Transport Canada - Regulatory Interpretation Policy
This Policy outlines the commitments, practices, and tools relevant to Transport Canada (TC) when providing the Canadian public and businesses with information and guidance on regulatory obligations, including the conditions under which written responses to questions will be provided.
Transport Canada serves the public interest through a legislative framework that promotes a safe, secure, efficient and environmentally responsible transportation system in Canada. To this effect, TC has developed compliance and enforcement strategies and tools, including this Interpretation Policy, to encourage consistent application of rules and regulations by TC officials, and to facilitate compliance by stakeholders.
Plain Language Commitment
Transport Canada commits to:
Providing Guidance and Building Awareness
Transport Canada regularly reaches out to stakeholders to build awareness and understanding of regulatory requirements via a variety of tools, including consultations and posting of guidance and information materials online. Examples include:
This includes guidance materials related to marine safety. Examples include:
- Rail Safety’s online references include frequently asked questions, publications, information on railway safety regulations, rules and standards, Transport Canada enforcement actions and measures to mitigate threats to railway safety, and contact information.
- The Transportation of Dangerous Goods Directorate develops various materials to raise awareness on important issues involving the transportation of dangerous goods. The material is used to communicate useful information, clarify requirements, and answer regulatory questions. These awareness documents are intended for use by the regulated, response and enforcement communities, as well as industry and the general public. In addition, the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Directorate releases twice a year a Newsletter to inform Canadians on regulatory issues. The Newsletter is available upon request and distributed free of charge to more than 23,000 readers in Canada and abroad.
Additionally, resources can also be found on TC’s website that provides guidance and clarification on compliance with specific legislative requirements. TC has developed the following compliance and enforcement policies in support of its mandate. These policies also serve to develop clear and enforceable regulations in a collaborative manner and by responding to stakeholder questions in a consistent and predictable way. Examples include:
Responding to Questions
Transport Canada is committed to issuing timely, accurate and helpful responses to specific enquiries from stakeholders. TC will respond to these inquiries using the same communication method used by the inquiring party.
Transport Canada pledges to serve with respect and courtesy; offer accurate, timely and helpful service; and address requests quickly and effectively.
Transport Canada made a commitment through its Service Charter to provide quality service to clients, companies, government departments, local government, interest groups and individuals. The Service Charter applies to all services the department offers.
In addressing challenges where service and/or guidance could be improved, TC has recently developed documents that support and strengthen internal consistency (e.g., the TC Directive on Safety and Security Oversight) to enhance existing internal mechanisms to deliver a more consistent, clear, effective and measurable service to Canadians. Transport Canada encourages stakeholders to request assistance to their issues by contacting either an identified departmental representative or by calling a communications center or the nearest enforcement office, as applicable.
Through programs such as the Service Improvement Team Strategy, the department will continue to support its staff by providing the necessary training to deliver high quality, professional services while providing information on regulatory requirements.
Commitment to Stakeholder Engagement
Transport Canada pledges to engage stakeholders, as appropriate, when developing, reviewing or refining practices and materials for providing information and guidance on regulatory compliance and answering questions.
Stakeholder Engagement Practices
Transport Canada will continue to use consultation mechanisms such as advisory groups to engage stakeholders in the development and review of regulatory information and guidance. Examples include:
Transport Canada commits to:
The FAQs below are meant to provide Canadians and businesses with basic information about Transport Canada’s 10 most accessed regulations.
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