Canadian Transportation Agency 2006 Annual Report: A year of progress towards an accessible and efficient transportation system



    OTTAWA, June 6 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Transportation Agency has
released its latest Annual Report to Parliament describing its various
activities, including some 3,500 rulings made during 2006. The report, tabled
in Parliament by Transport, Infrastructure and Communities Minister Lawrence
Cannon, is available on the Agency's Web site at www.cta.gc.ca.
    During 2006, the Agency continued to resolve transportation-related
disputes, including those between shippers and railways; air travellers and
airlines; and persons with disabilities and federally-regulated passenger
carriers.
    "We get thousands of applications every year, simple and complex, said
Geoffrey C. Hare, the Agency's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, but each
and every one of them is equally important to those affected."
    Among the major rulings during the year was the Agency's finding that
passenger fees fixed by the Nanaimo Port Authority (NPA) in British Columbia
were unjustly discriminatory. The complaints concerned widely different ranges
of fees charged for passengers travelling on float planes, fast ferries and
provincially-operated BC Ferries. (In an outcome not yet known at the time of
the Annual Report's writing, the Federal Court of Appeal upheld this Agency
decision by dismissing an NPA appeal on May 30, 2007.)
    In the rail transportation sector, the Agency determined that both the
Canadian National Railway Company (CN) and the Canadian Pacific Railway
Company (CPR) had exceeded their prescribed revenue caps for the movement of
Western grain. This marked the first time since inception of the revenue caps
in 2000 that both railways had exceeded the maximum amounts they were entitled
to.
    The year also saw Air Canada, as a result of the Agency's complaint
adjudication process, announce that it would enhance its reservation system to
give persons with disabilities a greater variety of options when booking their
travel online.
    Still with accessible transportation, the Agency developed the fifth in a
series of Codes of Practice intended to remove accessibility barriers for
persons with disabilities in air, rail and marine passenger terminals. The
Agency's new Code and an accompanying Guide will be officially launched later
this month.
    The Agency's 2006 Annual Report also contains a more detailed section on
air travel complaints, the volume of which increased slightly over the
previous year. The number of complaints is approximately consistent with the
relative market share of domestic and foreign air carriers and the increased
use of air travel by Canadians.
    Major air-related rulings by the Agency focused on air carrier liability
related to the carriage of animals, mandatory check-in times at airports and
airline surcharges for the transportation and handling of firearms.

    The Canadian Transportation Agency is a quasi-judicial tribunal which
administers the Government of Canada's legislation and policies for
maintaining an economic, efficient and accessible system of transportation
within Canada.




For further information:

For further information: Marc Comeau, Acting Director, Communications,
(819) 953-9961; This annual report is available in multiple formats on
request. To keep up-to-date with our latest news releases and other
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