Departmental Performance Report: 2011-2012

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Message from the Chair and Chief Executive Officer

I am pleased to present the Canadian Transportation Agency's 2011-2012 Departmental Performance Report.

The Agency has worked hard to continue to strengthen its reputation as a trusted, respected tribunal and economic regulator.  This Report highlights the Agency's performance against the goals set out in its 2011-2012 Report on Plans and Priorities and our role in helping to achieve an efficient, effective and accessible federal transportation network.

Ultimately, our work directly supports the implementation of Canada's national transportation policy and furthers the Government of Canada's overall objective of increasing our country's long-term prosperity.

This Report also marks the close of the first year of the Agency's 2011-2014 Strategic Plan.  As the roadmap for the implementation of our Program Activities and Strategic Outcome, our Plan focuses on key business, operating and human resource priorities, and includes several measures to achieve greater efficiencies, reduce operating costs, and to manage our resources responsibly and effectively.  We have worked collaboratively both internally and with external clients and stakeholders over the past year to enhance programs and services and, ultimately, to strive for excellence in everything we do.

The Agency's Strategic Plan highlights three priorities for action – Client Service, Regulatory Regime Renewal, and People.  Each of these priorities is supported by action plans and measurable performance targets.  Over the past year, we have made significant progress in translating the Plan's priorities and action plans from a shared vision into concrete, meaningful results.

For example, in 2011-2012 the Agency:

  • achieved a rate of 77% overall client satisfaction in our Client Satisfaction Survey, a 10% increase over 2010-2011;
  • established innovative new policies and practices to find additional efficiencies in the way the Agency manages cases;
  • resolved complex rail noise and vibration and accessibility cases, laying the foundational framework to more efficiently and consistently address future cases;
  • facilitated 96% of all consumer air travel complaints, an efficient alternative to formal adjudication;
  • launched consultations for the development of air services price advertising regulations, which included an innovative online web 2.0 platform to engage Canadians;
  • developed a new methodology, through consultation, to determine the cost of capital for federally-regulated railway companies;
  • published a Sample Tariff to help air carriers develop clear, simplified and understandable tariffs for travellers;
  • obtained very positive results in the 2011 Public Service Employee Survey, including significant improvements over 2008 survey results;
  • developed and delivered a full curriculum of customized in-house training courses to ensure employees have the information and training they need; and
  • offered developmental opportunities to encourage mobility within the Agency, retain employees and help them in their career progression.

These are but a few of the many accomplishments realized over the past year.

We remain committed to supporting the Government's economic and fiscal objectives, and to helping Canada benefit from a transportation system that is competitive, economic, efficient and accessible.

I encourage you to review this Report and to take note of what the Canadian Transportation Agency has accomplished in 2011-2012.

Geoffrey C. Hare
Chair and Chief Executive Officer


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Section I: Organizational Overview


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Raison d'être

The Canadian Transportation Agency is an independent administrative body of the Government of Canada.  It performs two key functions within the national 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; and
  • As an economic regulator, the Agency makes determinations and issues authorities, licences and permits to transportation carriers under federal jurisdiction.

By administering transportation regulations and providing dispute resolution services, the Agency ensures that transportation users, commercial shippers and individual travellers receive the protection provided for them in the legislation where market forces alone do not result in fair, reasonable service, and ensures that carriers meet basic public policy requirements before engaging in transportation activities.


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Responsibilities

In meeting its responsibilities, the Agency continuously sets and strives to achieve high performance standards.  Education and consultation are integral to the Agency's effectiveness in carrying out its mandate.  The Agency works closely with transportation service users and providers in Canada, and with other directly affected stakeholders.  It helps travellers, shippers, carriers and others to fully understand not only their rights and obligations under the Canada Transportation Act and other statutes and regulations, but also the Agency's roles and responsibilities.

When appropriate, the Agency encourages parties to resolve disputes informally before issues escalate and impact the transportation system.  The Agency consults broadly on issues that are important to the transportation industry.  By remaining open and by listening to all affected parties, the Agency ensures that its decisions are both responsive and responsible.

The Agency exercises its powers through its members, who are appointed by the Governor-in-Council (GIC): the GIC may appoint up to five full-time Members, including the Chair and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and the Vice-Chair.  The Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities can also appoint up to three temporary Members.

The Chair and CEO is accountable for the Agency's three program activities.  The Vice-Chair replaces the Chair and CEO during his absence.  All Agency Members, as independent decision-makers, are accountable for making quasi-judicial decisions on matters before the Agency.

The Agency's organizational structure is composed of four branches: the Dispute Resolution Branch, the Industry Regulation and Determinations Branch, the Legal Services Branch, and the Corporate Management Branch.  The heads of each branch, as well as the Communications Directorate and the Secretariat Directorate, report directly to the Chair and CEO.

The Agency's headquarters are located in the National Capital Region.  Agency personnel working in field offices in six cities across Canada carry out air and accessibility enforcement activities.  The Agency's role and structure are described on its website.

Parliament funds the Agency through an operating expenditures vote.  The Agency operates within the context of the very large and complex Canadian transportation system.


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Strategic Outcome and Program Activity Architecture

The Canadian Transportation Agency reports on its plans, priorities and expected results to Parliament on the basis of its Program Activity Architecture (PAA).  The PAA explains how programs and allocation of resources contribute to the Agency's strategic outcome.

Strategic Outcome – Transparent, fair and timely dispute resolution and economic regulation of the national transportation system
Program ActivityExpected Results
Internal Services Support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of the Agency
Economic Regulation   Economic and other interests of transportation users, service providers and other affected parties are protected through timely and effective intervention
Service providers (air, rail and marine) comply with regulatory requirements
The Canadian National Railway Company (CN) and the Canadian Pacific Railway Company (CP) are provided with the information required to ensure they do not exceed the maximum grain revenue entitlements for the shipment of Western grain
Adjudication and Alternative Dispute Resolution Access to a specialized dispute resolution system that is transparent, fair and timely


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Organizational Priorities

The Agency's 2011-2014 Strategic Plan sets out how its three organizational priorities – Client Service, Regulatory Regime Renewal, and People – will contribute to the strategic outcome.

Summary of Progress Against Priorities
PriorityTypeNote1Strategic Outcome and Program Activities

Client Service and Stakeholder Relations

Clients and stakeholders are well informed and efficiently served in a reliable, timely, innovative, transparent and responsive manner.  The Agency is trusted and its services are independent, fair, innovative, effective and continuously improving

New

Strategic Outcome

Transparent, fair and timely dispute resolution and economic regulation of the national transportation system

Program Activities

Economic Regulation

Adjudication and Alternative Dispute Resolution

Internal Services

Considerable progress was made in 2011-2012 toward achieving this priority.  Through the latest Client Satisfaction Survey, the Agency obtained valuable feedback and a rate of 77% overall client satisfaction, and through proactive dialogue with shippers, carriers, industry associations and Canadians, the Agency gained a greater understanding of their needs and was able to explain Agency processes.

Innovative new policies were established and new resource tools were developed to find additional efficiencies in the way the Agency manages cases, and significant upgrades were made to the Agency's website, improving web accessibility, in compliance with the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

The Agency facilitated 96% of all consumer air travel complaints – an efficient alternative to formal adjudication – and significant progress was made in resolving complaints related to appropriate accommodations to meet the needs of travellers with disabilities due to their allergies to cats in aircraft cabins.  In addition, two complex rail noise and vibration cases were resolved, laying the foundational framework to more efficiently and consistently address future cases.

Progress was also made on the modernization of the Agency's procedures for adjudicating disputes, which improves and streamlines the transparency, consistency, and predictability of its processes.

PriorityTypeNote2Strategic Outcome and Program Activities

Regulatory Regime Renewal

The Agency's regulatory regime is up-to-date, relevant and responsive to transportation users, service providers and other affected parties

New

Strategic Outcome

Transparent, fair and timely dispute resolution and economic regulation of the national transportation system

Program Activity

Economic Regulation

In 2011-2012, the Agency made significant progress on this priority by continuing to renew and improve the transparency of its regulatory framework, releasing new methodologies on critical issues, and keeping its focus on improving its business processes and support tools.  Work is ongoing to update regulations to reduce the reporting burden in the spirit of the recommendations of the Red Tape Reduction Commission.

The Agency has made significant headway in advancing the development of regulations regarding air services price advertising, which are to be finalized by the end of 2012.  It has completed two major reviews in the rail sector – one on the methodology used to calculate the cost of capital used in Agency determinations, and the other on certain aspects of the Labour Price Index, specifically the pension costs to be recognized and the averaging methodology, used in the Volume-Related Composite Price Index (VRCPI).  It has advanced the Process and Service Modernization Initiative (PSMI), formerly known as the client portal project, with the goal of optimizing its business processes, replacing its outdated Case Management System with a shared one, and eventually providing new Web Services Channels.  The Agency has also made substantial progress in improving the transparency of the administration of its regulatory regime, with the development of, and consultation on, new interpretation notes, guidelines, and resource tools.

Consultations were conducted with the Agency's Accessibility Advisory Committee on updates to two regulations (Personnel Training Regulations and Air Transportation Regulations – Accessibility provisions), a new code of practice related to the carriage of mobility aids and a resource tool for resolution of accessible disputes.  The Agency also played a leadership role in updating the International Civil Aviation Organization's accessibility guidance material and standards.  Stakeholders were consulted on the status of limited distribution tariffs and on interswitching rates, and additional consultations were launched for the development of air services price advertising regulations, which included an innovative online web 2.0 platform to engage Canadians.  In addition, a new methodology was developed applicable to rail noise and vibration.

PriorityTypeNote3Strategic Outcome and Program Activities

People

The Agency has employees who are engaged, innovative, knowledgeable and client-oriented.  They have the necessary tools and technology to enable them to conscientiously and competently fulfill the Agency's mandate

Ongoing

Strategic Outcome

Transparent, fair and timely dispute resolution and economic regulation of the national transportation system

Program Activity

Internal Services

Significant progress was made toward achieving this priority in 2011-2012.

Building on the positive results obtained in the 2011 Public Service Employee Survey, including significant improvements over 2008 survey results, an Agency framework was developed for employee engagement to promote effective dialogue and collaboration, and to ensure employee retention, productivity, performance and trust.  In addition, a custom careers page was launched to help recruit people with the skills and competencies the Agency needs.

The Agency also developed "onboarding" checklists for new employees and their managers as part of the Agency's orientation program, developed and delivered a full curriculum of customized in-house training courses to ensure employees have the information and training they need, and offered developmental opportunities to encourage mobility within the Agency, retain employees, and help them in their career progression.

The Agency recognizes the value of corporate knowledge and expertise and ensures that these are preserved by the Agency.  To this end, in 2011-2012, the Agency ensured knowledge transfer by:

  • identifying and deploying key employees, who have indicated their intention to retire, to temporary positions so that they can transfer their knowledge;
  • ensuring that permanent positions are staffed on a permanent basis in a timely manner; and
  • engaging a coach, when necessary, to help employees develop their knowledge-sharing capabilities.


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Risk Analysis

The Agency continued to be proactive in its approach to risk management in 2011-2012.  Its three-year Corporate Risk Profile describes three key risk areas that have a high impact on service delivery.  These risks are directly linked to the Agency's two programs and three operational priorities.  Mitigation strategies are in place for each of the three risks identified below, to address the potential challenges, as well as to benefit from these challenges by using them as opportunities for improvement.

RiskLink to Strategic Priorities
Client service and stakeholder relationsRegulatory Regime RenewalPeople
Loss of reputation as a respected and trusted tribunal and economic regulator X X  
Resource reductions and constraints X X X
Loss of business critical knowledge, information and expertise X X X

Loss of reputation as a respected and trusted tribunal and economic regulator

In 2011-2012, the Agency maintained its reputation as a respected and trusted tribunal and economic regulator.  This reputation is based on the Agency's independence from outside influence, impartiality it has demonstrated in handling cases, the integrity and timeliness of its procedures, its expertise in transportation and transportation-related human rights matters, and the deference that the Federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada have given to its past decisions.  The Agency was attentive to these aspects of its role as an economic regulator and quasi-judicial administrative tribunal.  While it is unlikely that the Agency will face a loss of reputation, the potential impact of such a loss would be quite high.  The Agency has taken steps including those below to ensure that any potential impact is minimized.

These achievements are based on the Agency's continued commitment to the highest quality of service.  As per the Strategic Plan, the Agency has invested in its relationships with clients and stakeholders while continuing to build more effective, responsive, and efficient dispute resolution processes.  In addition, the ongoing modernization of the suite of essential regulations will ensure that its administration remains effective, streamlined, and user-friendly.

The 2011-2012 Client Satisfaction Survey substantiates the Agency's reputation for excellent service.  The results show that, regardless of the nature of their interaction, 77% of clients are satisfied with the overall quality of service provided by the Agency – a 10% increase over 2010-2011 results and well above the 70% performance target set out in the Agency's Strategic Plan.

Resource reductions and constraints

The Agency operates in a demand-driven context with a mandate to fulfill service expectations of Canadians with respect to transportation issues.  As such, changes within the external environment, government policies and the legislative mandate have a considerable impact on the Agency's operating environment.

Budget 2010 announced that the operating budgets of departments would be frozen at their 2010-2011 levels for the fiscal years 2011-2012 and 2012-2013.  Given that over 80% of the Agency's budget is spent on its payroll, significant focus has been placed on careful budget management and resource management.  The Agency was faced with the challenge of absorbing new mandates in several areas, including rail noise and vibration, mediation, and air price advertising.  To this end, Agency management pursued implementation of the Agency's human resources plan for the recruitment and retention of staff, active vacancy management, and reallocated resources to address capacity needs due to increasing service demands and new mandates.

Clients have shown considerable satisfaction with Agency services.  In the most recent Client Satisfaction Survey, three in four respondents felt the Agency's process met their objectives, compared to three in five the year before.  Respondents also noted improvements in Agency response times, and both clients and stakeholders are overwhelmingly positive about Agency staff: they are described as courteous, professional, customer-focused and collaborative.

Loss of business critical knowledge, information and expertise

The Agency has taken steps to retain and capture corporate knowledge and expertise in order to maintain a high level of service.  Targeted recruitment, staff development, and knowledge transfer initiatives are being undertaken to ensure stakeholders and clients remain confident that Agency employees have the expertise and institutional memory to effectively deliver on their mandate.

The Agency has expanded investment in learning and training, including the ongoing delivery of a full curriculum of customized in-house training courses.  For example, new courses on file hearings, communicating with parties, and decision writing have contributed to more efficient and consistent dispute resolution services.  In addition, Agency employees are encouraged to seek developmental opportunities within the Agency, which is reinforced by the Agency's reputation for offering a dynamic and positive work environment, challenging work, and career opportunities in transportation.


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Summary of Performance

2011–2012 Financial Resources ($)
Planned SpendingTotal AuthoritiesActual Spending
27,170 30,481 29,308

 

2011–2012 Human Resources
(full-time equivalents [FTEs])
PlannedActualDifference
261Note4 242 -19

Summary of Performance Tables

Progress Toward Strategic Outcome

Strategic Outcome: Transparent, fair and timely dispute resolution and economic regulation of the national transportation system.
Performance IndicatorsTargets2011–2012 Performance
Percentage of overall satisfaction with the quality of Agency service delivery 70% The 2011-2012 Client Satisfaction Survey results show that, regardless of the nature of their interaction, 77% of clients are satisfied with the overall quality of service provided by the Agency – a 10% increase over the 2010-2011 results and well above the 70% performance target.
Percentage of discretionary rulings overturned by the Federal Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court of Canada on the basis of procedural fairness 0% In 2011-2012, there were no discretionary rulings overturned by the Federal Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court of Canada on the basis of procedural fairness.
Percentage of formal decisions published on the Agency's website within one business day 95% In an effort to increase transparency, as of March 31, 2012, 94% of formal decisions have been published on the Agency's website within one business day.  New processes are now in place to maintain higher levels of efficiency.

 

Performance Summary, Excluding Internal Services
Program
ActivityNote5
2010–2011 Actual Spending2011–2012 ($)Alignment to Government
of Canada Outcome
Main EstimatesPlanned SpendingTotal
Authorities
Actual
Spending
Total 20,601 20,027 19,878 22,026 21,109
Economic Regulation 12,521 12,082 11,992 13,481 12,918 A fair and secure marketplace
Adjudication and Alternative Dispute Resolution 8,080 7,945 7,886 8,545 8,191

 

Performance Summary for Internal Services
Program
ActivityNote6
2010–2011
Actual Spending
2011–2012 ($)
Main EstimatesPlanned SpendingTotal
Authorities
Actual Spending
Internal Services 8,189 7,345 7,292 8,455 8,199

Explanation of variances

Planned spending to total authorities: from $27.2 million to $30.5 million

Planned spending for 2011–2012 was $27.2 million, whereas the total authorities for the Agency are $30.5 million, representing a change of $3.3 million.  The differences are primarily due to the following increases:

  • reimbursement of the payout of severance pay and termination benefits related to the latest collective agreements to some employees ($1.6 million);
  • reimbursement of eligible paylist expenditures ($0.6 million); and
  • operating budget carry-forward of 2010–2011 ($1.1 million).

Actual spending to total authorities: from $29.3 million to $30.5 million

The difference of $1.2 million is mainly due to the fact that some projects have been deferred and carried forward to 2012-2013.


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Expenditure Profile

 


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Estimates by Vote

For information on the Canadian Transportation Agency's organizational Votes and/or statutory expenditures, please see the Public Accounts of Canada 2012 (Volume II).  An electronic version of the Public Accounts 2012 is available on the Public Works and Government Services Canada website.


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Section II: Analysis of Program Activities by Strategic Outcome


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Strategic Outcome

Transparent, fair and timely dispute resolution and economic regulation of the national transportation system

The Canadian Transportation Agency is both an economic regulator and a quasi-judicial tribunal.  It regulates certain aspects of the national transportation system through the administration of laws, regulations, voluntary codes of practice, and education and outreach programs.  It adjudicates disputes between users of, service providers within, and others affected by the national transportation system, which, in the case of accessibility, includes extra-provincial bus services.

In 2011-2012, the Agency issued 1,826 discretionary and administrative rulings to support the effective regulation of and dispute resolution for the national transportation system, including 546 orders, 467 decisions, 635 permits, 19 final letter decisions, and 159 interim decisions.

In its capacity as a regulator, the Agency has a mandate to administer the economic regulatory provisions affecting all modes of transportation under federal jurisdiction found in various Acts of Parliament.

After reviewing compliance with the air licensing requirements, the Agency processed 873 air licensing activities, including applications for new licences as well as suspensions, cancellations and reinstatements.  The Agency also made 45 Canadian status determinations for air carriers, issued 635 charter permits, and undertook 250 inspections, resulting in the issuing of 108 informal warnings, 13 formal warnings, and eight notices of violation.

As relates to rail, the Agency determined that CN has remained below its cap for the movement of regulated Western grain by $913,447, whereas CP has exceeded its cap by $1,252,034.

In the area of marine transportation, the Agency considered 77 coasting trade applications to protect the interests of the Canadian marine industry and allow foreign ships to be used when no suitable Canadian ships were available.

The Agency also plays the role of adjudicator; in 2011-2012, as is the case each year, hundreds of transportation users and service providers turned to the Agency looking for ways to resolve their disputes about transportation services; fares, rates and charges; terms and conditions of carriage; and accessibility.  Both formal and informal dispute resolution processes are available to Agency clients.

The Agency resolved 350 dispute cases in 2011-2012 (proceedings in some cases were combined to gain efficiencies), of which 307 were resolved through facilitation, six were resolved through mediation (five related to rail disputes and one related to an accessibility dispute), three cases were partially resolved, 13 cases were withdrawn, unresolved or declined by one party, and 10 cases are currently in progress.  Of the 127 cases referred to formal adjudication at the start of the year, 37 cases were resolved through adjudication and 21 were withdrawn.

In 2011-2012, the Agency resolved 19 accessibility dispute cases.  Of these, 12 were resolved through facilitation, one was resolved through mediation, and six were resolved through adjudication.  In addition, six were withdrawn or closed due to lack of response from applicants, and 23 were still in progress at year end.  The performance target for this component is for 80% of accessibility disputes to be facilitated within 30 days.  In 2011- 2012, the Agency exceeded its performance target for accessibility disputes with all 12 disputes using facilitation resolved within the 30-day target, and the one mediated accessibility dispute was also resolved within the 30-day target.

In 2011-2012, the Agency received a total of 518 air travel complaints – 499 for informal facilitation and 19 for formal adjudication.  The performance target for this component is for 80% of air travel complaints to be facilitated within 90 days.  As of March 31, 2012, the Agency had achieved a result of 95%, or 15% above the set target.  This was possible due to efficiency gains with informal processes, use of forms and template letters, as well as to outreach efforts to better inform the industry.

The Agency does not control the demand for its services; it is externally driven.  To meet the demand and client expectations, the Agency adopted a new organizational structure that provided the flexibility to reallocate resources to areas of higher demand.

In order to successfully deliver its strategic outcome, the Agency divides its activities under three program headings: economic regulation, adjudication and alternative dispute resolution, and internal services.


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Program Activity 1: Economic Regulation

Program Activity Description

The Agency helps to protect the interests of users, service providers and others affected by the federal transportation system through economic regulation of air, rail and marine transportation.  It regulates air transportation and helps to protect the interests of the travelling public, shippers and Canadian air carriers by enforcing the Canada Transportation Act and related regulations, administering a licensing system, helping to negotiate bilateral agreements, and ensuring that terms and conditions of carriage are consistent with Canadian legislation.  It develops regulations, codes of practice, standards, and educational and outreach programs to ensure that undue obstacles to the mobility of persons with disabilities are removed from the federal transportation system.  It regulates the national rail system by issuing certificates of fitness allowing carriers to operate, approving rail line construction and overseeing the discontinuance of service, and it is involved in economic duties, such as the determination of interswitching rates and revenue caps for the movement of Western grain.  It acts mainly as an economic regulator in marine transportation by administering legislation governing shipping conferences and allowing the use of foreign ships for coasting trade only when Canadian vessels are not available.

2011–2012 Financial Resources ($)
Planned SpendingTotal AuthoritiesActual Spending
11,992 13,481 12,918

 

2011–2012 Human Resources
(full-time equivalents [FTEs])
PlannedActualDifference
119 110 -9

Program Activity Performance Summary

Expected ResultsPerformance IndicatorsTargetsActual Results
Economic and other interests of transportation users, service providers and other affected parties are protected through timely and effective intervention Percentage of satisfaction with economic regulation services 70% 77%
Service providers (air, rail and marine) comply with regulatory requirements Percentage of air carriers found to be non-compliant with essential market entry requirements Less than 1% 0.33%
Level of compliance with targeted regulatory and voluntary accessibility requirements 100%

Regulatory: 100%

Voluntary: The Agency continued to monitor and work with the industry to improve their compliance in this area.

CN and CP are provided with the information required to ensure they do not exceed the maximum grain revenue entitlements for the shipment of Western grain Number of times that either CN or CP have not exceeded their Western grain revenue cap entitlement by more than 1% over the last 3 years 5/6 6/6

Performance Summary and Analysis of Program Activity

Overall, performance results in 2011-2012 for this program activity enabled the Agency to maintain its strong track record in this area of responsibility.  In 2011-2012, the Agency focused on two critical areas for this program activity:

  • continued modernization of its regulatory regime; and
  • improvement of services to and relationships with clients and stakeholders.

While maintaining its focus on these critical areas, the Agency still met or exceeded most of its industry regulation performance targets – a significant achievement and a clear indicator of the effective regulation of the national transportation system.  In particular, the Agency surpassed its targets for the timely issuance of air licences and rail determinations.

Continued modernization of its regulatory regime

In 2011-2012, the Agency recognized that there were opportunities to make effective use of information technologies to serve stakeholders in a more timely and efficient manner.  Steps are being taken to streamline business processes and introduce web-based services.

For example, the Process and Service Modernization Initiative (PSMI), formerly known as the client portal project, has been refocused and broken down into three interrelated projects: (1) Business Process Mapping and Improvements; (2) a new Case Management System; and (3) the Web Services Channels, which will eventually lead to the provision of a web interface to clients and stakeholders.  Significant progress has been made in documenting the existing Agency business processes.  Furthermore, the Agency is playing a lead role in a cluster of small agencies that are seeking to jointly acquire and implement a new, shared Case Management System.  Contributing to these efforts are new policies that have been developed to help improve internal case management efficiencies.

The Agency is committed to ensuring that its regulatory and non-regulatory approaches and their administration are up-to-date, well-understood, and efficiently delivered.  To do so, the Agency is systematically reviewing and updating its regulations, developing and updating non-regulatory approaches, and streamlining and renewing regulatory administrative processes.

In its pursuit of regulatory regime renewal, the Agency is updating regulations in the air sector.  For the Air Transportation Regulations, the update will require three phases, each including consultations with stakeholders.  Proposed updates include financial requirements, provision of aircraft with flight crew, and conditions of domestic and international licences.  The Agency has moved forward to bring these amendments to the regulations into force.

In December 2011, the Minister asked the Agency to undertake a new project of developing regulations requiring air carriers to include all fees and taxes in their advertised prices.  This was a new regulatory responsibility added to the Agency's mandate in the air mode.  The Agency sought broad public input by initiating a two-pronged consultative approach.  Face-to-face meetings were held with key carriers, air industry and consumer associations, as well as other interested parties.  In addition, an innovative online consultation platform using web 2.0 "crowdsourcing" allowed Canadians to easily post ideas and to comment on and support the ideas they liked best.  This provided a forum for the Agency to tap into the views of Canadians across the country.  Input received during the consultation continues to contribute to the Agency's drafting of airfare price regulations.  Resources were reassigned to manage this new priority, and, as a result, the Agency's review of the Air Transportation Regulations sections dealing with air charters will be carried over to 2012-2013.

As part of its commitment to increasing transparency, a new series of interpretation notes was posted to facilitate a clearer understanding of the Agency's responsibilities and access to its services.  Two new interpretation notes – on the Canadian Ownership Requirement and Control in Fact – help potential applicants understand the factors the Agency takes into account when determining whether an air carrier is owned by Canadians.  An additional interpretation note was drafted on how the Agency makes determinations on what is a "publicly available air service".

The Agency issued an interpretation note on what is a movement under the revenue cap program to clarify an important aspect of the program, and advanced the update of certain aspects of its costing model for Class 1 railway companies to ensure that its tools remain current.

To facilitate understanding of its services, the Agency has made progress on developing guidelines for the processing of applications for extra-bilateral authority and for the determination of net salvage value.  In addition, the Agency completed a review and update of the air licence application guidelines for foreign applicants and posted them on the Internet.

The Agency took steps in 2011-2012 to ensure that air carriers post their tariffs on their websites, as per Canadian law.  Agency follow-up has ensured that 100% of Canadian air carriers and 95% of international carriers that sell transportation to and from Canada online have posted their tariffs on their websites.

To help air carriers provide the clearest possible language in their tariffs, the Agency created a Sample Tariff, a tool which can be voluntarily adopted by air carriers.  It is designed to assist carriers in meeting their obligations in a way that will help air travellers understand their rights and responsibilities as passengers.  The Agency alerted more than 700 licensed air carriers operating scheduled services to, from and within Canada on the availability of this Sample Tariff, and undertook extensive promotion of this resource to the industry at large.

The Agency periodically undertakes substantial reviews of its methodologies.  After consultations and a comprehensive review process, the Agency issued two decisions on the methodologies that it will use to determine the cost of capital and for recognizing pension costs.  The cost of capital decision, issued in December 2011, established a new methodology.  In its March 2012 decision, the Agency also adopted a new methodology for determining the pension costs in the labour price index.  Both the cost of capital and the labour price index are used in calculating the Volume-Related Composite Price Index, which in turn is used in calculating the revenue cap for railway companies.

Improvement of services to and relationships with clients and stakeholders

The Agency continued to increase the transparency of its decisions by ensuring versions of important decisions are made available to the public in a timely manner.  In fact, 94% of formal decisions were published on the Agency's website within one business day.

To improve case management practices and procedures, work was undertaken this year to streamline the processing of formal cases through triaging and delegation of administrative issues to staff.  In addition, new policies were established to improve the efficiency of the management of formal cases by combining proceedings, using decision trees and templates.

The Agency prides itself on its working relationships with, and on providing quality service to, its regulated stakeholders.  In the fast-paced and ever-changing realm of transportation, it is essential for the Agency to be responsive to the evolving ways of doing business and to the needs of the industry.

In 2011-2012, the Agency engaged in proactive dialogue with clients to better understand their needs through meetings and consultations with carriers, shippers, and industry associations on air travel, rail and marine issues.

As noted in the results of the Agency's Client Satisfaction Survey, both industry and associations are generally very satisfied with the opportunities for dialogue provided by the Agency staff and senior management, and these relationships are seen as strengthening.  This high level of satisfaction is universal to all groups surveyed in 2011-2012, with stakeholders reporting a noticeable increase in outreach from the Agency.

Lessons Learned

In 2011-2012, the Agency made significant progress in its review of methodology, guidelines, interpretation notes and the modernization of regulations.  Although this work required a significant investment of time and realignment of resources, there have been many benefits, in addition to communicating the essential regulatory requirements to stakeholders and increasing the transparency and predictability of the regulatory regime.  It also provided an opportunity to re-examine past practices, to capture and re-create corporate memory for current and future Agency staff, to challenge conventional approaches, and to align perspectives both inside and outside the Agency.  Because of this work, the Agency is better positioned to deal with growing demands and increasing expectations for responsive services.


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Program Activity 2: Adjudication and Alternative Dispute Resolution

Program Activity Description

The Agency helps to protect the interests of users, service providers and others affected by the national transportation system through access to a specialized dispute resolution system of formal and informal processes for rail, air and marine transportation matters within the national transportation system.  Where possible, the Agency encourages the resolution of disputes through informal processes such as facilitation, mediation, and arbitration.  As a quasi-judicial tribunal, the Agency also has the authority to issue decisions and orders on matters within its jurisdiction of federally-regulated modes of transportation through formal adjudication.  It resolves disputes between the travelling public, shippers and Canadian air carriers over terms and conditions of air carriage and new or revised air navigational charges imposed by NAV Canada; disputes between travellers and transportation providers over undue obstacles to the mobility of persons with disabilities within the federally regulated transportation system; disputes between railway companies, shippers, municipalities, road authorities, and landowners over rail infrastructure matters and level of service; and disputes between vessel operators and port and pilotage authorities over charges for pilotage or fees fixed by port authorities.

2011–2012 Financial Resources ($)
Planned SpendingTotal AuthoritiesActual Spending
7,886 8,545 8,191

 

2011–2012 Human Resources
(full-time equivalents [FTEs])
PlannedActualDifference
71 67 -4

 

Program Activity Performance Summary
Expected ResultsPerformance IndicatorsTargetsActual Results
Access to a specialized dispute resolution system that is transparent, fair and timely Percentage of satisfaction with Agency dispute resolution services 70% 77%

Performance Summary and Analysis of Program Activity

In response to the 2010-2011 Client Satisfaction Survey, the Agency integrated specific actions into its 2011-2014 Strategic Plan to improve efficiency and effectiveness of this program activity.  Each branch and directorate also formulated its own action plans to address specific feedback provided through the survey.  These plans were integrated into the Strategic Plan.

The Agency continued in 2011-2012 to actively promote the expanded use of alternative dispute resolution as a cost-effective and timely option for resolving disputes informally.  For example, significant progress was made toward the development of a series of client-based resource tools for mediation and arbitration to explain the approaches and their advantages.  The Agency also initiated a review of its approach to the administration of final offer arbitration with a view to improving the quality of service and strengthening its list of arbitrators.  Through these activities, the Agency has reduced the demand for formal adjudication, which resulted in savings for the Agency and its clients.

For cases that go to adjudication, the Agency continued to work on reducing the amount of time it takes to resolve formal disputes.  Initiatives that were introduced in the past year have clearly helped to streamline the dispute resolution process for less complex cases.  In addition, the Agency now offers new training courses for its staff on court trends, decision writing, communicating with parties to a proceeding, and efficient file hearings.  As a result, the average time to resolve disputes of medium complexity was 89 days, which is faster than the 120-day performance target.  For complex cases, the Agency did not meet its target of 80% resolution within 90 days after the close of pleadings, but the Agency did make significant improvements in the processing of such cases, as the average number of days after close of pleadings was reduced from 173 in 2010-2011 to 108 this year.

Notable formal disputes this year included complex decisions involving peanut and nut allergies, and, for the first time, cat allergies.  For both decisions, the Agency found that the complainants were, in effect, persons with disabilities for the purposes of the Act.  In its final peanut and nut decision, the Agency directed Air Canada to create a buffer zone when a request for accommodation is made by a passenger with a disability at least 48 hours before the flight.  Within this buffer zone, the carrier may only serve snacks and meals that do not contain peanuts or nuts as visible or known components.  In addition, the air carrier must brief passengers within the buffer zone that they can only eat foods that are peanut- and nut-free.  In its cat allergy decision, issued in December 2011, the Agency found that the respondents' (Air Canada, Jazz and WestJet) current policies on the carriage of cats in aircraft cabins constitute an obstacle to the mobility of people with cat allergies who are considered persons with disabilities as a result of their allergy.  The respondents must implement one of the appropriate accommodations identified by the Agency on the aircraft they operate, or else propose an equally responsive alternative or provide additional arguments to support a position that any form of accommodation would result in undue hardship for them.  The Agency expects to issue its final decision on accommodation in the summer of 2012.

Other new and expanded client-oriented resources have facilitated access to and understanding of the Agency's dispute resolution services.  Progress was made on developing a resource tool for parties involved in accessibility disputes that will help them better understand the Agency's processes to ensure the transparency and predictability of the dispute resolution process.  The Agency also made significant progress towards publishing its 6th edition of Fly Smart, a user-friendly resource tool to help air travellers plan their trips to, from and within Canada.  The publication helps Canadians plan ahead by being aware of their rights and responsibilities as a passenger, as well as their carrier's rights and its responsibilities to them.

The Agency continues to make an effort to update its dispute-related methodologies, rules and procedures to ensure that they remain relevant, current and responsive.  With the help of its Technical Advisory Committee, the Agency released a Rail Noise Measurement and Reporting Methodology that sets out procedures for the assessment of noise levels from rail activities to guide the parties in conducting assessments and to support Agency review of the noise complaints it receives.  This was an important step in advancing the new responsibility related to noise and vibration disputes that the Agency absorbed.  The Agency is also in the process of renewing and modernizing its rules of procedure applied in dispute adjudications to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of dispute case processing while ensuring fairness and transparency.  New Rules of Procedures for Adjudicating Disputes will be complemented by two companion documents:  an Annotation that will provide further guidance on how to use the rules and a resource tool that will provide plain language assistance to persons who appear before the Agency infrequently, including unrepresented parties.  As well, the Agency has been working to develop a policy regarding section 32 applications (request for review of decisions based on a subsequent change of facts or circumstances).  The policy has been circulated for internal discussion and approval, and is expected to be finalized in 2012-2013.

On the subject of accessibility-related disputes, the Agency continues to work closely with clients and stakeholders.  The Agency consulted with its Accessibility Advisory Committee – made up of representatives from the community of persons with disabilities, the transportation industry and other interested parties – on the following initiatives:

  • Updating Part VII of the Air Transportation Regulations, which addresses the terms and conditions of carriage of persons with disabilities;
  • Updating the Personnel Training for the Assistance of Persons with Disabilities Regulations;
  • A new code of practice for the accessibility of terminals not part of the National Airports System; and
  • A new resource tool for the carriage of mobility aids onboard aircraft, rail cars and ferries.

The Agency also continued to reach out to other stakeholder groups in 2011-2012.  As part of its efforts to educate the industry on the revised Coasting Trade Guidelines, Agency officials met informally with industry representatives to obtain initial feedback on the workings of the revised Guidelines.  The feedback received was positive with no concerns raised with respect to Agency administrative activities.  In addition, stakeholders were consulted on interswitching rates, and the proposed regulatory amendments were pre-published in the Canada Gazette Part I.

The Agency continues to monitor compliance with the regulations, codes of practice and guidelines that pertain to accessible transportation.  In May 2011, the Agency issued a report on Marine Atlantic's compliance with three voluntary codes of practice related to accessibility for persons with disabilities.  The summary report shows that Marine Atlantic continues to demonstrate leadership in improving passenger ferry and terminal accessibility and overall is ranked "largely compliant."  Agency staff will continue to work with Marine Atlantic to address specific areas for improvement as part of future monitoring efforts of voluntary code compliance.  For the air sector, the Agency introduced three new self-reporting tools to assist carriers in determining how they are meeting various accessibility requirements.  This year also saw the completion of the first phase of a compliance monitoring initiative focused on transportation service providers' compliance with provisions in the Agency's Communications Code of Practice regarding website accessibility.

Lessons Learned

In 2011-2012, the Agency introduced a performance target to resolve 80% of complex formal cases within 90 days after the close of pleadings.  The Agency achieved this target in 46% of the cases.  Achieving the target has proven to be challenging because of the high complexity and potential precedential value of the cases falling into this category.  To improve results related to this target, the Agency established new and innovative policies and tools aiming to improve the efficiency of case management.  These include combined proceedings, development of decision trees and templates, as well as delegation of administrative issues to staff.  However, the Agency was able to resolve non-complex cases within an average of 89 days, which is faster than the target of 120 days.  The target of facilitating and mediating cases within 30 days was fully achieved.


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Program Activity 3: Internal Services

Program Activity Description

Internal Services are groups of related activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization.  These groups are: Management and Oversight Services; Communications Services; Legal Services, Human Resources Management Services; Financial Management Services; Information Management Services; Information Technology Services; Materiel Services; Acquisition Services; and Travel and Other Administrative Services.  Internal Services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization and not to those provided specifically to a program.

2011–2012 Financial Resources ($)
Planned SpendingTotal AuthoritiesActual Spending
7,292 8,455 8,199

 

2011–2012 Human Resources
(full-time equivalents [FTEs])
PlannedActualDifference
71 65 -6

Performance Summary and Analysis of Program Activity

In May 2011, the Agency published a new three-year Strategic Plan that ensures it is well prepared to anticipate and deal with future challenges and to continue to perform at a high level.  Our 2011-2014 Strategic Plan builds on the investments made in setting a solid foundation – a foundation that supports the effective delivery of the Agency's mandate through high quality service.  The Strategic Plan charts a clear three-year course, ensuring that the Agency's collective efforts, as well as its financial and human resources, are effectively and fully focused on realizing the goals identified.

Internal Services supports the Agency's website, a key communication tool with stakeholders and clients.  Informed by client feedback that its website required improvements, the Agency undertook efforts over the past year to enhance the organization, comprehensiveness and clarity of information provided on its website.  These efforts have clearly paid off.  The Agency's 2011-2012 Client Satisfaction Survey indicated a significant increase in satisfaction with the ease of use and clarity of information on the website.

The Agency prides itself on having a website that meets, and in many cases exceeds, current web accessibility standards.  This past year, the Agency proactively ensured that all new web content was compliant with the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, as required by the Government of Canada's Standards on Web Accessibility.  Even before the release of this new standard in August, the Agency had already set to work enhancing the accessibility of all of its existing web content, including over 31,000 rulings.  The accessibility work is nearly complete, well ahead of the Standard's implementation deadline.

Internal Services also deals with financial matters.  The Agency developed its first Investment Plan for 2012-2013 to 2016-2017, which provides strategic-level information relating to the planning and management of its assets and acquired services, and provides a high-level summary of planned investments over the next five years in support of the Agency's strategic outcome.  Throughout 2011-2012, in accordance with the Policy on Internal Control, the Agency also implemented significantly strengthened controls over financial reporting and established an action plan for documenting key controls.

In its commitment to sound risk management practices, the Agency completed its annual update of its Corporate Risk Profile in accordance with its Risk Management Framework and will continue its efforts to integrate these practices into its activities.  New requirements with respect to the inclusion of risk in business cases and investment planning have been implemented, to ensure that risk is always taken into account.

In support of its 2011-2014 Strategic Plan, the Agency took action to enhance employee engagement, communications and dialogue, conflict resolution, new employee orientation, and training and career development.  For example, 2011-2012 saw the launch of the Communications and Dialogue wheel to better explain roles and responsibilities within the Agency.  To strengthen the Agency's employee engagement, an Agency framework was developed to promote effective dialogue and collaboration and to help maintain and improve employee retention, performance, and trust.  In 2011-2012, the Agency also launched a new Informal Conflict Management System and will continue to address any concerns through ongoing promotion of the support available to employees and by ensuring that workplace conflicts are dealt with in a timely, respectful manner when they arise.

The many initiatives implemented in 2011-2012, as well as in two previous fiscal years, appear to have contributed to dramatically improved 2011 Public Survey Employee Survey (PSES) results as compared to the 2008 results.  Indeed, overall the survey shows that the Agency is on the right track, with several areas of significant improvement being:

  • Very high job satisfaction;
  • A strong organizational culture;
  • Increased work-life balance; and
  • Enhanced relationships with immediate supervisors.

With over 85% of Agency employees participating in the survey – the highest participation rate to date – the results clearly support the Agency's determination to be, and to be seen as, an employer of choice.

In the area of human resources, all managers were required to complete actions, as specified in their Performance Management Agreement, to address the results of the PSES.  The Agency has also worked on addressing employee concerns about mobility and career progression through new tools, such as learning roadmaps to help employees plan their careers and quarterly employee movement reports to provide a snapshot of staffing processes.  As well, staffing resources and human resources policies continued to be drafted and reviewed, in anticipation of the release of a number of policies in 2012-2013.

Furthermore, in 2011-2012, the Agency developed and implemented a Vacancy Management Review Process managed by the Agency's Executive Sub-Committee on the People Strategic Priority.  This process involves case-by-case review of vacancies, based on operational and strategic priorities.  The sub-committee considered options such as permanent or temporary staffing, staffing delays, moving salary dollars to a different priority, or eliminating the position and allocating the salary dollars to Agency savings.  Through this process, the Agency ensured that individual staffing actions met overall organizational priorities.

Lessons Learned

During the year, there were many lessons learned through the Vacancy Management Review Process.  This process enabled the Agency to ensure that salary dollars were being spent in the right places, and that vacancies were being filled in support of the strategic priorities.

Throughout 2011-2012, the Agency streamlined its planning processes to make better use of resources.  This involved improving the planning and budget management processes, along with the contracting methodology to ensure that each stage of the process is assigned the appropriate amount of time, and that project budgets are allocated appropriately.

The Agency was able to successfully manage within its reference-level budget, while investing in enhancements in web-based tools and improvements in information management


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Section III: Supplementary Information


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Financial Highlights

The Agency's financial statements can be found on the Agency's website.

Condensed Statement of Financial Position (Unaudited)
As at March 31, 2012
($ thousands)
  Change %2011–20122010–2011
LIABILITIES
Total Liabilities
-26.9% 5,005 6,847
ASSETS
Total Assets
-20.1% 3,140 3,929
DEPARTMENTAL NET FINANCIAL POSITION
Total Departmental net financial position
-36.1% (1,865) (2,918)

 

Condensed Statement of Operations and Departmental Net Financial Position (Unaudited)
For the Year Ended March 31, 2012
($)
  Change %2011–20122010–2011
Expenses 0.5% 32,108 31,940
Revenues earned on behalf of Government -84.7% 19 124


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Financial Highlights—Charts and Graphs

Total liabilities were $5.0 million at the end of 2011–2012, a decrease of $1.8 million (26.9%) over the previous year's total liabilities of $6.8 million.  Employee future benefits and accounts payable represented the largest portion of total liabilities at $2.8 million and $1.3 million, respectively.

Total financial and non-financial assets were $3.1 million at the end of 2011–2012, a decrease of $0.8 million (20.1%) over the previous year's total financial and non-financial assets of $3.9 million.  Tangible capital assets represented $1.6 million (52%), prepaid expenses represented $0.1 million (3%), financial assets represented $1.3 million (42%) while inventory represented 3% of total assets.

The Agency's total expenses were $32.1 million in 2011–2012.  The majority of funds, $25.5 million or 79%, was spent on salaries and employee benefits, 7% on accommodation, 5% on professional services and the remaining 9% going towards repair and maintenance, rentals, materials and supplies, machinery and equipment.

The Agency's total revenues earned on behalf of Government amounted to $19,061 for 2011–2012; a decrease of $105,300 (84.7%) over the previous year's total revenues earned on behalf of Government of $124,361.  All of the Agency's revenue earned of behalf of Government is derived from penalties (fines) imposed on air carriers and transportation facilities.


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Financial Statements

The Agency's financial statements can be found on the Agency's website.


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List Supplementary Information (Tables)

Section IV: Other Items of Interest


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Annual Reports

The Agency's annual reports from 1997 to 2011 are available on its website.


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Organizational Contact Information

Area of ResponsibilityContact NameTitleTelephone NumberE-mail Address
Legal Services Liz Barker General Counsel 819-997-9325 liz.barker@otc-cta.gc.ca
Dispute Resolution Nina Frid Director General 819-953-5074 nina.frid@otc-cta.gc.ca
Industry Regulation and Determinations Ghislain Blanchard Director General 819-953-4657 ghislain.blanchard@otc-cta.gc.ca
Corporate Management Linda Harrison Director General 819-997-6764 linda.harrison@otc-cta.gc.ca 
Finance, Administration and Planning Christine Guérette Director 819-953-2829 christine.guerette@otc-cta.gc.ca
Communications Jacqueline Bannister Director 819-953-7666 jacqueline.bannister@otc-cta.gc.ca
Secretariat Cathy Murphy Secretary 819-997-0099 cathy.murphy@otc-cta.gc.ca
Postal address:
Canadian Transportation Agency
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0N9
Website:
http://www.otc-cta.gc.ca/


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Legislation and Regulations

The Agency is responsible for the following Act:

  • Canada Transportation Act (S.C., 1996, c. 10, as amended)

The Agency shares responsibility for the following Acts:

  • Access to Information Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. A-1)
  • Canada Marine Act (S.C., 1998, c. 10)
  • Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (S.C., 1992, c. 37)
  • Civil Air Navigation Services Commercialization Act (S.C., 1996, c. 20)
  • Coasting Trade Act (S.C., 1992, c. 31)
  • Energy Supplies Emergency Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. E-9)
  • Financial Administration Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. F-11)
  • Official Languages Act (R.S.C, 1985, c. 31 (4th Supp.))
  • Pilotage Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. P-14)
  • Privacy Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. P-21)
  • Public Service Modernization Act (S.C., 2003, c. 22)
  • Railway Relocation and Crossing Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. R-4)
  • Railway Safety Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 32 (4th Supp.))
  • Shipping Conferences Exemption Act, 1987 (R.S.C., 1985, c. 17 (3rd Supp.))

The Agency has sole responsibility for the following regulations:

  • Air Transportation Regulations
  • Canadian Transportation Agency Designated Provisions Regulations
  • Canadian Transportation Agency General Rules
  • Personnel Training for the Assistance of Persons with Disabilities Regulations
  • Railway Costing Regulations
  • Railway Interswitching Regulations
  • Railway Third Party Liability Insurance Coverage Regulations
  • Railway Traffic and Passenger Tariffs Regulations
  • Railway Traffic Liability Regulations

The Agency shares responsibility for the following regulations:

  • Carriers and Transportation and Grain Handling Undertakings Information
  • Regulations
  • Railway Company Pay Out of Excess Revenue for the Movement of Grain Regulations
  • The Jacques-Cartier and Champlain Bridges Inc. Regulations
  • The Seaway International Bridge Corporation, Ltd. Regulations

These Acts and Regulations are available on the Department of Justice website, and are accessible through the Legislation and Regulations section of the Agency's website.


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Endnotes


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