Response to Parliamentary Committees and External Audits

Response to parliamentary committees

On March 12, 2015, the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities issued its Fourth Report, "Review of the Canadian Transportation Safety Regime: Transportation of Dangerous Goods and Safety Management Systems."  The Report included 10 recommendations for the Government.  Transport Canada supports the findings of the study and will remain committed to continually improving the safe and secure transportation of dangerous goods, the safety of the extensive and continentally-integrated rail network and ensuring that the transportation industry is held to a high standard in terms of prevention and response, as well as ensuring adequate compensation should an accident occur. The detailed government response will be presented to the House of Commons during the summer of 2015.

On July 9, 2014, Transport Canada tabled its response to the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications’ Eighth Report: One Size Doesn't Fit All: The Future Growth and Competitiveness of Canadian Air Travel.  The report supports the Government’s ongoing assessment of the effectiveness of its policy approach to promote an air transportation system that can meet the future demands of Canadians and the economy while ensuring the safest, most secure, efficient and environmentally responsible air travel and cargo services possible.

Transport Canada has not received additional recommendations from any reports tabled by the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications that required a response during fiscal year 2014–15 or 2015–16.

Response to the Auditor General (including to the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development)

In 2012, the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development raised issues on climate change commitments with respect to the quality and success of the Government’s plan to reduce emissions.

Chapter 1 — Mitigating Climate Change examines these same issues, specifically, progress since 2012 to address emissions from the air, rail and marine sectors, both domestic and international.  The audit found Transport Canada’s progress to be satisfactory; however, while the audit recognizes Transport Canada’s participation in international negotiations to address emissions from aviation (through its membership in the International Civil Aviation Organization), shipping (through its membership in the International Maritime Organization) and railways through voluntary measures rather than regulations, the audit concludes that it is not clear whether or when these measures will lead to emission reductions.  The audit recommends that Transport Canada work with Environment Canada to publicly report the effects of the regulations currently in place to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  It also recommends that the department identify lessons learned from measuring the effects of these regulations in order to improve regulations to reduce emissions generated by transportation.

Chapter 3 — Marine Navigation in the Canadian Arctic examined whether the Government has adequately supported safe maritime transportation to mitigate the risk of spills in Arctic waters.  For Transport Canada, the audit focused on the use of surveillance and monitoring mechanisms of marine traffic spills, as well as strategies to guide policies, initiatives, and legislative responsibilities pertaining to the Arctic.  Overall, the audit found that Transport Canada has surveillance and monitoring mechanisms in place to support the enforcement of safety and pollution prevention laws for marine traffic in the Arctic; however, the audit notes that the required long-term, national and coordinated departmental strategy is lacking to support safe marine transportation in the Arctic.  It recommends that Transport Canada take a lead on initiatives already underway.  To this end, Transport Canada is working on tools for detecting hazardous and noxious substances, improving information about risks from small vessels, and better managing vessel traffic data.

Finally, in Chapter 5 — Departmental Progress in Implementing Sustainable Development Strategies, the audit looked at whether selected departments, including Transport Canada, are applying the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals and whether environmental considerations are properly integrated into proposals submitted to Cabinet for approval.  The audit found that Transport Canada is one of few departments audited that requires the Cabinet Directive to be applied to all proposals being submitted to the Minister, provides training to staff on this requirement, and tracks performance of its application.

Response to external audits conducted by the Public Service Commission of Canada or the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages

Not applicable

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