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ARCHIVED - RPP 2006-2007
Canadian Transportation Agency

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Section I – Overview

1.1 Chairman's Message

The Canadian Transportation Agency faces an ambitious agenda in the years ahead. We are committed to completing actions to achieve the specific directions set out in this 2006-2007 Report on Plans and Priorities. Delivering on our priorities will ensure the Agency is well- positioned to carry out its role in ensuring a Canadian transportation system that is responsive to change supporting a high quality of life for all Canadians.

As an administrative tribunal, the Agency's mandate and powers are dictated by its enabling statutes. The Agency's activities will continue to be focussed on the attainment of one strategic outcome: a fair and transparent economic regulatory regime that helps achieve a viable and accessible national transportation system.

In a highly competitive and evolving transportation marketplace, the Agency values its role as an effective regulator. The Agency is a fair and independent quasi-judicial tribunal which licenses, regulates and settles disputes in Canada's transportation system. It strives to remain in tune with the transportation industry and to function efficiently.

On a daily basis, the Agency makes important decisions on wide-ranging matters affecting the lives of many Canadians, including passengers, business people, shippers, transportation services providers and people who count on the industry for their livelihood.

In the current environment, the number and complexity of cases under review are increasing as are demands for the Agency's alternate dispute resolution mechanisms. I am confident that mediation will become even more attractive in the future, since businesses and citizens alike are demanding more efficiency in how their concerns are addressed. The Agency continues to work at streamlining and speeding up its processes to improve its effectiveness.

The Agency is fortunate to be able to rely on the dedication and expertise of its members and staff to deliver its parliamentary mandate. To support this asset, the Agency is committed to implementing the new government policy on learning, training and development.

By remaining flexible and adapting to changing needs, while at the same time respecting sound rules, the Agency contributes to the better administration of the federal transportation system. It will continue to take steps to ensure that it uses the funds allocated from Parliament in a way that allows it to attain better results for Canadians.

Gilles Dufault

1.2 Management Representation Statement

I submit for tabling in Parliament, the 2006-2007 Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP) for the Canadian Transportation Agency.

This document has been prepared based on the reporting principles contained in the Guide to the preparation of Part III of the 2006-2007 Estimates: Reports on Plans and Priorities and Departmental Performance Reports:

  • It adheres to the specific reporting requirements outlined in the Treasury Board Secretariat guidance;
  • It is based on the department's approved Program Activity Architecture as reflected in its Management, Resources and Results Structure;
  • It presents consistent, comprehensive, balanced and reliable information;
  • It provides a basis of accountability for the results achieved with the resources and authorities entrusted to the Agency; and
  • It reports finances based on approved planned spending numbers from the Treasury Board Secretariat.

Gilles Dufault
July 25, 2006

1.3 Departmental Overview

1.3.1 Summary Information

Reason for Existence

In its administration of federal transportation legislation and government policies, the Canadian Transportation Agency helps create an efficient and accessible federal transportation system for the benefit of Canadians.

The Agency is an independent, quasi-judicial, administrative tribunal that makes decisions on a wide range of matters affecting Canadian transportation. It licenses rail and air carriers, and has the authority to resolve some transportation rate, service and other complaints in the rail, air and marine modes and to make regulations when required. It also has the authority to remove undue obstacles to the mobility of persons with disabilities who use the federally regulated transportation network. In addition, the Agency implements the transportation policy established by Parliament in the Canada Transportation Act and other legislation. It is also the aeronautical authority for Canada on matters related to the economic regulation of air carriers.

1.3.2 Financial Resources (in thousands of dollars)







1.3.3 Human Resources







1.3.4 Departmental Priorities by Strategic Outcome

During the planning period, the Agency's single program activity, "the economic regulation of the federal transport system," will continue to be focused on the attainment of one strategic outcome:

A fair and transparent economic regulatory regime that helps achieve a viable and accessible national transportation system.



Planned Spending *
(in thousands of dollars)




1. Addressing Agency workload and resources challenges

Previously committed to

61 50 40

2. Participating in the development of legislative amendments and implementing new or modified requirements that fall under the Agency's jurisdiction

Previously committed to

0 0 0

3. Succession planning

Previously committed to

183 64 0

4. Improving the dispute resolution system


50 50 50

* Planned spending by priority only includes operating expenses that are directly related to the identified priorities. In addition to these expenses, the organization will devote management time and effort, which have not been costed.

1.4 Departmental Plans and Priorities

1.4.1 Operating Environment and Strategic Context

The Agency's program is funded by Parliament through an operating expenditures vote. It operates within the context of the very large and complex Canadian transportation system (refer to Transport Canada's Web site at for details).

The Agency's mission is to administer transportation legislation and government policies to help achieve an efficient and accessible transportation system by education, consultation and essential regulation. The strategic outcome which the Agency pursues is directly aligned with one of the broader Government of Canada outcomes of assuring A Fair and Secure Marketplace as reported in Canada's Performance. It also helps improve the quality of life of all Canadians because an efficient and accessible transportation system benefits everyone.

Education and consultation are integral to the Agency's effectiveness in carrying out its mandate. The Agency works closely with those who use and provide transportation services in Canada and others directly affected by them. It helps travellers, shippers, carriers, municipalities and others to fully understand not only their rights and obligations under the Canada Transportation Act, but also the Agency's roles and responsibilities. When appropriate, the Agency encourages parties to resolve disputes informally before issues escalate and affect the efficient functioning of the transportation system. The Agency consults as widely as possible on issues that are important to the transportation industry. By remaining open and by listening to all affected parties, the Agency strives to ensure that its decisions are both responsive and responsible.

As an independent, quasi-judicial tribunal, the Agency makes decisions on a wide range of matters involving federally-regulated modes of transportation (air, rail and marine). Most of the Agency's activities and workload are generated by demand from users and operators of the federal transportation system. The tribunal's decisions are rendered by Agency members who are appointed by the Governor in Council. This includes the Chairman, who also acts as the Chief Executive Officer and the Vice-Chairman who are both members of the Executive Committee. The Agency's tribunal decision-making process is governed by its General Rules, entrenching the rules of fairness, which ensure that all parties to a complaint or an application are dealt with fairly and equitably. More information about this process can be found at

A number of factors will influence the delivery of the Agency's programs during the planning period, notably:

1. Potential legislative changes

As required under the Canada Transportation Act, a five-member review panel was appointed in June 2000 to conduct a review of the operation of the Act and all other legislation concerning the economic regulation of any mode of transportation under Parliament's legislative authority.

While proposed amendments to the Canada Transportation Act and other transportation legislation didn't receive Royal Assent before Parliament was dissolved on November 29, 2005, new bills were introduced in early 2006-2007. If these bills are adopted, the Agency will take the necessary measures to implement new or modified requirements that fall under its jurisdiction.

2. Outcome of appeals on key Agency decisions

Agency decisions in respect of three significant accessible transportation cases have been appealed.

Two of these appeals were heard and decided by the Federal Court of Appeal in late 2005-2006. As a result of the Court's decision on the first case, the Agency reactivated 16 cases which it will process during 2006-2007. These cases had been stayed pending the Court's decision on the appeal, due to the similarity of the issues raised. As a result of the Court's decision on the second appeal, the applicant filed a motion for leave to appeal the Court's decision with the Supreme Court of Canada which, at year end, had not yet decided on that motion. Pending the decision of the Supreme Court on the third appeal which was heard in early 2006-2007, six other cases will be held in abeyance.

These appeals and the resulting stay of proceedings on other cases will no doubt increase the time required for the Agency to resolve accessibility complaints during fiscal year 2006-2007.

3. Managing with fewer resources

The Agency will need to respond to and implement reductions and changes resulting from the expenditure review exercise. Funding for part of the Agency's mandate, the air travel complaints program, has been provided through annual transfers from Transport Canada since the program's inception in 2000. However, as part of the expenditure review exercise, the Minister of Transport identified his intention to eliminate the Air Travel Complaints Commissioner and the funding, although the program would continue. Resources will need to be reallocated and priorities will need to be revised to ensure that the Agency can continue to deliver its parliamentary mandate and maintain the necessary stewardship and comptrollership capacity to meet central agency and legislative requirements. This represents a significant reduction for the Agency and will be especially challenging given the critical need to manage retirements over the planning period. This challenge will be addressed as part of the Agency's main key management priority: to address Agency workload and resources issues.

4. Government-wide initiatives

During the planning period, the Agency will need to respond to a number of government-wide initiatives.

The Agency has struggled to fully participate and respond to the numerous government horizontal reviews and policy initiatives (e.g. shared corporate services, procurement reform, reclassifications, proactive disclosure, etc.) with limited resources.

The Agency will meet the reporting requirements of the new Expenditure Management Information System. This includes providing more detailed financial and performance information. Although work accomplished to date in establishing a performance measurement framework has significantly assisted the Agency in responding to this initiative, the Agency will continue to work with the Treasury Board Secretariat to improve and refine this framework. This will allow the Agency to better demonstrate its contribution to Canadians in its future Departmental Performance Reports and to better manage results.

The Agency placed particular emphasis on the implementation of the Public Service Modernization Act and the Public Service Employment Act. While the mandatory requirements were met by the coming into force date, the Agency must still pursue full implementation and integration with business planning, accountability and performance reporting, as well as supporting cultural change. Strategic Human Resources goals, outcomes and performance expectations will be redefined to align with the new management accountability framework. The Agency will be implementing a new 3-Year Strategic Human Resource Plan to address the human resources management priorities stemming from the Human Resource Modernization initiative and the Agency's own planning needs.

Given the expectations on departments and agencies to implement the new government policy on learning, training and development, the Agency will be working to define its strategic approach towards meeting policy obligations.

In light of the limited capacity of small departments and agencies to manage day-to-day operations, success will also be dependent on central agency support, through the provision of funding, policies and tools for learning and communication.

5. Key partners

The Agency is one of many players involved in transportation and maintains close ties with its various co-delivery partners primarily Transport Canada, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the Canada Border Services Agency and the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Refer to the Agency's Web site for details on these relationships at:

1.4.2 Departmental Priorities

Like other government bodies mandated to administer laws, the Agency's priorities and the actions it can take are dictated to a large degree by statutes. For the planning period, the Agency's activities will continue to be focused on the attainment of one strategic outcome:

A fair and transparent economic regulatory regime that helps achieve a viable and accessible national transportation system.

The Agency is committed to the achievement of this strategic outcome through the delivery of its ongoing activities, which are focused on:

  • resolving transportation disputes fairly, effectively and efficiently by making sound decisions or through mediation and other informal processes;
  • improving the accessibility of the federal transportation system for persons with disabilities; and
  • performing its other administrative roles and legislative responsibilities that protect the economic and other interests of the federal transportation users, carriers and other affected parties.

More information about the expected results of the Agency's ongoing activities can be found under Section II of this report.

Based on the risks and challenges facing the Agency, four priorities have been identified for 2006-2007:

  1. Addressing Agency workload and resources challenges.
  2. Participating in the development of legislative amendments and implementing new or modified requirements that fall under the Agency's jurisdiction.
  3. Succession planning.
  4. Improving the dispute resolution system.

1.4.3 Departmental Plans

The Agency has developed and updated its implementation plan, which describes its management and program priorities in detail. Resources are allocated to specific initiatives as required, responsibilities are clearly defined and expected results and time lines are established.

Implementation plan progress will be monitored and reported to the Agency's Executive Committee on a regular basis and results will be included in the Departmental Performance Report.

Priority 1: Addressing Agency workload and resources challenges

Over the past few years, the Agency has taken important steps to ensure that it uses the funds allocated from Parliament in a way that allows it to attain better results for Canadians. Internal resources are allocated annually following an internal review process where requests for existing and new resources are challenged and where risk principles are used as a key basis for resource allocation decisions. In addition, a results chain was developed along with a performance measurement framework and a detailed Performance Measurement Plan. Progress was also made to improve the Agency's organizational effectiveness following initiatives undertaken in the fall of 2003.

However, further improvements are required over the course of the next years to ensure that the Agency can improve its efficiency and ensure capacity to manage an increasing caseload and complexity of issues with fewer resources. To pursue this priority the Agency will:

  • continue to implement streamlined and more effective work processes, to further improve its organizational effectiveness and better use its resources;
  • continue to develop meaningful performance indicators and better integrate resource to results (refer to Item 4.1.1 under Section IV for the Agency's results chain); and
  • take measures to ensure the Agency can quickly reallocate human resources to meet temporary workload pressures.

As the impact of expenditure review reductions becomes more acute, we will explore all opportunities to reduce the Agency's dependence on annual transfers from Transport Canada to fund our air travel complaints program. Without funding, the quality of service and the performance in the handling of complaints risk being affected.

Priority 2: Participating in the development of legislative amendments and implementing new or modified requirements that fall under the Agency's jurisdiction

Proposed changes to the Canada Transportation Act and other transportation legislation were tabled in Parliament in early 2006-2007 and others are expected to be introduced during the year. To pursue this priority, the Agency will:

  • assist Transport Canada in the development of legislative proposals; and
  • secure resources and capability to effectively implement the legislative changes.

Priority 3: Succession planning

Like the majority of federal government departments and agencies, the Agency competes with other public organizations and the private sector in the recruitment of knowledge workers. The majority of employers foresee a loss of corporate memory and expertise because of the predicted retirements and departures of the baby boom generation which make up part of today's work force.

The Agency continues to face a very challenging period where a number of key senior officials and senior subject-matter experts have retired or will be retiring over the next three years. The Agency must sustain its action plan to ensure it retains the level of competency and capacity needed to support its quasi-judicial mandate and role.

Based on the 5-year Succession Plan implemented in 2002, and through integrated business and human resource planning processes, the Agency continues to focus on strategic workforce management approaches designed to address potential vulnerabilities in key positions and areas of critical expertise. With the coming into force of the Public Service Employment Act on December 31, 2005, the Agency is also broadening its strategic approaches and plans to benefit from a more flexible staffing regime to optimize succession strategies. With the current succession plan as a basis, the Agency also designed a comprehensive, integrated human resource planning framework that focusses on corporate priorities in human resource management, and reflects the intent of the new staffing philosophy for more strategic staffing and recruitment. During the planning period, the following measures will be taken to address key succession issues identified within the Agency:

  • Internal language training will continue to ensure a sufficient pool of qualified candidates with adequate language skills;
  • The Agency's Management Development Assignment Program will be reviewed and refocussed. This program was developed to provide Agency staff with the opportunity to develop the competencies required for executive and management positions. Despite national areas of selection for these positions, we expect it will allow Agency staff to compete on equal ground for Agency management positions that become vacant and optimize corporate retention of our valued human resources;
  • The implementation of the newly developed 3-Year Strategic Human Resources Plan will begin. This plan integrates the human resources management priorities stemming from the Human Resources Modernization initiative and the Agency's own planning needs.

Priority 4: Improving the dispute resolution system

A significant portion of the Agency's workload is externally generated and can be difficult to predict.

In the current environment, our caseload is increasing as are demands for our alternate dispute resolution mechanisms and the complexity of cases under review. With limited resource flexibility, backlogs can result.

The purpose of this priority is to improve the timeliness with which dispute files are resolved by the Agency. During 2006-2007, the Agency will undertake a thorough analysis and develop a plan to improve our service levels including:

  • establishing baseline data;
  • identifying changes that can be made to improve the time-lines to resolve disputes both informally (through facilitation and mediation) and formally (through quasi-judicial decisions);
  • identifying performance targets for upcoming years and developing and implementing a plan to attain them.