This annual report covers the twelve months between April 1, 2011 and March 31, 2012. In this reporting period, the Tribunal registered 180 new requests for review (95 aviation and 83 marine, 2 Canadian Transportation Agency [CTA]), and 11 requests for appeal (8 aviation and 3 marine). This represents an increase of 36 new case files registered over fiscal year 2010‑2011. Additionally, 13 requests for certificates were received from the Minister, pursuant to section 7.92 of the Aeronautics Act.
In addition to the new cases registered in this reporting period, 164 cases were carried over from the previous reporting period, bringing the total caseload to 355. This represents an increase of 62cases over the fiscal year 2010-2011.
The Tribunal heard 40 first level reviews (23 aviation and 17 marine) and 4 second level appeals (3 aviation and 1 CTA) for a total of 64 hearing days. This represents an increase of 18 hearings over the previous fiscal year. Of the 44 cases that proceeded to a hearing, many cases were postponed and rescheduled at a later date. At the end of 2011-2012, 172 cases were pending further action, 16 were awaiting decisions and 16 had been scheduled for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.
In the 2011-2012 reporting period, 105 cases were concluded without a hearing. It should be noted that of these 105 cases, many were requests filed with the Tribunal and concluded shortly before the hearing was to take place, which means that all registry work that leads up to the hearing was completed.
The 105 cases concluded without a hearing were resolved in a number of ways: the document holder paid the fine before the hearing commenced; the document holder's licence was reinstated before the hearing; the request for hearing was withdrawn by the document holder; the notice was withdrawn by the Minister; or an agreement was reached between the parties.
The Tribunal's effectiveness can be measured by its ability to provide the Canadian transportation community with the opportunity to have Ministerial decisions reviewed fairly, equitably and within a reasonable period of time.
The average lapsed time in 2011-2012 between the conclusion of a Review Hearing and the issuance of a determination is 125 days and 150 days for an Appeal Hearing. This brings the hearing process to a timely conclusion for both parties appearing before the Tribunal.
The Tribunal encourages the use of pre-hearing conferences to assist the parties appearing before it, to identify the issues for determination by the Tribunal and to disclose and exchange documents. This reduces the length of hearings and avoids last-minute adjournments necessitated by late disclosure of information.
In 2010-2011, the Tribunal referred 3 aviation cases back to the Minister of Transport for reconsideration, pursuant to 7.1 of the Aeronautics Act, in light of the Tribunal lacking the power to substitute its own decision for that of the Minister in these cases. The Minister upheld the Review Determination in 2 cases and we are awaiting the outcome in 1 case.
In 2011-2012, the Tribunal referred 6 cases back to the Minister for reconsideration (5 aviation and 1 marine). We are awaiting the outcome of all these cases.
Training and Development
When new Members are appointed, they receive in-house training in all aspects of administrative law and the conduct of hearings. As well, external legal counsel is available to assist during pre-hearing, hearing and post-hearing matters. Internally, the staff is encouraged to undergo annual professional education.
The Tribunal's success can, in great part, be attributed to the importance placed on the training and development of its Members and staff.
The quality of the hearings which are held across the country and the decisions which are rendered are reflective of the high level of experience possessed by and the training provided to all Tribunal Members.
With the prediction of a significantly increased caseload primarily related to the marine sector, the Tribunal will be seeking additional funding to sustain its multi-modal transportation mandate.
The most significant upcoming challenge for the Tribunal will be the realization of its expansion as a multi-modal transportation tribunal addressing the air, marine and rail sectors. This will increase the overall workload and require expansion of capacity in new areas of expertise and more Members will have to
be appointed and trained. Existing employees will likely require additional training and new staff will have to be hired to ensure that the current efficiencies will be maintained.
|Note: In addition to its Main Estimates allocation of $1,414.7K, the Tribunal carried forward an allocation of $47.2K from the previous fiscal year and received a transfer of $310.7K from Transport Canada through Supplementary Estimates B to support its activities.|
|Salaries and wages||720.9||726.3|
|Contributions to employee benefit plans||129.8||129.8|
|GOODS AND SERVICES|
|Transportation and communications||122.0||184.8|
|Information and printing services||27.0||13.2|
|Professional and special services||357.0||532.0|
|Purchased, repairs and upkeep||6.0||108.8|
|Utilities, materials and supplies||28.0||28.8|
|Total goods and services||564.0||903.7|
|* FTEs: Full-time equivalent is a measure of human resource consumption|
|Governor in Council (GIC)||2|
|Administrative Services (AS)||8|
|Information Services (IS)||1|
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