Decisions

CAT File No. O-2162-17
MoT File No. PAP 5504-42528

CIVIL AVIATION TRIBUNAL

BETWEEN:

Alain Tremblay, Applicant

- and -

Minister of Transport, Respondent

LEGISLATION:
Aeronautics Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. A-2, s. 7.1(1)
Canadian Aviation Regulations, SOR/96-433, ss. 602.01, 602.14(2)(a)
Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, s. 249(1)

Open Air Assembly, Negligent or Reckless Operation of an Aircraft, Low Flying, Criminal Code, Built-Up Area


Review Determination
Suzanne Racine


Decision: June 26, 2001

TRANSLATION

Noting the admission of the applicant's counsel, the member confirms the decision of the Minister of Transport to suspend private pilot licence PA 730494 of the applicant, Mr. Alain Tremblay, for the reasons appearing in both the notice of suspension of September 1, 2000, and in its attachment.

A review hearing on the above matter was held Wednesday, May 23, 2001, at 10:00 hours, on the 18th floor of the Standard Life Building in Ottawa, Ontario.

OBJECT OF THE REVIEW HEARING

On September 1, 2000, Transport Canada served the applicant, Mr. Alain Tremblay, with a notice of suspension of his private pilot licence no. PA 730494, pursuant to subsection 7.1(1) of the Aeronautics Act. The notice of suspension states that the suspension will take effect on September 1, 2000, at 23:59 hours, local time, and will remain in force until such time as the conditions of reinstatement mentioned in its attachment are met and the document (private pilot licence) is reinstated by the Minister.

The reasons for the suspension and the conditions for reinstatement formulated by the Minister are as follows:

Reason for the suspension

In the past, Mr. Tremblay has been accused and found guilty of various safety violations. Recent allegations have been made indicating that he has continued to commit these same violations. Although these allegations are currently the subject of an inquiry, the risk posed to the public is so great that suspension of the licence was necessary. Most of the violations (confirmed and alleged) have been committed in the vicinity of persons and property, which shows that Mr. Tremblay represents a tangible risk to the safety of the public.

Record of enforcement - Mr. Alain Tremblay

  1. April 1998 - violation of paragraph 602.14(2)(a) of the CARs - monetary penalty assessed and paid
  2. June 1998 - violation of subsection 602.13(1) of the CARs - monetary penalty assessed and paid
  3. December 1998 - violation of subsection 601.08(1) of the CARs - monetary penalty assessed and not paid
  4. January 1999 - violation of subsection 401.03(1) of the CARs - monetary penalty assessed and not paid
  5. July 1999 - violation of paragraph 602.14(2)(b) of the CARs - monetary penalty assessed and paid

Current allegations of contraventions against Mr. Alain Tremblay

  1. March 1999 - subsection 401.03(1) of the CARs, 1 count
  2. June 2000 - section 602.01 of the CARs, 1 count
  3. July/August 2000 - subsection 605.94(1) of the CARs, 6 counts
  4. August 2000 - paragraph 602.14(2)(a) of the CARs, 1 count
  5. August 2000 - section 602.01 of the CARs, 1 count
  6. June 2000 - subsection 249(1) of the Criminal Code
  7. August 2000 - subsection 249(1) of the Criminal Code

Conditions of reinstatement

The licence may be reinstated when the regional manager of General Aviation, considers that Mr. Tremblay meets the following conditions:

  1. Taking of a course in pilot decision making offered by System Safety, Transport Canada;
  2. Interview by a civil aviation safety inspector of Transport Canada (General Aviation) to discuss matters related to aviation safety. Demonstration that reinstatement of the licence will not pose any danger to the public. Upon successful completion of the interview, a recommendation for reinstatement of the licence may be submitted to the regional manager of General Aviation.

The applicant is appealing this decision before the Civil Aviation Tribunal.

PRELIMINARY MOTION

First of all, the applicant's counsel, Mr. Bourget, served the office of the Tribunal and the respondent, on Tuesday, May 22, 2001, with an application for postponement of the review hearing set for Wednesday, May 23, 2001, in Ottawa on the ground that he wished to proceed first with the hearing of a case scheduled for trial June 4, 2001, concerning an incident that occurred June 24, 2000. This incident concerning dangerous operation of an aircraft (section 249 of the Criminal Code) appears in the attachment to the notice of suspension, item 6 of the current allegations of contraventions against Mr. Alain Tremblay. This written application for postponement was denied that same day by the member charged with this hearing, as it had been filed late. The notice of hearing had been issued and delivered to the parties, after consultation with them, on March 9, 2001, i.e., more than two months before the date scheduled for the hearing.

Later, Mr. Bourget reapplied to the member for postponement of this hearing, repeating the arguments alleged in his application for postponement of May 22, 2001. He stresses the fact that it is prejudicial to his client to mention the incident of June 24, 2000 (section 249 of the Criminal Code), in the current allegations of contraventions appearing in the attachment to the notice of suspension issued by the Minister. Firstly, this allegation has been neither confirmed nor proven. Secondly, it unduly taints the aeronautical record of his client, who is currently in training to obtain his commercial pilot licence. He also alleges that, in any event, his client has met all the conditions for reinstatement requested by the Minister and that his private pilot licence was reinstated November 1, 2000.

The respondent's counsel, Mr. Béland, objects to this second application for postponement on the ground that it is not necessary for a court to dispense first with a charge of dangerous operation arising from the incident of June 24, 2000, in order for the Civil Aviation Tribunal to hear the present case, and that he is prepared to establish in evidence the validity of the suspension measure taken against Mr. Tremblay with the aid of three witnesses who have travelled for this purpose.

The member, after having heard the parties, concurs with the Minister's counsel and has decided to hear the case brought before her by the applicant's counsel, Mr. Bourget, in order to rule on the validity of the grounds alleged by the Minister for suspension of the applicant's private pilot licence.

Mr. Béland, asked by the member to explain the violations confirmed and alleged by the Minister in its attachment to the notice of suspension, informed the Tribunal that the applicant has paid the monetary penalties for each of the five contraventions listed in the "record of enforcement — Mr. Alain Tremblay" appearing in the attachment to the notice of suspension dated September 1, 2000. Mr. Béland also pointed out that item 1 of the current allegations of contraventions against Mr. Alain Tremblay in the attachment has been struck out and that no notices of assessment have been issued in respect of the counts of item 3.

Mr. Béland questioned his first witness, Mrs. Oonagh Elliott, an inspector at Transport Canada, about the remaining allegations and filed several exhibits in support of the witness' claims. When it came time to cross-examine, however, Mr. Bourget told the Tribunal that he does not intend to contest the grounds which prompted the Minister to suspend his client's private pilot licence.

DETERMINATION

Noting the admission of the applicant's counsel, the member confirms the decision of the Minister of Transport to suspend private pilot licence PA 730494 of the applicant, Mr. Alain Tremblay, for the reasons appearing in both the notice of suspension of September 1, 2000, and in its attachment.

Suzanne Racine
Member
Civil Aviation Tribunal