Presentation for the Canadian Merchant Service Guild Triennial Convention
Jean L. Laporte, Chief Operating Officer
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
June 17, 2011

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Slide 1: Title Page (Advancing Transportation Safety)

Slide 2: Outline

  • Who we are
  • Our mandate
  • Our independence
  • Our investigations
  • Protection of Information
  • TSB Watchlist
  • Our Strategic Plan

Slide 3: Who We Are

  • The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is an independent agency created by an Act of Parliament (Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act) which came into force on March 29, 1990.
  • The TSB is also governed by the Transportation Safety Board Regulations

Slide 4: Who We Are (cont'd)

  • Agency that consists of up to five Board members, including a chairperson, and approximately 230 employees.
  • $29 million annual budget.

Slide 5: TSB Offices

  • The Head Office is in Gatineau, Quebec
  • The Engineering Laboratory is in Ottawa, Ontario.
  • Regional offices are located across the country to allow investigators to quickly reach the scene of an accident:
    • Calgary, Alberta
    • Edmonton, Alberta
    • Halifax, Nova Scotia
    • Montréal, Quebec
    • Québec, Quebec
    • Toronto, Ontario
    • Vancouver, British Columbia
    • Winnipeg, Manitoba

Slide 6: TSB Mandate

To advance transportation safety in the air, marine, rail and pipeline modes of transportation that are under federal jurisdiction by:

  • conducting independent investigations
  • identifying safety deficiencies
  • identifying causes and contributing factors
  • making recommendations
  • publishing reports

It is not the function of the TSB to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

Slide 7: Independence of the TSB

  • The TSB is independent from other governmental agencies and departments.
  • We are not involved in government oversight or enforcement activities.
  • We report to Parliament through the President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada.

Slide 8: TSB Investigations

  • Approximately 4,000 transportation occurrences (accidents and incidents) are reported to the TSB every year.
  • The TSB undertakes on average between 60 - 70 investigations per year.
  • The TSB also takes part in foreign investigations and may represent Canadian interests in foreign investigations involving ships, pipelines, trains or aircrafts registered, licensed or manufactured in Canada.

Slide 9: Phases of a TSB Investigation

  • Field phase
  • Analysis phase
  • Report production phase
  • Communication phase

Slide 10: Key TSB Outputs

  • Investigation reports
  • Safety recommendations
  • Safety advisory letters
  • Safety information letters
  • Board safety concerns
  • Statistical reports
  • TSB Watchlist

Slide 11: Protection of Information

  • As a governement entity the TSB must comply with legislation and policies pertaining to the management of information
  • Access to Information Act provides for release of information unless specifically exempted
  • Specific types of information can be protected under:
    • Access to Information and Privacy Acts
    • CTAISB Act

Slide 12: Access to Information Act

Section 16(1)(c) – Lawful investigations

  • Information obtained or prepared by an investigative body specified in the regulations can be protected if the disclosure could reasonably be expected to be injurious to the conduct of lawful investigations

Slide 13: Access to Information Act

Section 19 – Personal information

  • Personal information such as name, age, sex, address, opinions, etc… is protected
  • Can be released to the individual to whom the information pertains
  • Can be released if the individual consents to the disclosure

Slide 14: Access to Information Act

Section 20 – Third party information

  • Trade secrets and financial, commercial, scientific or technical information that is confidential information and is treated consistently in a confidential manner by the third party is protected
  • Can only be released if the organization who provided the info consents to its release or makes it public

Slide 15: CTAISB Act

Section 24 – Confidential draft reports

  • Confidential draft investigation reports are protected
  • Designated reviewer representations are protected, except representations made by a Minister
  • Representations can only be released if the author of the representations provides consent
  • The Board may use representations as it considers necessary in the interests of transportation safety

Slide 16: CTAISB Act

Section 28 – On-board recordings

  • Voice and video recordings of operating personnel in the flight deck, on the bridge or control room, in the cab are protected
  • Recordings and transcripts thereof cannot be released
  • The Board may use on-board recordings as it considers necessary in the interests of transportation safety

Slide 17: CTAISB Act

Section 30 – Witness statements

  • Witness statements and the identity of witnesses are protected
  • Statements can only be released if the witness provides consent
  • The Board may use statements as it considers necessary in the interests of transportation safety

Slide 18: CTAISB Act


  • Information must be provided to a coroner who requests access for the purpose of a coroner's investigation

Court proceedings

  • A court can order the production of on-board recorders and/or witness statements if the court decides that, in the circumstances of the case, the public interest in the proper administration of justice outweighs in importance the privilege under the Act

Slide 19: CTAISB Act

Confidentiality orders

  • When information is released to a coroner or to a court the TSB seeks to obtain a confidentiality order to restrict its distribution to a very small group of people and ensure the information is not made public

Prohibited use

  • Information protected under sections 24, 28 and 30 of the Act cannot be used in any legal, disciplinary or other proceedings against any individual or organization

Slide 20: The Bottom Line

  • Our sole purpose is to advance transportation safety
  • We protect information to the extent permitted by legislation
  • We need your collaboration
    • To facilitate access to witnesses
    • To facilitate access to pertinent data and information

Slide 21: TSB Watchlist

  • Identifies the safety issues investigated by the TSB that pose the greatest risks to Canadians.
  • In each case, actions taken to date are inadequate and concrete steps must be taken on the part of industry and the regulator to eliminate these risks.
  • Each issue identified on the list is supported by one or more safety communications.

Slide 22: Watchlist

Fishing vessel safety

Emergency preparedness on ferries

  • Passenger trains colliding with vehicles
  • Operation of longer, heavier trains
  • Risk of collisions on runways
  • Controlled flight into terrain
  • Landing accidents and runway overruns

Safety Management Systems

Data recorders

Slide 23: Watchlist – Marine Issues

Fishing vessel safety

  • Adopt safe operating practices
  • Improve training and awareness

Emergency preparedness on ferries

  • Maintain passenger lists and practise evacuations

Safety Management Systems

  • Implement in domestic commercial shipping operations

Data recorders

  • Install voyage data recorders in large domestic passenger ferries

Slide 24: Our Strategic Plan

  • Responding
    • Strengthen organizational readiness
  • Managing
    • Improve management of information and data
  • Communicating
    • Increase awareness of TSB and its work
  • Advocating
    • Increase effectiveness of products and services

Slide 25: TSB Contact Info

Chief Operating Officer: Jean L. Laporte
tel: 819-994-8004
e-mail: jean.laporte@bst-tsb.gc.ca

Director of Marine Investigations: Marc-André Poisson
tel: 819-953-1398
e-mail: marc-andre.poisson@bst-tsb.gc.ca

Website: www.bst-tsb.gc.ca 

Slide 26: End