Advisory Committee on Accessible Transportation

Terms of Reference

Role Statement

Through consultation between the federal transportation industry and representatives of seniors and persons with disabilities:

  1. Identify obstacles and emerging issues in the national transportation system that impact on accessibility for seniors and persons with disabilities.

  2. Advise on accessibility issues and initiatives as requested by the Minister.


Industry membership shall be offered to transportation industry associations and some major carriers/operators in the transportation system under federal jurisdiction.

  • The Air Transport Association of Canada, National Airlines Council of Canada, Canadian Airports Council (invited), Air Canada Jazz, WestJet, Air Canada and Air Transat

  • Motor Coach Canada, L'Association des propriétaires d'autobus du Québec, Canadian Bus Association and Greyhound Canada

  • Railway Association of Canada and VIA Rail

  • The Canadian Ferry Operators Association and Marine Atlantic

Consumer membership shall include 9 positions; two seniors, one each for hearing, vision, mobility, and learning disabilities, one for service animal users, and two at-large positions.

All appointments of consumer members are made on a personal basis.  Consumer members represent the interests of seniors and persons with disabilities, not particular associations or organizations.

Two consumer members-at-large may be chosen by Transport Canada to ensure balance in gender and regional representation, and to fill gaps in specialized knowledge or skills to promote a well-rounded committee.

Term of Office

The term of office for consumer members will be established at three years, with the opportunity for extension or a renewal of one term.


The Advisory Committee on Accessible Transportation (ACAT) meetings are departmental business and closed to non-members. 

Transport Canada may invite observers from appropriate government departments and agencies, e.g. Canadian Transportation Agency, Canadian Human Rights Commission, and Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, depending upon the agenda items under discussion.

Transport Canada may invite representatives of the appropriate provincial/territorial ministries to attend ACAT meetings to encourage federal/provincial collaboration.


Transport Canada will establish the agenda, while including the opportunity for industry and consumer members to identify obstacles and emerging issues in the transportation system.

One meeting per year will be held in Ottawa, generally in the spring.  Members will be required to volunteer up to 3 days; two days for travel to and from Ottawa if necessary and 1 day for the meeting itself.

A second consultation may be undertaken during the year if required by the department, and could be conducted electronically or via teleconference.

An independent facilitator will chair ACAT meetings.

Information Technology

Communication with members will be conducted predominantly via email and meeting documents will be circulated in advance in electronic format.  All information will be available in alternate formats.

Meeting Report

The department will prepare a short annual report that provides a concise overview of the committee's deliberations, including response to matters submitted to the committee for advice.


Travel and accommodation costs incurred by consumer members to attend ACAT meetings in Ottawa will be reimbursed by Transport Canada in accordance with the current Government of Canada policy (

Hotel and air or rail transportation for consumers will be paid for directly by the department.  Consumers must pay for their meals, incidentals, and local transportation, and will be reimbursed for these expenses upon verification of an expense claim following the meeting. Travel to Ottawa via intercity bus must also be paid for and then reimbursed to the consumer members since this type of travel cannot be prepaid by the department.

The department does not cover the travel and accommodation costs incurred by industry members.

Members are not remunerated for services rendered.

Roles and Expectations of Members

Committee members will fulfill the role of ACAT by:

  • Demonstrating preparedness for meetings

  • Fostering and contributing to an open, collaborative climate

  • Actively providing constructive input to the deliberations

  • Drawing on their knowledge and experience to provide informed input into the discussions

  • Maintaining a good attendance record

  • Abiding by the Conflict of Interest guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Application for membership on ACAT will include a Conflict of Interest declaration.

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