engineer directed by the Minister to inspect any bridge, in this Act referred to as an "inspecting engineer", such information as is within their knowledge and power in all matters inquired into by him, and shall submit to the engineer all contracts, plans, specifications, drawings and documents relating to the construction, repair or state of repair of the bridge.

R.S., c. B-10, s. 10.

Evidence of authority

11. The production of instructions in writing signed by the Minister is sufficient evidence of the authority of an inspecting engineer.

R.S., c. B-10, s. 11.

Use of bridge may be suspended

12. When in his opinion a bridge is dangerous, the inspecting engineer may, by notice in writing, stating the reasons for his opinion, and distinctly specifying the defects or the nature of the danger to be apprehended, delivered to the president, managing director, secretary or superintendent of the company that owns, uses or controls the bridge, forbid, until alterations, substitutions or repairs are made therein,

(a) the running of any railway or tramway train or car over the bridge when the bridge is intended for, and, in his opinion, dangerous to the passage of any train or car;

(b) the passage of any vehicle over the bridge when the bridge is intended for, and, in his opinion, dangerous to the passage of any vehicle; or

(c) the passage of any passenger over the bridge when the bridge is intended for, and, in his opinion, dangerous to passengers.

R.S., c. B-10, s. 12.

Report to Minister

13. The inspecting engineer shall forthwith report the circumstances of the case described in section 12 to the Minister, who, with the approval of the Governor in Council, may either confirm, modify or disallow the act or order of the inspecting engineer, and notice of the confirmation, modification or disallowance shall be duly given to the company affected thereby.

R.S., c. B-10, s. 13.

Inspection not to relieve company from liability

14. No inspection made under this Act, nothing in this Act nor anything done or ordered or omitted to be done or ordered under or by virtue of this Act

(a) relieves or shall be construed to relieve any company of or from any liability or responsibility resting on it by law to Her Majesty or to any person for anything done or omitted to be done, or for any wrongful act, neglect or default, misfeasance, malfeasance or non-feasance; or

(b) in any way weakens or diminishes the liability or responsibility of any company, under the laws in force in the province in which the liability or responsibility arises.

R.S., 1985, c. B-8, s. 14; 2000, c. 12, s. 25.

How orders notified

15. (1) Every company shall be deemed to have received sufficient information of any order of the Minister, if a notice thereof, signed by the Minister, is delivered to the president, vice-president, managing director, secretary or superintendent of the company, or at the office of the company.

Idem

(2) Every company shall be deemed to have received sufficient information of any order of an inspecting engineer, if a notice thereof, signed by the engineer, is delivered to the company as provided in subsection (1).

R.S., c. B-10, s. 15.

Company to report accidents

16. Every company shall, as soon as possible and within at least forty-eight hours after the occurrence on any bridge belonging to the company of any accident attended with serious personal injury to any person using the bridge, or as a result of which the bridge has been broken or so damaged as to render it impassable or unsafe or unfit for immediate use, give notice thereof to the Minister.

R.S., c. B-10, s. 16.

Return of accidents twice a year

17. (1) Every company shall within one month after January 1 and July 1, in each year, make to the Minister, under the oath of its president, secretary or superintendent, a true and particular return of all accidents and casualties to persons or property that have occurred on any bridge of the company during the respective half years immediately preceding January 1 and July 1, setting out

(a) the causes and natures of the accidents and casualties;

(b) whether they occurred by night or by day; and

(c) the full extent and all the particulars thereof.

Copy of by-laws

(2) Every company shall, when making the return required by subsection (1), transmit a true copy of the existing by-laws of the company and of its rules and regulations for the management of the company and of its bridge.

R.S., c. B-10, s. 17.

Form of return

18. The Minister may order and direct the form in which returns under section 17 shall be made up, and may, with a view to public safety, in addition to those returns, order and direct any company to make and deliver to the Minister, in such form and manner as the Minister deems necessary and requires for his information, returns of serious accidents occurring in the course of public traffic on any bridge belonging to the company, whether attended with personal injury or not.

R.S., c. B-10, s. 18.

Privileged

19. All returns made under section 17 or 18 are privileged communications and shall not be admissible in evidence in any court.

R.S., c. B-10, s. 19.


Punishment

Opening bridge without notice

20. Every company that opens its bridge to the public in contravention of any provision of this Act requiring notice to be given to the Minister shall incur a fine not exceeding two hundred dollars for every day during which the bridge remains open prior to the giving and expiring of the notice.

R.S., c. B-10, s. 20.

Opening contrary to order of Minister

21. Every company that opens its bridge for public use contrary to an order of the Minister issued under this Act postponing the time of the opening of the bridge shall incur a fine not exceeding two hundred dollars for every day during which the bridge remains open contrary to the order.

R.S., c. B-10, s. 21.

Omitting to report accidents

22. Every company that wilfully omits to give to the Minister the notice of an accident on or to its bridge required by this Act shall incur a fine not exceeding two hundred dollars for every day during which the omission to give the notice continues.

R.S., c. B-10, s. 22.

Neglect to deliver return

23. Every company that neglects to deliver any return required by this Act, verified as provided in this Act, within the respective times prescribed by this Act, or to deliver any return, other than the periodical returns required by this Act, within fourteen days after the return has been required by the Minister, shall incur a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars for every day during which the company neglects to deliver the return.

R.S., c. B-10, s. 23.


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