2012-2013 in Review

Activities

In this reporting period, the Tribunal registered 183 new requests for review

This annual report covers the twelve months between April 1, 2012 and March 31, 2013. In this reporting period, the Tribunal registered 183 new requests for review (81 aviation, 101 marine, 1 rail), and 7 requests for appeal (6 aviation and 1 marine). Additionally, 11 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, 204 cases were carried over from the previous reporting period, bringing the total caseload to 394. This represents an increase of 39 cases over the fiscal year 2011-2012.

The Tribunal heard 33 Reviews (9 aviation and 24 marine) and 11 Appeals (9 aviation and 2 marine) for a total of 56 hearing days. Of the 44 cases that proceeded to a hearing, many were postponed and rescheduled at a later date. At the end of 2012-2013, 209 cases were pending further action, 18 were awaiting decisions and 10 had been scheduled for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

In the 2012-2013 reporting period, 114 cases were concluded without a hearing. It should be noted that of these 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 114 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the hearing commenced; the document holder's licence was reinstated before the hearing; the request for hearing was withdrawn by the document holder; the notice was withdrawn by the Minister; or an agreement was reached between the parties.

Effectiveness

In 2011-2012, the Tribunal referred 6 cases back to the Minister of Transport for reconsideration

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 2012-2013 between the conclusion of a Review Hearing and the issuance of a determination is 137 days, and 124 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 2011-2012, the Tribunal referred 6 cases (5 aviation and 1 marine) back to the Minister of Transport for reconsideration, 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 1 case and we are awaiting the outcome in 5 cases.

In 2012-2013, the Tribunal referred 5 cases back to the Minister for reconsideration (3 aviation and 2 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.

Training resources for Members and staff are available in various formats, including online, electronic and traditional published formats. Continuous communication and updates are conveyed to Members through regular contact and a periodic internal newsletter.

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 rendered, are reflective of the high level of experience possessed by, and the training provided to, all Tribunal Members.

Future Plans

With an ever-increasing caseload, particularly in the marine sector, the Tribunal will be seeking additional resources to sustain its multi-modal transportation mandate.

The 2012 amendments to the Administrative Monetary Penalties and Notices Regulations under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, give a greater scope to penalties for marine-related violations. These changes, along with greater industry awareness of the Tribunal's services, are expected to add to the overall increase in marine cases for the Tribunal.

Likewise in the rail sector, future regulatory amendments to the Railway Safety Act are expected to lead to an increased caseload, once administrative monetary penalties regulations are enacted.

The most significant challenge for the Tribunal continues to be the full realization of its expansion as a multi-modal transportation tribunal addressing the aviation, marine, rail, and bridges and tunnels sectors. This will continue to increase the overall workload and require expansion of capacity in new areas of expertise. It will also necessitate the recruitment and training of more Members. Employees will require additional training, succession planning will need to be undertaken, and new staff hired to ensure that efficiencies and best practices are maintained.

Resources

Financial Resources -Details of Financial Requirements by Object
Note: In addition to its Main Estimates allocation of $1,411.8K, the Tribunal received a transfer of $250K from Transport Canada through Supplementary Estimates C to support its activities.
(Thousands of dollars)Estimates
2012-2013
Actual Expenses
2012-2013
PERSONNEL
Salaries and wages 720.9 731.1
Contributions to employee benefit plans 126.9 124.6
Total personnel 847.8 855.7
GOODS AND SERVICES
Transportation and communications 200.0 107.6
Information and printing services 25.0 6.4
Professional and special services 309.0 542.7
Rentals 25.0 23.9
Purchased, repairs and upkeep 5.0 21.4
Utilities, materials and supplies 0.0 27.1
Total goods and services 564.0 729.1
GRAND TOTAL 1,411.8 1,584.9
*  FTEs: Full-time equivalent is a measure of human resource consumption
Distribution of Full-Time EquivalentsFTEs*
Governor in Council (GIC) 2
Administrative Services (AS) 8
Information Services (IS) 2
Total 12