Canada Looks to Boost Security on Mass Transit After Slaying

<p>In the aftermath of a grisly and unprovoked murder on a Greyhound Bus, Transport Canada and municipalities are looking at how to improve security on buses and trains.</p>
August 5, 2008, 8am PDT | Michael Dudley
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"Transport Canada says changes aimed at improving security on intercity buses might be coming in the wake of Wednesday's grisly slaying aboard a Greyhound coach near Portage la Prairie, Man.

Greyhound Canada received $285,000 from the federal Transit-Secure program in April 2007 to develop a risk assessment and a security plan, said Maryse Durette, a Transport Canada spokeswoman. The plan will be modelled on a federal code of practice for security in the surface transport industry, which is not yet public, Durette said.

In 2005, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security approved $10 million for an intercity bus-security grant program, under which bus companies may get funds for changing vehicles to better protect the driver and passenger. The program could also include baggage-screening programs aimed at preventing bombs, and biological or radiological devices.

Winnipeg NDP MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis and Liberal public safety critic Ujjal Dosanjh both said Wednesday's slaying is an eye-opener about safety on mass transit systems in Canada.

'It is a wake-up call to the issue of security on mass transit,' said Wasylycia-Leis. 'This incident sounds like a rare incident, but it raises a lot of questions about the broader issue and makes you realize there are no checks in place on buses.'

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Published on Saturday, August 2, 2008 in The Montreal Gazette
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