Canadian Transportation Agency

Last updated
Canadian Transportation Agency
Office des transports du Canada
Terrasses de la Chaudiere.jpg
Headquarters in the Jules Léger Building in Terrasses de la Chaudière
Agency overview
Formed1904;117 years ago (1904) [1]
Jurisdiction Government of Canada
Headquarters Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
Agency executive
  • France Pégeot, Chair and CEO (June 1, 2021) [2]

The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA; French : Office des transports du Canada, OTC) is the independent, quasi-judicial tribunal of the Government of Canada that makes decisions relating to federally-regulated modes of transportation (air, rail and marine). Its headquarters are in the Jules Léger Building (South) (Édifice Jules Léger (Sud)) in Terrasses de la Chaudière, Gatineau, Quebec. [3]


It is responsible for:

The agency is divided into five branches: Chair's Office; Corporate Management Branch; Legal and Alternative Dispute Resolution Services Branch; Dispute Resolution Branch; Industry Regulation and Determinations Branch.

The agency is headed by five full-time members, including the chairman and chief executive officer, and the vice chairman.


The history of the Canadian Transportation Agency originates in February 1904 with the establishment of the Board of Railway Commissioners, an independent body with regulatory authority over railway, and later with jurisdiction over telegraphs, telephones, and express companies. [1]

The Board of Railway Commissioners was replaced by the Board of Transportation Commissioners through the Transport Act in 1938; this new agency held authority over inland waterways and airlines in addition to those jurisdictions inherited by the Board of Railway Commissioners. On 11 September 1944, amendments to the Transport Act provided for "the removal of commercial air services from the jurisdiction of the Board of Transport Commissioners." At the same time, the Aeronautics Act created a new Air Transport Board to provide licensing and regulatory functions. [1]

In 1967, National Transportation Act became law and established the Canadian Transport Commission (CTC)—absorbing most of the members and staff from the previous Board of Transport Commissioners, the Air Transport Board, and the Canadian Maritime Commission—with Jack Pickersgill as president. The CTC was given mandate over all modes of transportation in Canada, "with the object of co-ordinating and harmonizing the operations of all carriers engaged in transport by railways, water, aircraft, extra-provincial motor vehicle transport and commodity pipelines." [1]

In 1988, the new National Transportation Act overhauled the CTC and replaced it with the National Transportation Agency. On 1996 May 29, the Canada Transportation Act, [4] also known as Bill C-14 (formerly C-101), received royal assent and established the Canadian Transportation Agency, which began operations on July 2. [1]

Consumer responsibilities were expanded in 2000, when the post of Air Travel Complaints Commissioner was created under its stewardship. The first Air Travel Complaints Commissioner was Bruce Hood, a former veteran National Hockey League referee.

In 2020, the agency received 8000 complaints between March and September over airline policies to issue travel vouchers rather than refunds for passengers cancelling their flight bookings during the COVID-19 pandemic. [5] The CTA posted on their website that airlines could issue travel vouchers instead of refunds, which caused Air Passenger Rights, an advocacy association, to file a lawsuit for CTA to remove this statement. [6]


Canada Transportation Act
Parliament of Canada
Citation S.C. 1996, c. 10
Royal assent May 29, 1996
Effective July 1, 1996
Administered byCanadian Transportation Agency
Legislative history
Bill Bill C-14 (formerly C-101)
Third reading March 25, 1996
Status: Amended

The Canada Transportation Act [4] is the Agency's enabling statute to implement the federal government's transportation policy. [7]

The Agency also shares responsibility for administering other Acts and their related regulations, including: [7]

Certificate of Fitness

The CTA is responsible for the issuance of a Certificate of Fitness for each federal railway. [8] A board is required to evaluate details like insurance coverage, without which the railway cannot maintain its Certificate of Fitness.

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "At the Heart of Transportation: A Moving History". 12 June 2017.
  2. "Transport Minister Alghabra announces appointment of the Canadian Transportation Agency Chairperson". May 7, 2021.
  3. "Phone, email and mailing address | Canadian Transportation Agency". 3 June 2013. Archived from the original on May 23, 2018. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  4. 1 2 Canada Transportation Act
  5. Canadian Press (September 1, 2020). "Few people are flying during COVID-19 but that hasn't stopped complaints about airlines from soaring". CBC. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
  6. Ghobrial, Adrian; Teneriello, Tina. "The fight to get refunds from Canadian airlines during the coronavirus pandemic". CityNews. Retrieved 2020-12-20.
  7. 1 2 Toolkit, Web Experience (2019-09-09). "List of Acts and Regulations". Retrieved 2021-09-08.
  8. "Rail certificates of fitness (licences)". 25 May 2017. Retrieved May 23, 2018.