Canada Transportation Act comes under early review

by Canadian Shipper

WINNIPEG, MB.–Spurred on by the serious backlog in grain deliveries that occurred during the 2013-14 crop year, transportation minister Lisa Raitt has bumped up a scheduled review of Canada’s transportation legislation.

The Canada Transportation Act was set to be examined in 2015, but earlier this year the federal government pledged to move the timeline up. In an announcement made today at Bison Transport, Raitt named the arm’s length review committee whose job it will be to dissect the legislation. Chairing the committee will be former MP and cabinet minister David Emerson. 

The rest of the members are Murad Al-Katib, president and CEO of ocean container shipping company Alliance Grain Traders Inc., past president of Maersk Canada David Caradin, Duncan Dee who served as executive vice-president and chief operating officer at Air Canada, TransLink chair Marcella Szel, and Marie-Lucie Morin who was executive director for Canada, Ireland and the Caribbean at the World Bank and who also held senior civil service positions in Canada, including serving as national security advisor to the prime minister, and deputy minister of international trade.

In the course of the review, the committee is expected to look at a number of issues besides the grain transportation problem. Some of these include determining:

-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 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

 –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 committee is expected to return the results of its findings within 18 months.

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