Enforcement actions used by Transport Canada

Enforcement actions

Designated Transport Canada officers take these actions to respond when regulated parties don’t comply with the rules.

To choose an enforcement action, officers consider a number of factors. For example:

  • How severe was the violation?
  • Did the regulated party know they were in violation?
  • What is the party’s compliance history?
  • Did they cooperate with inspectors?

Officers may choose from the following actions:

  • verbal warning
  • written warning
  • written notice
  • corrective action plan
  • ticket
  • administrative monetary penalty
  • assurance of compliance
  • prosecution

For definitions of each, see Annex A.

Note: Due to differences in their authorities, the above actions are not available to all programs.

Immediate measures to reduce risk

When designated Transport Canada officers determine, through a risk assessment, that there could be an immediate threat to the safety or security of the transportation system, they take immediate risk reduction measures to mitigate the situation.
Immediate risk reduction measures include:

  • detention or grounding
  • notices or orders
  • ministerial orders
  • directions
  • public interest suspensions (of certificates or licences)
  • medical suspensions (of certificates or licences)

For definitions of each, see Annex A.

Note: Due to differences in their authorities, the above actions are not available to all programs.

Enforcement Actions by Statute

Statute Relevant
TC Program(s)
Enforcement Actions in Law or Regulations
Corrective action plan Ticket Administrative
monetary penalty
Assurance of
compliance
Prosecution Punitive
suspension
Aeronautics Act Civil Aviation
Aviation Security
Yes No Yes No Yes Yes
Canada Shipping Act, 2001 Marine Safety Yes Yes** Yes Yes Yes Yes
Marine Transportation Security Act Marine Security No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Railway Safety Act Rail Safety Yes Yes** Yes No Yes Yes
Motor Vehicle Safety Act Motor Vehicle Safety No No Yes* No Yes No
Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act Transportation of Dangerous Goods No Yes No No Yes Yes
International Bridges and Tunnels Act Intermodal Surface Security & Emergency Preparedness No No Yes No Yes No
Canadian Navigable Waters Act Navigation Protection Program No Yes** Yes Yes Yes No
Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act Navigation Protection Program No No Yes Yes Yes Yes

* Not yet in force / ** Not enforced by TC

Immediate Risk Reduction Measures by Statute

Statute TC Program(s) Immediate Risk Reduction Measures in Law or Regulations
Detention Ministerial Order Directions / Notice / Order Public interest
suspension
Medical suspension
Aeronautics Act Civil Aviation
Aviation Security
Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Canada Shipping Act, 2001 Marine Safety Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Marine Transportation Security Act Marine Security Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Railway Safety Act Rail Safety No Yes Yes No No
Motor Vehicle Safety Act Motor Vehicle Safety Yes Yes Yes No No
Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act Transportation of Dangerous Goods Yes Yes Yes Yes No
International Bridges and Tunnels Act Intermodal Surface Security & Emergency Preparedness No Yes Yes No No
Canadian Navigable Waters Act Navigation Protection Program No Yes Yes Yes No
Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act Navigation Protection Program Yes Yes Yes No No

* Not yet in force / ** Not enforced by TC

Annex A: Definitions

Term Definition
Administrative monetary penalty A monetary penalty imposed on a regulated party for violating legislation or regulations administered and enforced by Transport Canada.
Assurance of compliance A legally binding agreement the Minister of Transport enters into with a regulated party. The party acknowledges non-compliance and agrees to take corrective action in a specified period. The Minister may require the party to pay security to ensure compliance.
Corrective action plan (CAP) A plan submitted by a regulated party in response to a request by a Transport Canada officer. The plan outlines how the party proposes to address a non-compliance and ensure they comply in future.
Detention

A written direction Transport Canada issues to a regulated party, which prevents the following from moving:

  • a motor vehicle
  • an aircraft
  • a vessel
  • a container used in or for transport, and/or goods contained in these modes of transport
Direction or order

Either a written notice issued by a Transport Canada officer, or an order issued by a court. Always issued under a specific statutory authority.

Directs a regulated party to:

  • use any means necessary to remedy a non-compliance, and/or
  • stop an activity or do other activities, to reduce danger to public safety

The notice names what the party must do to comply with the order.

Ministerial Order An order made by the Minister to manage risk in specific situations. These include interim orders.
Non-compliance A contravention of the legislative or regulatory requirements Transport Canada enforces.
Notice and order (Rail Safety) A notice that includes an order. A railway safety officer may include an order when they believe a threat is immediate. The inspector can either restrict the local railway company or railway company’s operations, or allow it to continue under certain terms and conditions.
Notice of violation A form issued to levy an administrative monetary penalty against a regulated party. Details the violation, the regulated party and the penalty amount.
Person Any individual, corporation or partnership, sole proprietorship, trust or other unincorporated organization capable of doing business.
Prosecution An action or proceeding instituted in a court on behalf of the public. Done to secure the conviction, on summary conviction or indictment, and punishment of a person for a crime.
Regulated asset

An asset a person owns or controls. Subject to regulation pursuant to legislation under Transport Canada’s purview.

Complete list of regulated assets under the law:

  • aircraft
  • aerodrome
  • aeronautical product
  • aircraft equipment
  • international bridge and/or tunnel
  • vessel
  • marine facility
  • port
  • navigable water
  • rail maintenance facility
  • rail station
  • rail yard
  • rail equipment
  • rail track
  • rail tunnel
  • rail bridge
  • rail crossing
  • rail signal
  • manufacturing facility
  • transport container
  • motor vehicle
  • car seats
  • tires
  • inspection location
  • intangible asset
Regulated party A person subject to regulation pursuant to legislation under Transport Canada’s purview.
Suspending, cancelling or revoking a licence or operating certificate (punitive) When the Minister of Transport serves notice to a regulated party that Transport Canada has suspended, cancelled or revoked their licence or certificate as the result of the regulated party not coming into compliance, or failing to pay an administrative monetary penalty.
Public interest suspension A suspension given in the public’s interest. Relates to protecting the public and people who use the transportation system.
Medical suspension A suspension given when the applicant fails to comply with medical requirements.
Ticket Issued to a regulated party pursuant to the Contraventions Act.
Verbal warning Warning and/or counselling provided orally by a Transport Canada officer. Identifies non-compliance and encourages the regulated party to comply.
Written notice A document sent by a Transport Canada officer to a regulated party. Identifies non-compliance and encourages the regulated party to comply. Often indicates that failure to comply may result in more serious penalties.
Written warning Document provided by a Transport Canada officer to a regulated party. Typically issued when the officer identifies a non-compliance. Gives Gives written notice to the party to comply with the requirements. May also indicate that failing to comply may result in more serious penalties.