Revision of the Canadian Transportation Agency General Rules: Considerations

The Canadian Transportation Agency, as both an economic regulator and an independent, quasi-judicial tribunal, makes economic determinations and resolves disputes on a wide range of matters involving air, and federal rail, marine and bus transportation under the Canada Transportation Act and related legislation.

One of the key tools the Agency uses in carrying out its mandate is the Canadian Transportation Agency General Rules, which set out the overall procedures, processes and general timelines applied by the Agency.

The Agency is currently revising its current General Rules under section 17 of the Canada Transportation Act. A consultation to this effect was launched on November 13, 2012. Interested parties must submit their comments to the Agency no later than December 21, 2012.

Rationale and objectives of the revision

The Agency is committed to providing high quality services that are timely, efficient and responsive.  This is a key corporate strategic priority for 2011-2014. In this regard, the Agency has adopted a set of performance targets which are monitored and reported on an annual basis.

The current General Rules have been in place since 2005. Through the Agency's experience in applying them, and based on feedback received from clients, it was felt that the time was right to review the dispute adjudication procedures, with a view to modernizing, streamlining and simplifying them.

For example, through feedback provided as part of the Agency's client satisfactory surveys, clients and stakeholders have clearly indicated that they want more information about the Agency's processes and they want these same processes to be faster, simpler, more predictable and transparent.  The proposed revised General Rules have been designed to address these objectives.

The Agency has used its current General Rules as procedures for both dispute adjudications and economic determinations. The revised Rules would establish specific procedures designed for the adjudication of disputes. These proposed revisions would put in place significant improvements to benefit users of the Agency's services.

These proposed improvements will make the Agency General Rules more understandable, efficient and predictable in their application.

In addition, the Agency is convinced that these revised General Rules will be especially helpful to persons who do not have legal representation or commercial parties that are first-time users of the Agency's processes. 

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