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Minister of Transport introduces Bill C-52 to ensure accountability and transparency

June 20, 2023 Ottawa Transport Canada Canadians deserve a smooth and efficient transportation system. The Government of Canada is working to support a transportation sector that meets Canadians’ needs, creates good middle-class jobs, and helps build an economy that works for everyone.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, introduced Bill C-52, the Enhancing Transparency and Accountability in the Transportation System Act, which would enact the Air Transportation Accountability Act and amend the Canada Transportation Act and the Canada Marine Act.


These changes would help create a transportation sector that is more efficient, transparent, and accountable in three parts:

Part I would enact the Air Transportation Accountability Act, which would:

  • Ensure shared accountability by permitting the creation of regulations requiring airports and other operators within airports to create service standards for their part of the passenger journey, and require them to publish their performance against these standards. Examples could include how long it should typically take for a bag to arrive on the carousel, or the expected wait time to enter security screening;

  • Create a formal process for notifying and consulting the public on changes to airspace designs that affect aircraft noise near airports to ensure that communities that would be potentially affected by such changes can be engaged;

  • Require airports to publish and report on their pollution reduction plans to help achieve net-zero goals; and

  • Require federally incorporated airport authorities to report on diversity among their directors and senior management.

Part II would introduce changes to the Canada Transportation Act to help achieve a barrier-free Canada for persons with disabilities. Transportation service providers would have to collect and provide accessibility data to the Minister of Transport and the Canadian Transportation Agency, which will help more quickly identify barriers in the system.

Part III would amend the Canada Marine Act to provide greater transparency on how ports set their fees by requiring Canada Port Authorities to follow certain principles when establishing or changing port fees. In addition, it would create a process for people, including port users and tenants, to challenge a new or revised fee through the Canadian Transportation Agency.

The last few years have been difficult on transportation systems here in Canada and around the world. The changes proposed in Bill C-52 would ensure Canada’s transportation sector remains a world-leader in efficiency, accessibility, and accountability. The Bill would also enable the Government of Canada to create regulations for alternative dispute resolution regarding leases for port terminals and allow the Canadian Transportation Agency to recover costs for rate-setting and dispute resolution provisions.

Quotes

“It’s no secret that the challenges of the last few years have impacted transportation systems here in Canada and globally. As we head into another busy travel season, we have seen how a disruption at one end of the system can have effects across the entire network. Together, the measures in this proposed legislation would help create a more accountable, transparent and accessible national transportation system that meets the needs of Canadians.” The Honourable Omar Alghabra Minister of Transport

Quick facts

  • Twenty-six airports in the National Airports System serve approximately 90% of air travellers.

  • Most large airports are operated by private, not-for-profit entities (airport authorities) through long-term leases with the federal government.

  • More than 150 other airports are owned and operated by provinces, territories, municipalities, Transport Canada and others.

  • Barriers faced in the transportation system often result in serious, negative impacts for people with disabilities, including to their health, independence and dignity.

  • The Auditor General’s 2023 report on accessible transportation for persons with disabilities showed a need for oversight on accessible transportation.

  • Canada has 17 Canada Port Authorities, which are federally incorporated, autonomous, non-share corporations that operate at arm’s length from the federal government but are its agent for certain activities.

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