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Canada Transportation Act (S.C. 1996, c. 10)

Act current to 2021-06-28 and last amended on 2020-06-10. Previous Versions

Canada Transportation Act

S.C. 1996, c. 10

Assented to 1996-05-29

An Act to continue the National Transportation Agency as the Canadian Transportation Agency, to consolidate and revise the National Transportation Act, 1987 and the Railway Act and to amend or repeal other Acts as a consequence

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Canada Transportation Act.

Her Majesty

Marginal note:Binding on Her Majesty

 This Act is binding on Her Majesty in right of Canada or a province.


Marginal note:Application generally

 This Act applies in respect of transportation matters under the legislative authority of Parliament.

Marginal note:Conflicts

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), where there is a conflict between any order or regulation made under this Act in respect of a particular mode of transportation and any rule, order or regulation made under any other Act of Parliament in respect of that particular mode of transportation, the order or regulation made under this Act prevails.

  • Marginal note:Competition Act

    (2) Subject to subsection (3), nothing in or done under the authority of this Act, other than Division IV of Part III, affects the operation of the Competition Act.

  • Marginal note:International agreements respecting air services

    (3) In the event of any inconsistency or conflict between an international agreement or convention respecting air services to which Canada is a party and the Competition Act, the provisions of the agreement or convention prevail to the extent of the inconsistency or conflict.

  • 1996, c. 10, s. 4
  • 2007, c. 19, s. 1

National Transportation Policy

Marginal note:Declaration

 It is declared that a competitive, economic and efficient national transportation system that meets the highest practicable safety and security standards and contributes to a sustainable environment and makes the best use of all modes of transportation at the lowest total cost is essential to serve the needs of its users, advance the well-being of Canadians and enable competitiveness and economic growth in both urban and rural areas throughout Canada. Those objectives are most likely to be achieved when

  • (a) competition and market forces, both within and among the various modes of transportation, are the prime agents in providing viable and effective transportation services;

  • (b) regulation and strategic public intervention are used to achieve economic, safety, security, environmental or social outcomes that cannot be achieved satisfactorily by competition and market forces and do not unduly favour, or reduce the inherent advantages of, any particular mode of transportation;

  • (c) rates and conditions do not constitute an undue obstacle to the movement of traffic within Canada or to the export of goods from Canada;

  • (d) the transportation system is accessible without undue obstacle to the mobility of all persons;

  • (d.1) the transportation system is accessible without barriers to persons with disabilities; and

  • (e) governments and the private sector work together for an integrated transportation system.


Marginal note:Definitions

 In this Act,


Agency means the Canadian Transportation Agency continued by subsection 7(1); (Office)


carrier means a person who is engaged in the transport of goods or passengers by any means of transport under the legislative authority of Parliament; (transporteur)


Chairperson means the Chairperson of the Agency; (président)

class 1 rail carrier

class 1 rail carrier means

  • (a) the Canadian National Railway Company,

  • (b) the Canadian Pacific Railway Company,

  • (c) BNSF Railway Company,

  • (d) CSX Transportation, Inc.,

  • (e) Norfolk Southern Railway Company,

  • (f) Union Pacific Railroad Company, and

  • (g) any railway company, as defined in section 87, that is specified in the regulations; (transporteur ferroviaire de catégorie 1)


goods includes rolling stock and mail; (marchandises)


member means a member of the Agency appointed under subsection 7(2) and includes a temporary member; (membre)


Minister means the Minister of Transport; (ministre)

radioactive material

radioactive material has the same meaning as in subsection 1(1) of the Packaging and Transport of Nuclear Substances Regulations, 2015. It includes a dangerous good with any of UN numbers 2908 to 2913, 2915 to 2917, 2919, 2977, 2978, 3321 to 3333 and 3507 that are set out in Column 1 of the Dangerous Goods List in Chapter 3.2 of the Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods — Model Regulations, Eighteenth revised edition, 2013, published by the United Nations; (matière radioactive)

rolling stock

rolling stock includes a locomotive, engine, motor car, tender, snow-plough, flanger and any car or railway equipment that is designed for movement on its wheels on the rails of a railway; (matériel roulant)


shipper means a person who sends or receives goods by means of a carrier or intends to do so; (expéditeur)

sitting day of Parliament

sitting day of Parliament means a day on which either House of Parliament sits; (jour de séance)

superior court

superior court means

  • (a) in Ontario, the Superior Court of Justice,

  • (b) in Quebec, the Superior Court,

  • (c) in New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, the Court of Queen’s Bench,

  • (d) in Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Yukon and the Northwest Territories, the Supreme Court,

  • (e) in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Trial Division of the Supreme Court, and

  • (f) in Nunavut, the Nunavut Court of Justice; (cour supérieure)

temporary member

temporary member means a temporary member of the Agency appointed under subsection 9(1); (membre temporaire)

TIH (Toxic Inhalation Hazard) material

TIH (Toxic Inhalation Hazard) material means a gas or substance that is included in Class 2.3 of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations or that, under paragraph 2.28(c) of those Regulations, is included in Class 6.1 of those Regulations. It includes a dangerous good with a UN number that is set out in Column 1 of the Dangerous Goods List in Chapter 3.2 of the Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods – Model Regulations, Eighteenth revised edition, 2013, published by the United Nations and that is listed in Schedule III; (matière toxique par inhalation)


Vice-Chairperson means the Vice-Chairperson of the Agency. (vice-président)

  • 1996, c. 10, s. 6
  • 1998, c. 30, ss. 13(F), 15(E)
  • 1999, c. 3, s. 20
  • 2002, c. 7, s. 114(E)
  • 2015, c. 3, s. 29, c. 31, s. 2
  • 2018, c. 10, s. 2

Power of the Governor in Council

Marginal note:Governor in Council

 The Governor in Council may make regulations specifying railway companies for the purpose of paragraph (g) of the definition class 1 rail carrier.

  • 2018, c. 10, s. 3

Electronic Administration and Enforcement

Marginal note:Electronic means

  •  (1) If the Minister administers or enforces an Act of Parliament, the Minister may do so using electronic means.

  • Marginal note:Designated persons

    (2) For greater certainty, any person or class of persons who are designated by the Minister under an Act of Parliament for the purposes of the administration and enforcement of that Act may, in the exercise of their powers or the performance of their duties and functions, use the electronic means that are made available or specified by the Minister.

  • Marginal note:Delegate

    (3) For greater certainty, a person who has been authorized by the Minister to do anything that may be done by the Minister under an Act of Parliament, may do so using the electronic means that are made available or specified by the Minister.

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