The New Transportation Agency

OTTAWA, July 2, 1996 -- Today marks the first day of operation of the new Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA). It replaces the National Transportation Agency as a result of the proclamation of the Canada Transportation Act on July 1, 1996.


The CTA, like its predecessor, is a quasi-judicial tribunal which is headed by Mrs. Marian Robson who has just recently been appointed as its Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer. Other members of the CTA are Jean Patenaude, as vice-chair, Richard Cashin and Keith Penner.


The mandate of the CTA continues to be that of the economic regulator and decision-maker with respect to transportation services under federal jurisdiction. Its responsibilities include the issuance of licences to air carriers and railways, a dispute resolution power over various Air, Rail and Marine transportation rate and service matters and the determination of the annual maximum rate scale for western grain movements. The CTA continues to have powers to remove undue obstacles to the mobility of travellers with disabilities in the federally-regulated transportation network.


The CTA also has effective enforcement powers including the ability to levy fines for non compliance and cost recovery powers allowing it to charge for services such as the issuance of licences and permits. In carrying out its duties, the CTA may inquire into air licensing matters and conduct inquiries necessary to determine complaints before it on others matters.


The new legislation reforms and modernizes regulation formerly established by the National Transportation Act, 1987 and the Railway Act. Some of the key components are:


  • a more commercially oriented process for railway companies to sell or lease surplus rail lines to new operators, rather than discontinue service;


  • continued protections for shippers using railways that would ensure adequate levels of service at competitive prices;


  • further deregulation of the domestic air sector by removing the residual regulation in the north;


  • the exclusion of regulation from the following sectors: motor vehicle transport, northern marine resupply services, commodity pipelines, and mergers and acquisitions.


It also provides some new consumer protection by:



  • requiring that Canadian carriers proposing to enter the domestic and international air passengers markets with large or medium aircraft meet minimum financial requirements,


  • prohibiting airlines from advertising or selling tickets prior to obtaining a licence.


The new legislation requires that decisions on all matters be rendered in a timely manner and no later than 120 days after receipt of an application.


The head office of the Canadian Transportation Agency remains in the National Capital Region.




INFORMATION:    Mark E. Gromoll (819) 994-0775


Information kit available upon request.


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