The Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada replaced the Civil Aviation Tribunal in 2003, originally established under Part IV of the Aeronautics Act in 1986. On the recommendation of the Minister of Transport, pursuant to section 73 of the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada Act, assented to on December 18, 2001, being chapter 29 of the Statutes of Canada, 2001, the Act officially came into force on June 30, 2003.
The Tribunal is available to hear Review and Appeal Hearings originating from the aviation, marine, rail, and bridges and tunnels sectors. The Tribunal provides an independent review process for anyone who has been given notice of an administrative or enforcement action taken by the Minister of Transport, or the Canadian Transportation Agency, under various Federal transportation Acts.
Section 2 of the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada Act establishes the Tribunal, and sets out its jurisdiction and decision-making authorities as provided by a variety of federal transportation legislation, including the Aeronautics Act, the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, the Marine Transportation Security Act, the Railway Safety Act, the Canada Transportation Act, the International Bridges and Tunnels Act,the Canada Marine Act,and the Navigation Protection Act.
The Tribunal's principal mandate is to hold Review and Appeal Hearings at the request of interested parties with respect to certain administrative actions taken under various Federal transportation Acts.
Program Objective and Description
The objective of the program is to provide the multi-modal transportation community with the opportunity to have enforcement and licensing decisions of the Minister of Transport reviewed by an independent, quasi-judicial body specialized in transportation law.
The Minister's enforcement and licensing decisions may include the issuance of orders, the imposition of monetary penalties or the suspension, cancellation, refusal to renew, or the refusal to issue or amend documents of entitlement on medical or other grounds. The person or corporation affected is referred to as the document holder.
These decisions are reviewed through an adjudicative process that includes Review Hearings and Appeal Hearings. All hearings are held expeditiously and informally, in accordance with the rules of natural justice.
At the conclusion of a hearing, the Tribunal may confirm the Minister's decision, substitute its own decision, or refer the matter back to the Minister for reconsideration.
It is noteworthy to mention that expanded jurisdiction over the past decade, combined with regulatory changes and increasing awareness of the Tribunal's role in the Federal transportation sector, have resulted in an increasing caseload that is expected to continue in the years ahead.
The Tribunal's Chairperson is also its Chief Executive Officer. The Chairperson is responsible for directing and supervising the work necessary to facilitate the functions of the Tribunal. The Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and immediate staff account for twelve full-time equivalents. As of the end of fiscal year 2014-2015, 29 part-time Members were in office. Members are drawn from across Canada and are appointed by Governor in Council on the basis of their transportation knowledge and expertise. During 2014-2015, five part-time Members were renewed and four new part-time Members were appointed.
The basic principles governing the Tribunal are those of independence and transportation expertise. The sound, competent, and comprehensive execution of the Tribunal's mandate determines its effectiveness in dealing with the national transportation community.
The Tribunal offers its services in both official languages of Canada. It is also itinerant, in the sense that its hearings take place throughout Canada, at the convenience of the parties to the extent possible.
In enforcement matters, the hearing generally takes place where the alleged infraction occurred, or the nearest practical alternative, so that witnesses for the parties may present themselves with minimum displacement costs.
In medical cases, hearings are held at a location nearest to the residence of the document holder which is accessible by commercial transportation.
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