Policy Instruments
by Pierre-Laurent Samson, Civil Aviation Safety Inspector, Regulatory Affairs, Policy and Regulatory Services, Civil Aviation, Transport Canada

The Cabinet Directive on Streamlining Regulation(CDSR) issued by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) came into effect on April 1, 2007. It introduces specific requirements for the development, implementation, evaluation and review of regulations that federal departments (i.e. Transport Canada) must comply with.

One of the requirements the CDSR re-affirms is the obligation federal departments have to identify and justify the appropriateness of regulatory and non-regulatory instrument (s) they choose to achieve policy objectives.

This article will categorize instruments and explain where, in the Civil Aviation regulatory process, they should be identified and justified.

The Guide to Making Federal Acts and Regulations divides instruments in five groups (see chart):

  • laws and regulations;
  • information;
  • capacity building;
  • economic instruments (including taxes, fees and public expenditure); and
  • organizational structures.

Laws and regulations guide behaviour by telling people how things are to be done. They may be formulated as precise requirements or as performance standards, setting objectives that people or organizations are responsible for meeting.

Economic instruments affect how people behave in the marketplace. They include taxes, fees, public expenditure, the creation of exclusive or limited rights (i.e. marketable permits, licences or marketing quotas that acquire value because they can be bought and sold), insurance requirements, which can compel industries to assess and reduce risks to ensure that their products are priced to cover the costs of insurance or preventive measures, etc.

Organizational structures support the use of other instruments by providing for their administration. Organizational instruments include departmental structures to deliver programs, framework agreements and partnerships with other governments or organizations, privatization or commercialization of government services, public investment in private enterprises, etc.

As instruments are mutually supportive and are often more effective when used in conjunction, they can be optimized through combination and timing. For example, an information campaign can develop awareness of a problem and prepare the way for a regulatory solution, or a combination of economic incentives with information and education may be enough to solve an issue without turning to regulations as a solution.

Though the TBS does not prescribe the manner in which departments and agencies demonstrate and justify their choice of instrument (s), the CDSR makes the instrument’s identification and justification one of the first steps regulators must take when implementing policy objectives.

"Departments and agencies are to...identify the appropriate instrument or mix of instruments, including regulatory and non-regulatory measures, and justify their application before submitting a regulatory proposal..."

CDSR-Selecting the appropriate mix of government instruments

Civil Aviation has chosen risk assessments as its means of identifying viable instruments. The TBS will, therefore, expect Civil Aviation to demonstrate through a risk assessment that all applicable instruments were considered before choosing the regulatory option.

The CDSR further requires departments and agencies to consider the potential impact of regulation at an early stage in the process. The following four points will have to be assessed every time Civil Aviation is confronted with a policy issue:

  • "potential impact of the regulation on health and safety, security, the environment, and the social and economic well-being of Canadians;
  • cost or savings to government, business, or Canadians and the potential impact on the Canadian economy and its international competitiveness;
  • potential impact on other federal departments or agencies, other governments in Canada, or on Canada’s foreign affairs; and
  • degree of interest, contention, and support among affected parties and Canadians."

    CDSR 3.1-Regulatory Process Requirements

Policy Instruments

The risk assessment will, therefore, have to provide an estimate of the expected impact the considered instruments would have on different aspects of the Canadian fabric (i.e. health, safety, security, the environment) and on the Canadian economy(i.e. the cost or savings to government, business, and Canadians through the cost/benefit analysis of each appropriate instrument).

For more information on policy instruments, visit Assessing, Selecting, and Implementing Instruments for Government Action at For more information on the CDSR, visit: The Guide to Making Federal Acts and Regulations can be found on the Privy Council Office Web site, at:

Removal of Sanctions
by Jean-François Mathieu, LL.B., Chief, Aviation Enforcement, Standards, Civil Aviation, Transport Canada

Pursuant to section 8.3 of the Aeronautics Act, any notation of suspension of a Canadian aviation document by the Minister or any notation of a monetary penalty imposed may be removed from the record on request from the person affected by the suspension or monetary penalty, provided that:

  1. at least two years have transpired since the date the suspension expired or the penalty amount was paid;
  2. no additional suspension or monetary penalty has been recorded against that person after that date; and
  3. the removal of the record would not be contrary to the interest of aviation safety or security.

Where a person is the subject of an investigation at the time of the request for the removal of sanction, the request may be denied in the interest of aviation safety or security.

A person who has requested the removal of a notation of sanction that has been denied by the Minister may request a review before the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada (TATC). A denied application for a removal of sanction cannot be resubmitted until an additional two-year period has expired from the date of the original application. If a person makes an application for the removal of a notation of sanction within a reasonable time before the two-year waiting period has expired, the application will be retained and acted on when the two-year limit has been reached.

A removal of a notation of sanction means the de-identification of the enforcement file by erasing the person’s name and related personal information, as well as any reference to the notation of sanction from other records.

To initiate the action of removing a notation of sanction from a person’s enforcement file, the person must make a request in writing to the Regional Manager, Aviation Enforcement. The Chief, Aviation Enforcement will notify the applicant, on behalf of the Minister, by registered mail as to whether or not the notation of sanction has been removed.

Blackfly Air - Click to enlarge
Click on image above to enlarge.

Transport Canada’s
Safety Management Systems (SMS) Information Session

Hilton Toronto Airport Hotel
September 24–25, 2008

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