The Process for Making Decisions
The decision-making process of the Agency is governed by the rules of fairness, which ensure that all parties in a complaint or an application are dealt with in a fair and equitable manner.
The Agency ensures that transportation users, commercial shippers and individual travellers receive the protection provided for them in the legislation, if market forces alone do not result in fair, reasonable service. The Agency hears complaints from users and others regarding poor service or abuse of market power and, depending on its decision, may order a transportation service provider to make the changes necessary to conform with the legislation and regulations.
The Members of the Agency are responsible for decisions and orders related to complaints or applications. The role of Agency employees is to support Members with these proceedings.
A panel of at least two Members is assigned by the Chair to make a decision on a complaint. Although most cases are resolved through written hearings, Members may also hold hearings – usually in more complex cases – to enhance their understanding of the evidence.
In any proceeding before it, the Agency ensures that each party has the opportunity to file submissions. In general, the Agency reviews the complaint or application and invites the other party(ies) to comment within 21 days. The applicant then has 7 days to respond. In more complex cases, the time allowed may be increased to 30 and 10 days, respectively.
The Members of the Agency are responsible for issuing decisions and orders. Members consider all the evidence filed, as well as all applicable legislation, regulations and legal principles.
The Agency strives to deal with each of its cases within 120 days. However, it may take more than 120 days to issue a decision due to the complexity or particular circumstances of a case.
Should the parties involved in a complaint not agree with a decision or an order, they have a right to appeal under the following conditions. Any decision or order may be appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal on a matter of law or jurisdiction, within one month of the order or decision; and may be appealed to the Governor in Council at any time. In addition, any decision or order may be reviewed by the Agency if there has been a change in the facts or circumstances pertaining to the decision or order.