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Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
Transport and Communications

Issue 11 - Sixth Report of the Committee


THURSDAY, April 2, 1998

The Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications has the honour to present its

SIXTH REPORT

Your Committee, to which was referred Bill S-2, An Act to amend the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act and to make a consequential amendment to another Act, has, in obedience to the Order of Reference of Tuesday, October 21, 1997, examined the said Bill and now reports the same with the following amendments and observations:

1. Page 2, clause 3, replace lines 20 and 21 with the following:

"consisting of not more than five members appointed by the Governor in Council, at least three of whom shall be full-time members."

2. Page 9, clause 17, replace line 5 with the following:

"(i) the flight deck of an aircraft or a control facility for aviation operations,"

3. Page 9, clause 17, replace line 16 with the following:

"craft or a control facility for aviation operations, on the bridge or in a control room of the."

4. Page 13, new clause 28.1, add after line 18 the following:

"28.1 For the purpose of any legal, disciplinary or other proceeding that is commenced prior to, on or after the coming into force of this Act, sections 32 and 33 of the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act, as they read immediately before the coming into force of this Act, continue to apply in respect of a transportation occurrence, as that expression was defined in section 2 of the Act immediately before the coming into force of this Act."

OBSERVATIONS

The Committee heard from Chairman Jim Hall of the United States National Transportation Safety Board. In his testimony he explained that one of the shortcomings they faced during his mandate was the lack of coordination and support for the family of an aviation disaster. Congress responded by passing legislation in 1996, the Aviation Disaster Family Assistance Act, giving their board the responsibility to address the needs of families of passengers involved in aircraft accidents.

Your Committee feels that the situation in Canada should be assessed and that the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act undertake a study to identify any shortcomings in the matter of the provision of post-accident counselling and facilitation to the family and close friends of Canadians killed in major transportation accidents with a view to determining what measures, if any, may be necessary to alleviate those shortcomings.

Also, the Committee feels that the expertise of the Board could be valuable on major highway accidents and that the board should explore means by which it might co-operate more extensively with other federal and provincial agencies with a view to determining whether or not it might play a greater role in the investigation of some of the more serious highway accidents in Canada.

Respectfully submitted,

LISE BACON

Chair