May 19, 2020

Government of Canada invests $20.7mn to enhance its rail infrastructure

Canada infrastructure
rail infrastructure
Catherine Sturman
3 min
Government of Canada invests $20.7mn to enhance its rail infrastructure

In a bid to cater to its growing population, Canada has sought to invest $20.7mn to transform over 40,000km of rail track, improve safety at grade crossings and enhance public confidence across its Rail Safety Improvement Programme.

The programme will provide federal funding in the form of grants or contributions, which will cater towards 105 projects and initiatives in 2018-2019, delivering a comprehensive approach towards improving the safety of rail transportation across Canada.

The government has announced that 103 projects will focus on infrastructure, technology and research, including safety improvements on rail property, the use of innovative technologies; research and studies; as well as the closures of grade crossings that present safety concerns.

This is on top of two rail safety education and awareness initiatives which focus on reducing injuries and fatalities in communities, where 98 projects will encompass grade-crossing improvements across the country, as well as five technology and research projects.

"Rail safety is my top priority. A safe and secure national rail transportation system is important to local communities and to Canada's economic well-being. We are working closely with railway companies and road authorities to identify grade crossings that require safety improvements," stated Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau.

Building on the successful results and lessons learned from existing programmes such as Operation Lifesaver, Transport Canada is making funding available to eligible recipients through a 'two-stream' approach, including:

  • a national public information and education campaign dedicated to contributing to the reduction of railway grade crossing collisions and trespassing incidents on railway property; and
  • targeted regional or municipal education and awareness initiatives to address high-risk areas. This component is also used to support research, studies and analyses that contribute to a better understanding of behaviour, attitudes and impact of rail safety issues including post-accident community trauma assessment.

See also

This year, Transport Canada is funding two projects under the Public Education and Awareness component of the Rail Safety Improvement Program.

One will provide $400,000 in funding to the Canadian Owner-Operators' Cooperative over two years to implement an outreach project aimed at reducing the number of deaths from accidents between commercial vehicles and trains. By targeting professional truck and bus drivers, the programme aims to remind this community of the potential dangers at railway crossing grades.

The second project will provide $200,000 in funding to VIA Rail Canada Inc. towards a one-year awareness project aimed at suicide prevention on the VIA Rail railways network, with a focus on high-risk and high-incidence areas identified using historical collision data from the last 10 years.

The Infrastructure, Technology and Research component has an enhanced focus on addressing the needs of communities by making more safety improvements eligible and increasing federal investment. This component focuses on supporting a wide range of eligible safety improvements, including improved lighting, upgraded rail crossing signals, pedestrian overpasses, and research into new safety technologies.

Transport Canada is funding 103 projects under the Infrastructure, Technology and Research component, with the majority situated within Alberta, British Columba and Quebec respectively.

Additionally, the country has recently launched its Clean Rail Academic Grant Programme, which will work alongside Canada’s aim to reduce air emissions which are created within the rail sector, and to implement hydogren fuel to power all new and existing lines.

“I am pleased that we are taking concrete action to a cleaner, more innovative economy that reduces emissions and protects the environment. Our clean transportation efforts will achieve emission reductions, improve human health and provide environmental benefits, while supporting clean growth and generating jobs for Canadians. We will all benefit by reducing rail emissions and by supporting research of new and emerging technologies,” added Garneau.

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Jun 13, 2021

Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl

Kate Birch
5 min
Former CMO for IBM Americas Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl. Maria talks about her new role and her leadership style

Former Chief Marketing Officer for IBM Americas, and an IBM veteran of more than 25 years, Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl.

Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.

With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.

You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?

I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.

We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.

What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?

I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.

The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.

I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.

What does success look like to you?

I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.

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