Canadian Transportation Agency
The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) has three core mandates:
- to ensure that the national transportation system runs efficiently;
- to ensure the accessibility of the transportation system for persons with disabilities; and,
- to provide consumer protection for air passengers.
To advance these mandates, the Agency uses rule-making, dispute resolution and the provision of information as its key tools.
The Agency is an independent, quasi-judicial tribunal and regulator that has, with respect to all matters necessary for the exercise of its jurisdiction, all the powers of a superior court. The CTA is made up of five full-time Members; up to three temporary Members may also be named.
The Agency’s activities primarily align with these two themes:
- Enabling Economic Growth and Improving the Travel Experience for Canadians; and,
- Modernizing the Transport Portfolio
Chair & Chief Executive Officer: Scott Streiner
Vice-Chair and Member: Elizabeth C. Barker
Size: 240 employees
Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund
The Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund (SOPF), a special purpose account in the accounts of Canada, is established under Part 7 of the Marine Liability Act to pay compensation for claims related to losses or damage caused by ship-source oil pollution in Canadian waters.
The SOPF works as a fund of last resort or a fund of first resort — at the election of the claimant. The SOPF covers all classes of ships that discharge any type of oil and also covers claims for “mystery spills.” The SOPF is generally called upon to compensate claims for oil pollution response costs, or preventive measures taken to minimize damage caused by the discharge – or the risk of a discharge – of any type of oil. There is no limit on the amount of compensation available from the SOPF. Once compensation is paid to a claimant, the Administrator of the SOPF takes all reasonable measures to recover that payment from the ship-owner or any other responsible party.
For additional information, please refer to the SOPF Administrator's Website.
Canada’s marine oil pollution liability and compensation regime is based on the polluter pays principle and therefore holds ship-owners strictly liable for oil pollution damage caused by their ship. As such, the SOPF is funded by industry members and not from the Consolidated Revenue Fund and taxpayers.
The SOPF is governed by an Administrator, who is at arm’s length from the Government and has a duty to investigate and assess claims made to the SOPF and to make an offer of compensation to the claimant for whatever portion of the claim that the Administrator finds to be established and reasonable. The Administrator is appointed by the Governor in Council.
The SOPF is governed by the same Administrator as the Rail Fund, Ms. Anne Legars, who is at arm’s length from the Government. The Administrator is appointed by the Governor in Council.
The SOPF also fulfills Canada’s obligations to the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund in terms of reporting oil receipts, as well as paying Canada’s contributions to the international fund.
Fund for Railway Accidents Involving Designated Goods
The Fund for Railway Accidents Involving Designated Goods (Rail Fund) is a specified-purpose account managed by an arm’s-length Administrator who is appointed by Order in Council and who reports to Parliament through the Minister of Transport. The mandate of the Rail Fund is to assess and pay out compensation to Canadians in the event of a rail accident involving crude oil where the damages exceed a railway’s required insurance level.
Amendments to the Canada Transportation Act came into force in June 2016 to establish minimum mandatory levels of insurance for federally regulated railways hauling dangerous goods (including toxic inhalants) and to establish the Rail Fund to cover damages that are over and above railways’ mandatory insurance levels associated with an accident involving designated goods. Currently, crude oil is the only good designated under the Rail Fund.
The Rail Fund is governed by the same Administrator as the Ship-Source oil Pollution Fund, Ms. Anne Legars, who is at arm’s length from the Government. The Administrator is appointed by the Governor in Council.
The Rail Fund is financed through a levy, which crude oil shippers pay, and railways collect and pay to the Receiver General (via Transport Canada).