CANADA TRANSPORTATION ACT REVIEW
The CTA, which came into effect in 1996, required a comprehensive review to be undertaken within four years.
The CTA Review Panel began its work July 1, 2000, and was given a one-year mandate to review the economic regulation of transportation activities. The minister asked that the panel consider: the effectiveness of the legislative and regulatory environment to sustain capital expenditures required to enhance productivity and promote innovation; support for Canadian transportation stakeholders in meeting global logistics requirements and adapting to the new e-business environment; public policy issues that may emerge from newly arising industry structures; government powers to support sustainable development projects; and the advisability of measures to preserve urban rail corridors for future mass-transit use.
Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce Recommendations:
- Allow market forces in a competitive environment to be the foundation of the national transportation policy and the basis of economic regulation.
- Look to the Competition Act as the over-riding policy framework. The role of the Canada Transportation Act and the Minister of Transport in economic regulation is to support competition through oversight of the transportation industries.
- Include policy considerations, such as safety (the Minister of Transport’s primary responsibility), sustainability and accessibility, under other legislation. While important, they are simply criteria that actions under the overall statement of transportation policy should respect.
- Set out a legislative framework in a new CTA that applies equally to all transportation modes. While regulations may vary depending on the transportation mode, the under-lying principles should be the same.
- Establish a common legislative framework for infrastructure operators. This would govern the issue of rail access and ensure it is covered by principles equally applicable to all transportation modes.
- Provide dedicated sources of financing for infrastructure provided or funded by the public sector. Fuel taxes should be recognized as user fees and dedicated to the support of the specific transportation modes which generated the revenue. The corollary is that fuel tax rates should be reduced where revenue is in excess of program needs.
- Provide a competitive environment, which supports the application of market forces in the governance of industry behaviour to the benefit of transportation users. This can be done by providing service alternatives or through the effective threat of new entry.
Adopted by The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce board of directors, January 2001