Transport Canada Departmental Plan

Plans at a glance

Priority 1: Improve the performance and reliability of Canada's transportation system to get products to market and grow our economy.

Key Planning Highlights for 2020-21:

  • Invest in Canada’s trade corridors to increase global market access for Canadian goods, including:
  • Continue the Ports Modernization Review with the goal of updating governance structures to promote investment in Canadian ports and help make Canada’s major ports among the most efficient in the world.
  • Complete the St. Lawrence Seaway Review.
  • Advance implementation of legislative amendments to improve access, transparency, efficiency and long-term investment in the Canadian freight rail system.
  • Modernize the legislative and regulatory framework by taking action to implement two new ministerial authorities to the Canada Transportation Act that were part of the 2019 annual Regulatory Modernization Bill. These new authorities:
    • remove barriers to digital services by allowing digital versions of physical documents or processes; and
    • allow exemptions to encourage innovation across the transportation regime.
  • Deliver the regulatory and policy commitments made in the 2018 Transportation Sector Regulatory Roadmap. These commitments will remove regulatory barriers to innovation and investment in the sector.

Priority 2: Provide greater choice, better service, lower costs and enhanced rights for consumers.

Key Planning Highlights for 2020-21:

  • Complete transferring the assets of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority to an independent not-for-profit entity that will improve the passenger experience. This includes a clear service standard to limit the amount of time travellers wait in airport security checkpoints.
  • Implement and enforce Phase I of the Air Travel Performance Data Regulations to measure the effectiveness of the Air Passenger Protection Regulations at improving the experience of air travellers.
  • Work with partners to make the transportation system more accessible for persons with disabilities.
  • Monitor and enforce the recently approved merger of First Air and Canadian North to ensure that:
    • air travel in the North is fair and affordable;
    • capacity is maintained and improved as needed; and
    • northern travellers receive a high level of service.
  • Assess and make a recommendation to Cabinet on whether or not to approve the Air Canada ? Transat acquisition including a monitoring and enforcement regime, plus terms and conditions.
  • Work with VIA Rail and the Canada Infrastructure Bank to finalize the assessment of the proposal to create VIA Rail?s High Frequency Rail in the Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal-Quebec City Corridor and examine options for the future of intercity passenger rail services outside the Corridor.
  • Work with VIA Rail to make opportunities to travel to Canada’s National Parks more accessible and affordable.
  • Implement measures to strengthen the transparency, accountability and efficiency of Canadian airports.
  • Continue working with project partners to implement the Known Traveller Digital Identity pilot project.

Priority 3: Build world-leading marine corridors that are competitive, safe and environmentally sustainable, and enhance Northern transportation infrastructure, while respecting commitments to Indigenous communities.

Key Planning Highlights for 2020-21:

  • Work with partners in implementing the Oceans Protection Plan to:
    • improve our marine safety system and prevent marine incidents;
    • improve our ability to respond to marine incidents;
    • preserve and restore our marine ecosystems;
    • advance the development of partnerships with Indigenous peoples; and
    • improve our understanding of how various types of oil and petroleum products behave when spilled in a marine environment.
  • Continue to develop and implement measures to protect whales from the negative effects of vessel traffic on Canada?s coasts.
  • Support trade and transportation infrastructure investments in Arctic and northern communities through:
  • Continue aerial pollution surveillance over all Canadian waters via the National Aerial Surveillance Program.
  • Support efforts to reduce the impacts of marine shipping on the environment and ecosystems.
  • Build on our engagement with provincial counterparts and representatives from the fishing sector to reduce risks to the lives and property of fishers.

Priority 4: Build a safer and more secure transportation system that Canadians trust.

Key Planning Highlights for 2020-21:

  • Increase the transparency of our safety and security oversight of the transportation system by publicly reporting on our compliance and enforcement activities.
  • Review measures to address impairment in the transportation sector.
  • Develop rules and regulations to reinforce railway safety in the areas of fatigue management, passenger equipment, track safety, and railway employee qualifications and training.
  • Continue to take action on the recommendations from the 2017-18 statutory review of the Railway Safety Act.
  • Finalize regulations for locomotive voice and video recorders.
  • Complete regulations to improve the security of passenger rail transportation.
  • Undertake a multi-department review of Marine Security Operations Centres to improve operational efficiencies.
  • Increase the availability of marine and surface inspectors in the North.
  • Integrate and modernize crucial Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) databases into a system named “CORE” to:
    • support risk-based decision making for interventions regarding safety;
    • strengthen TDG operations by developing a registry of regulated entities that handle, offer for transport, transport or import dangerous goods; and
    • monitor regulatory compliance across the country.
  • Work with provincial and territorial partners, and the School Bus Safety Task Force to find ways to strengthen school bus safety, both inside and outside the bus, with a focus on seat belts.
  • Work with stakeholders on developing safety guidance and assessment tools to support research, testing and deployment of connected and automated vehicles.
  • Implement measures to enhance the security of Canada’s Aviation System of the Future while ensuring great transparency and efficiency.
  • Advance aviation safety by:
    • updating regulations to reduce the administrative burden and compliance costs;
    • improving aviation safety surveillance; and
    • strengthening the capacity of aviation safety certification to meet industry service demands.

Priority 5: Reduce environmental impacts and embrace new technologies to improve Canadians' lives.

Key Planning Highlights for 2020-21:

  • Continue to develop and implement measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from domestic and international transportation, and support government priorities under the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.
  • Work with the Ministers of Innovation, Science and IndustryNatural Resources; and Environment and Climate Change Canada to make progress on our zero-emission vehicle targets of:
    • 10% of new light-duty vehicles sales per year by 2025;
    • 30% by 2030; and
    • 100% by 2040.
  • Support domestic and international projects that contribute to the Government’s national strategy of zero plastic waste.
  • Enable the development and adoption of methods and technologies to reduce underwater noise from vessel traffic and its impact on endangered whales.
  • Address the threat of invasive species by responding to the International Maritime Organization?s International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004.
  • Work with other government departments on the proposed International Maritime Organization ban of the use of heavy fuel oil by ships in the Arctic.
  • Continue to support the implementation of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project including delivery of accommodation measures and responses to the Canada Energy Regulator’s (formerly National Energy Board) recommendations.
  • Acquire a highly capable Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (drone) as a pilot project to increase coverage of the National Aerial Surveillance Program in the Arctic using new technology.
  • Evaluate emerging, disruptive technologies in order to develop up-to-date safety standards, codes and regulations.
  • Focus on Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (drones) by developing additional regulations, pilot projects, and strategies to encourage federal departments to work together.

Priority 6: Transform the design and delivery of programs and services to Canadians in order to adapt to a changing world.

Key Planning Highlights for 2020-21:

  • Improve TC?s online service experience and increase the number of services that are digitally available.
  • Adopt innovative, user-centric approaches to design priority programs and services, using data analytics and emerging technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality to transition to a more digital government.
  • Modernize fees by implementing the requirements of the Service Fees Act and plan to manage fees digitally, in the future.
  • Modernize how we oversee and deliver regulations by developing common, risk-informed digital inspection processes, and by providing inspectors with optimized data and tools.
  • Implement strategies to accelerate the deployment and adoption of innovative technologies in the transportation sector.
  • Create a data strategy that supports:
    • transparency and the public’s trust in us and our work;
    • open and accessible transportation data;
    • evidence-based decision making;
    • targeting public risks; and
    • delivering services and reporting on results.
  • Address barriers to program and service delivery, and innovation and data-sharing through regulatory and legislative modernization and policy design.

For more information on Transport Canada’s plans, priorities and planned results, see the ?Planned results and resources? section of this report.

Core responsibilities: planned results and resources

This section contains detailed information on the department?s planned results and resources for each of its core responsibilities.

Core Responsibility 1: Safe and Secure Transportation System
Ensures a safe and secure transportation system in Canada through laws, regulations, policies, and oversight activities.

Planned results for A Safe and Secure Transportation System

  • Result 1: A safe transportation system
  • Result 2: A secure transportation system
  • Result 3: A modern safety and security regime that support economic growth


Core Responsibility 2: Green and Innovative Transportation System
Advances the Government of Canada’s environmental agenda in the transportation sector by reducing harmful air emissions; protects Canada’s ocean and marine environments by reducing the impact of marine shipping; and affirms a commitment to innovation in the transportation sector.

Planned results for Green and Innovative Transportation System

  • Result 4: Harmful air emissions from transportation in Canada are reduced
  • Result 5: Canada’s oceans and marine environments are protected from marine shipping impacts
  • Result 6: A transportation system that supports innovation


Core Responsibility 3: Efficient Transportation System
Supports efficient market access to products through investment in Canada’s trade corridors; adopts and implement rules and policies that promote sufficient choice and improved service to Canadian travellers and shippers; and manages transportation assets to ensure value for Canadians.

  • Result 7: Transportation corridors get products reliably to market
  • Result 8: Canadian travellers and freight operators benefit from choice and improved service
  • Result 9: Transport Canada manages its assets effectively

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