Minister Cannon announces outcome of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority Act review



    OTTAWA, Sept. 4 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister
of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today announced the first round
of decisions to strengthen aviation security, resulting from the Canadian Air
Transport Security Authority (CATSA) Act review.
    "Canada's New Government takes aviation security seriously," said
Minister Cannon. "These changes will ensure that CATSA continues to remain
focused on its mandate and play a key role in ensuring the safety and security
of all travellers passing through our airports. The decisions I am announcing
today, and those in the months ahead, will ensure that CATSA has the resources
and the direction needed to face the future."
    A three-member advisory panel reviewed the CATSA Act, and the report was
tabled in Parliament on December 12, 2006. In the report, the panel made over
40 recommendations, some of which will be implemented immediately. Other
recommendations with legislative and budgetary implications will require
additional time and effort over the next three years.

    The following major decisions were announced today:

    
    - Responsibility for aviation security will continue to rest with the
      Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. The panel's
      report stressed the importance of harmonizing aviation security with
      other aviation policies as well as security for other modes of
      transportation. The report indicated that Transport Canada has clearly
      demonstrated capacity and competence in dealing with the dual roles of
      transportation and security.
    - CATSA will continue as a Crown Corporation to allow it to retain
      greater administrative flexibility, close ties with industry partners,
      and governance oversight by a board of directors, while still reporting
      to Parliament through the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and
      Communities.
    - CATSA's activities will be focused on its core aviation security-
      screening role: the effective and efficient screening of persons who
      access aircraft or restricted areas through screening points, the
      property in their possession or control, and the belongings or baggage
      that they give to an air carrier for transport.
    - The administration of the Canadian Air Carrier Protective Program,
      which assigns RCMP officers on board selected domestic and
      international flights, will be transferred to the RCMP as of April 1,
      2008.
    - The Airport Policing Contribution Program, which ensures that Class 1
      airports have protective policing and security arrangements for key
      areas, will be transferred to Transport Canada as of April 1, 2008.
    - CATSA will retain responsibility for the Restricted Area Identity Card
      Program, due to the operational nature of the program, while Transport
      Canada will remain responsible for defining the requirements of the
      program and ensuring overall regulatory compliance.

    "I would like to thank the panel members for their dedication, and I would
also like to thank the many stakeholders who contributed to this process,"
added Minister Cannon. "I am confident that these decisions will help CATSA
fulfill its mandate focused on core aviation security-screening functions, and
I am looking forward to working with CATSA to implement these changes."
    The CATSA Act created CATSA, a federal Crown Corporation responsible for
the delivery of several key aviation security services. The Act came into
force on April 1, 2002, and requires that the Minister of Transport complete a
review of the provisions and operation of the legislation during its
fifth year and report to Parliament on the results.
    The advisory panel's final report can be found at
www.tc.gc.ca/tcss/catsa/toc_e.htm.
    Additional information related to CATSA and its current mandate can be
found at www.catsa-acsta.gc.ca.

    A backgrounder on the CATSA Act review is attached.

                                 Backgrounder
                                 ------------
                                 ------------

             CANADIAN AIR TRANSPORT SECURITY AUTHORITY ACT REVIEW
             ----------------------------------------------------

    On November 23, 2005, the Minister of Transport announced the appointment
of a three-member advisory panel to assist him in conducting a review of the
Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) Act. The Minister of
Transport is required, by virtue of section 33 of the CATSA Act, to complete a
review of the provisions and operation of the legislation and to report to
Parliament on the results by March 31, 2007.
    Mr. Reg Whitaker served as chair of the advisory panel, while
Mr. Jacques Bourgault and Mr. Chern Heed served as panelists. The review
examined the provisions and operation of the Act to ensure that the current
legislation provides a sound and adequate statutory basis for CATSA's air
transport security mandate. The Minister also sought the panel's advice on
future aviation security requirements and other developments that may have an
impact on the authority's future operations.
    The role of the advisory panel was to conduct independent study and
analysis, to undertake consultations, and to prepare a report for the Minister
with recommendations and observations. The panel consulted CATSA and Transport
Canada, as well as stakeholders - including air carriers, airport operators,
industry associations, air travellers, labour organizations, law enforcement
agencies and provincial authorities, as well as other federal government
departments and agencies. The panel held a series of meetings across Canada
where individuals and groups could present their views and also solicited
written submissions from interested parties.
    Their report was tabled in Parliament on December 12, 2006. In the report,
the panel made over 40 recommendations. Some of them will be implemented
immediately, while others will take substantial time and effort over the next
three years. Seven recommendations that relate specifically to the machinery
of government required the Prime Minister's approval, including those related
to aviation screening services and the governance and accountability regime.
The Prime Minister approved all actions recommended by the Minister of
Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.

    The recommendations and the resulting decisions announced today are:

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Recommendation by CATSA Act         Decision by Minister of Transport,
    Review Advisory Panel               Infrastructure and Communities
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Responsibility for aviation         Responsibility for aviation security
    security should remain with the     will remain with Minister of
    Minister of Transport,              Transport, Infrastructure and
    Infrastructure and Communities.     Communities.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    CATSA should either remain a        CATSA will continue as a Crown
    Crown Corporation, or be            corporation.
    transformed into a departmental
    corporation.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    CATSA should retain its current     CATSA's activities will be focused
    screening mandates in the           on its core aviation security-
    broadest sense of screening, that   screening role, specifically, the
    is screening of people and          effective and efficient screening
    things, and CATSA should be         of persons who access aircraft or
    considered as the first option      restricted areas through screening
    for all future aviation screening   points, the property in their
    functions.                          possession or control, and the
                                        belongings or baggage that they give
                                        to an air carrier for transport.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    CATSA's mandate should be amended   CATSA's mandate will be focused
    to remove responsibility for        on core aviation security screening
    managing funding for the Canadian   services.
    Air Carrier Protective Program
    (CACPP). In future, funding for     The CACPP will be transferred
    the CACPP should be provided via    to the RCMP as of April 1, 2008.
    appropriations directly to the
    RCMP or through Transport Canada.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Responsibility for the Airport      The Airport Policing Contribution
    Policing Contribution Program       Program will be transferred to
    should be transferred to            Transport Canada as of April 1,
    Transport Canada.                   2008.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Once CATSA has completed            Contrary to the advisory panel's
    implementation of the Restricted    recommendation, the administration
    Area Identity Card (RAIC), the      of the RAIC system will remain with
    RAIC national identity              CATSA, as it is strongly linked
    verification system should be       to their core aviation security
    operated and maintained by          screening mandate.
    Transport Canada.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    All three options for CATSA to      All three options for CATSA to
    deliver screening services should   deliver screening services will
    remain in the CATSA Act.            remain in the CATSA Act.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The CATSA Act came into force on April 1, 2002, and resulted in the
creation of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, a direct
consequence of the events of September 11, 2001.

    The advisory panel's final report can be found at
www.tc.gc.ca/tcss/catsa/toc_e.htm.

                                                              September 2007
    




For further information:

For further information: Natalie Sarafian, Press Secretary, Office of
the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (613)
991-0700; Julia Ukrintz, Communications, Transport Canada, Ottawa, (613)
993-0055; Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news
releases and speeches at www.tc.gc.ca/listserv/and keep up-to-date on the
latest from Transport Canada. This news release may be made available in
alternative formats for persons with visual disabilities.


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