The Agency's enforcement officers ensure compliance among transportation providers subject to the Canada Transportation Act, the Air Transportation Regulations and the Personnel Training for the Assistance of Persons with Disabilities Regulations.
The Agency has generally found Canadian companies extremely co-operative and constructive in finding ways to ensure compliance.
Agency enforcement officers may, however, use their powers to levy fines until compliance is achieved. In very rare cases, the Agency has turned to law enforcement agencies to prosecute offenders when transportation laws have been violated.
85% of air transportation compliance determinations issued under the Periodic Inspection Program within 120 days
In a 2007 Decision, the Agency found that OC Transpo's failure to call out stops was an undue obstacle to persons with visual impairments. The Agency ordered OC Transpo to comply with its own policy of calling out stops.
In 2008 and again in 2010, enforcement officers found that drivers were still failing to call out stops, and the Agency issued two penalties.
Late in 2010, the public transit operator announced that it would begin phasing in an automated Next-Stop Announcement System (NSAS) on its buses.
The Agency's solution called upon bus operators to consistently call out stops, as set out in OC Transpo's own policy. The Agency recognizes that the NSAS might assist OC Transpo in achieving full compliance, however it is OC Transpo's responsibility to ensure that announcements are made and clearly heard on all its bus routes, with or without an automated stop announcement system.
The City of Ottawa has requested that the Agency modify the corrective measures it issued in order to take into account the installation of the NSAS. The Agency has initiated a review of these measures.
Compliance report tracks accessibility of travel information at terminals
In its Terminal Code Compliance Report, issued in October 2010, the Agency found that the majority of federally-regulated transportation terminals (airports, railway stations and ferry terminals) were compliant with specific provisions of the Code of Practice: Passenger Terminal Accessibility. The Code outlines requirements for the accessibility of transportation terminals for persons with disabilities.
Web sites of terminal operators were examined to identify whether they provide sufficient information regarding different types of services for persons with disabilities. In cases where the required information was not available on the terminal operator's Web site, Agency staff verified whether an equivalent level of information was available via alternatives such as telephone or teletypewriter (TTY).
The Agency continues to work with stakeholders to further enhance the accessibility of Canadian transportation terminals, and to ensure that undue obstacles to the mobility of persons with disabilities are removed from the federally-regulated transportation system.
In 2010-11, Agency enforcement staff undertook 139 inspections, and initiated 41 investigations.
42 resulted in informal warnings;
6 resulted in formal warnings; and
11 notices of violation were issued.
Voluntary codes of practice improving air carrier accessibility
The Implementation Guide Regarding Space for Service Dogs and the Implementation Guide Regarding Tactile Row Markers Onboard Large Aircraft are new additions to the Agency's voluntary Code of Practice: Aircraft Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities. They provide detailed, practical information for accommodating persons with disabilities.
In November 2010, the Agency released a compliance report showing that Canada's major air carriers are improving onboard accessibility for persons with disabilities.
The report concerned the status of the Implementation Guide Regarding Space for Service Dogs and the Implementation Guide Regarding Tactile Row Markers Onboard Large Aircraft. The implementation guides provide detailed, practical information for accommodating persons with disabilities and should be read in conjunction with the Agency's voluntary Code of Practice: Aircraft Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities (Air Code).
The report indicated that the country's six largest airlines, representing over 80 per cent of air passenger traffic in Canada, have made significant progress in complying with the Guides. The Agency is working with non-compliant carriers as well as with other stakeholders to ensure that the provisions of the Air Code are met, and to continue to enhance the accessibility of the federally-regulated transportation network.