Early start for federal transport law review

by MM&D Online Staff

WINNIPEG, Manitoba—The federal government has launched a statutory review of Canada’s transportation legislation a year ahead of schedule, after promising this spring to accelerate the review.

The review is being done a year earlier than required to address a range of changing conditions and challenges, including those related to the transportation of grain on the Prairies. It will also examine what improvements could be made in a number of areas, including:

  • strategic transportation gateways and corridors;
  • Canada’s transportation safety and environmental regimes;
  • the role of technological innovation in improving transportation services and infrastructure;
  • the safe movement of goods through communities;
  • support for the northern transportation system;
  • federally regulated passenger rail services;
  • the vitality of the aviation sector and air connectivity; and
  • governance and service delivery for key federal operations, assets, and agencies.

The review will look at the Canada Transportation Act (CTA) and other acts related to transportation in Canada, and will analyze how existing laws and regulations affect competitiveness. The review will also explore how government, industry and other stakeholders can address the key issues facing the transportation sector, including ensuring Canada’s supply chains have the capacity, flexibility and resiliency to meet future demands.

Canada’s transportation system supported the export of approximately $471.4 billion in Canadian merchandise in 2013. It has  more kilometres of roads per person than almost any other nation. It also includes: over 300 airports, 18 of which offer international service; 45,742 km of operating railroad tracks; and more than 240 marine ports and harbours, which provide access to three oceans and the Great Lakes—St. Lawrence Seaway System.

The Honourable David Emerson will head the arm’s-length review with the support of five advisors representing a broad range of transportation perspectives and industry experience from various regions of the country. The advisors are: Murad Al-Katib, David Cardin, Duncan Dee, Marie-Lucie Morin, and Marcella Szel.

Emerson will submit recommendations to the Minister of Transport by late next year.