The Fund is financed by a levy on shipments of crude oil by rail. All shippers of crude oil carried by a federally regulated railway in Canada must pay a per-ton levy on crude oil.
The Fund provides additional compensation for crude oil accidents involving a federally regulated railway. If the damages are higher than the railway’s minimum required insurance, the Fund covers all remaining costs.
The Fund is a specified purpose account within the Government of Canada’s Consolidated Revenue Fund. The Minister of Transport is able to discontinue and re-impose the levy as needed, for any specified time period.
There is no limit on claims to the Fund. In the unlikely event that accident damages are more than the railway’s insurance coverage and the amount in the Fund combined, the Consolidated Revenue Fund would act as a backstop. Any public money loaned from the Consolidated Revenue Fund would be repaid with interest through levies.
An Administrator is appointed by the Governor in Council to manage the Fund. The Administrator is responsible for:
- establishing and paying out claims
- ensuring records are properly maintained
- submitting an annual report to Parliament