Minister-led Roundtable: Safer Transportation - Table Setter


July 12, 2016, 9:30AM to 11:30AM |Dartmouth, NS

Table Setter

Discussion Purpose

To hear perspectives on the longer-term agenda for transportation in Canada that supports the Government’s objectives for economic growth, a cleaner economy, and a country that remains well-positioned to compete globally.

Roundtable Objective

Explore with stakeholders what types of ministerial risk-management powers, in addition to regulations, would support their exploration and development of new technologies currently not foreseen in regulatory frameworks.

Explore capacity of industries to develop consensus based regulatory proposals for consideration by the Minister.

Explore service and fees models.

Explore opportunities to integrate modal operations and eliminate unnecessary differences in oversight regimes, which should be risk-based, and make better use of big data in strategic planning and priority-setting as well as day-to-day program operations.


  • Globalization is forcing national regulatory regimes to harmonize with each other when all jurisdictions are coping with surging volumes in passengers and cargo, new technologies and security threats to transportation systems.
  • Emergent technologies (both good and negative) challenge the existing regulatory system to be more flexible while ensuring a minimum of risk to passengers.
  • Nature of risk continues to shift and risks are becoming more difficult to anticipate. As a result, regulatory systems need to shift from their current retrospective, reactive and static approaches to those that are more proactive, flexible, and/or customized for given risk circumstances.
  • Changing composition of cargo and volumes associated with transportation of dangerous goods (TDG) require proactive monitoring and action.
  • Increasing public awareness and scrutiny of transportation activities highlights importance of effective consultations, response and oversight in gaining public confidence.

Defining Objectives for the Future

Promoting innovation and new technologies while ensuring Safety and Security. Emerging technologies require flexible and adaptable regulatory frameworks to keep pace with change and enable innovation. When regulatory frameworks lag business practices, it can sometimes act as a barrier to innovation, and hinder Canadian industry’s ability to benefit from new market opportunities.

Improving governing instruments and strengthening oversight practices and tools to ensure that risk management is timely and effective. Consistent practices across programs ensure that stakeholders know what is expected of them and the role they can play to achieve maximum safety and security in the transportation system.

Key Index Question

How can we maintain the safety and security of travelers and communities while supporting innovation and growth?

Roundtable Discussion Questions

  1. How could the regulatory framework and the resulting safety & security programs be improved to foster a transportation system that is more nimble and able to adapt to new risks and emerging technology?
  2. What can be the role of government, industry, users and others in moving to a more nimble approach? How can we anticipate innovation better?
  3. How can we foster harmonization of laws and regulations between provinces/territories/internationally in the “supply chain”?
  4. Do we have the right mechanisms for collaboration? How can we work with you better?