On June 25, 2014, Transport Canada (TC) launched a statutory Review of the Canada Transportation Act. A six-person board, to be be supported by a Secretariat, was announced to lead this ‘arm’s length’ review:
- David Emerson (Chair),
- Murad Al-Katib (President and CEO of Alliance Grain Traders),
- David Cardin (former President of Maersk Canada),
- Duncan Dee, (former Chief Operating Officer at Air Canada)
- Marie-Lucie Morin (former Deputy Minister of International Trade and Ambassador to Norway), and
- Marcella Szel (current TransLink Chairman, former CPR executive)
The mandate of this Review stems from the Canada Transportation Act which requires a comprehensive review of the operation of the Act and certain other acts pertaining to the economic regulation of transportation. The Chair will be guided by the Terms of Reference, established by the Minister, which determine the scope for the Review, including provisions of the Act that are relevant to the transportation of grain by rail, and more broadly to the rail-based supply chain for all commodities. This will take into account the broader goal of a commercially based, market-driven multi-modal transportation system that delivers the best possible service in support of economic growth and prosperity.
The report is due 18 months after the appointment of the panel. TC will then consider the findings.
The last statutory Review of the Canada Transportation Act was completed in 2001.
When the official consultation process begins in the upcoming weeks, the Chair will formally invite submissions, but early birds may use the e-mail at email@example.com.
Contact the Secretariat at:
Canada Transportation Act Review Secretariat
350 Albert Street, Suite 330
Ottawa, ON K1A 0N5
Scope and Process of the Review
The Canada Transportation Act requires a comprehensive review of the operation of this Act and certain other Acts pertaining to the economic regulation of transportation.
In addition, the Minister of Transport has asked the Review to pay particular attention to the following issues:
Given the urgency created by the recent backlog in grain deliveries from the 2013-14 crop year, grain transportation will be given priority consideration. The Review will consider the provisions of the Act that are relevant to the transportation of grain by rail, some of which could apply more broadly to the rail-based supply chain for all commodities, taking into account the broader goal of a commercially based, market-driven, multi-modal transportation system that delivers the best possible service in support of economic growth and prosperity.
The Review will also examine the extent to which the national transportation system has the capacity and adaptability that will allow it, and its users, to respond effectively to evolving international and domestic conditions and markets. This will include examining major global and national trends relevant to transportation; projecting freight capacity needs across the system; examining whether existing or planned capacity and performance improvements will be responsive to these needs and periodic demands for surge capacity; and advising on possible steps to help ensure that the national transportation system has the capacity and nimbleness to support economic activity across all sectors over the medium- and long-term.
Finally, the Review will be asked to give consideration to a number of specific issues, including:
- whether adjustments to the current transportation legislative and policy framework are required to support Canada’s international competitiveness, trade interests, and economic growth and prosperity;
- how strategic transportation gateways and corridors can be developed and leveraged to support Canadian prosperity through linkages to global markets;
- how the quality and utilization of transportation infrastructure capacity can be optimized through, for example, improved alignment of transportation policies and regulations and/or the use of innovative financing mechanisms;
- how technological innovation can contribute to improvements in transportation infrastructure and services;
- whether adjustments to transportation safety and environmental regimes are needed to continue achieving high standards for safe and sustainable transportation, given increasing system volumes/demands;
- how safety and well-being concerns related to rail transportation (including the movement of dangerous goods) through communities can be addressed;
- how to address rapid changes in the North and associated challenges for the continued safety, security, and sustainability of the northern transportation system, and specifically, the federal role in supporting the northern transportation system;
- how federally-regulated passenger rail services can be delivered to meet travellers’ needs while minimizing costs to the public purse;
- how the vitality of the Canadian aviation sector, air connectivity, and Canada’s ability to attract visitors and transiting travellers can be maintained and augmented in light of the range of cost factors and competitive global markets; and
- whether current governance and service delivery models for key federal operations, assets and agencies — including the Canadian Transportation Agency, Canadian Pilotage Authorities, the St. Lawrence Seaway, and airport and port authorities — can be improved.
The Review will be conducted at arm’s length from the Government of Canada. The Chair will be responsible for submitting a report to the Minister, which will include findings and recommendations, no later than 18 months after the date on which the Review is launched.
The Review will undertake independent study and analysis of issues within its mandate and conduct broad consultations with stakeholders and other interested parties, including purchasers and suppliers of transportation services; freight forwarders and other users of those services; provinces, territories and municipalities; aboriginal organizations; and environmental groups.
Consultation sessions will be conducted in various regions of the country and a website will be established to facilitate the broadest range of input/submissions from interested parties. To assist those wishing to make a submission, a discussion document setting out key issues of interest will be made available.