Agency Dismisses Complaints Against Air Canada's Proposed Tariff Revisions to Stop Transporting Non-Human Primates for Research

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OTTAWA – December 20, 2012 – In a decision released today, the Canadian Transportation Agency found that Air Canada’s proposed tariff revisions to stop transporting non-human primates for research are not unreasonable or discriminatory and do not subject any person or description of traffic to any prejudice or disadvantage and has therefore dismissed the complaints.

The decision is the result of complaints submitted to the Agency against Air Canada’s intention to no longer transport non-human primates for research purposes.

In assessing the reasonableness of the proposed tariff revisions, or whether they are unjustly discriminatory, the Agency considered:

  • the reason for the proposed tariff revisions, and the extent to which they result from a business decision by Air Canada, and
  • Air Canada’s competitive environment, industry practices and the additional service options available to shippers of non-human primates for research.  

“When balancing the shippers’ rights against the carrier’s obligations, the Agency must consider the whole of the evidence and the submissions presented by both parties and make a determination on the reasonableness or unreasonableness of the term or condition of carriage, or whether the tariff is “unjustly discriminatory” based on which party has presented the more compelling and persuasive case,” said the Decision.

After assessing relevant facts and circumstances, and weighing the various factors and evidence presented by the parties involved in the case, the Agency found that Air Canada’s decision to stop transporting non-human primates for research constitutes a rational business decision and does not differentiate between shippers on a specific characteristic or otherwise. Therefore, the proposed tariff provisions are not discriminatory.

As a result, the Agency has dismissed the complaints and rescinded the suspension of Air Canada’s  proposed tariff revisions  to discontinue to  transport non-human primates for research, as set out in its decision issued on January 9, 2012. When Air Canada re-files its proposed tariff revisions, it can then choose not to transport non-human primates for research.

The Agency treats complaints on a case-by-case basis. Each decision is based solely on the individual merits of the case. The Agency does however refer to past decisions when the principles stated are relevant.

About the Canadian Transportation Agency

The Canadian Transportation Agency is an independent administrative body of the Government of Canada. It performs two key functions within the federal transportation system:

  • As a quasi-judicial tribunal, the Agency, informally and through formal adjudication, resolves a range of commercial and consumer transportation-related disputes, including accessibility issues for persons with disabilities. It operates like a court when adjudicating disputes.
  • As an economic regulator, the Agency makes determinations and issues authorities, licences and permits to transportation carriers under federal jurisdiction.


For more information, consult the Backgrounder on the Agency Decision.

For more information on dispute resolution for air travellers, consult the Backgrounder: Agency’s Dispute Resolution Process.

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