Try to Resolve Your Complaint With the Service Provider First
In order for the Agency to know whether it needs to become involved in resolving your dispute, you must first bring your complaint to the attention of the transportation service provider before filing a complaint with the Agency.
If you have attempted to resolve a complaint with a service provider and are not satisfied with the outcome, you may turn to the Canadian Transportation Agency.
Complaints are evaluated against the service provider's responsibilities and, where it appears that these may not have been met, Agency staff will approach the service provider, and will informally attempt to obtain a resolution of the complaint that is consistent with these responsibilities.
What if I don't have all the information?
While it would be helpful to have as much information as possible concerning your travel arrangements, this does not prevent you from filing your complaint. However, you may encounter delays in the processing of your complaint. In some cases, it may be impossible to resolve a complaint without sufficient relevant information.
Correspondence exchanged with the service provider, receipts for out-of-pocket expenses, claim forms, itinerary, boarding passes, publication/baggage claim check, and any other information pertinent to your complaint should be photocopied and provided to the Agency when requested. Do not send original documents unless specifically requested to do so.
Is there a time limit to file a complaint?
The older a complaint, the more difficult it may be to obtain necessary documents, records, or information. You should act upon your complaint as soon as possible after the incident.
Do I need a lawyer?
You do not need to hire a lawyer in order to file a complaint. Of course, you may consult a lawyer if you wish.
Are there any fees/costs to process my complaint?
There is no charge to file a complaint with the Agency.
The Investigation Process
Thanks to their extensive knowledge of the transportation industry, issues and stakeholders, Agency personnel are often able to resolve disputes informally through facilitation. For many parties, this quick, no-cost route has proven to be a highly satisfactory alternative to the Agency's other dispute resolution options.
Also offered at no cost to the parties is mediation, another informal, less resource-intensive alternative to the formal, quasi-judicial Agency process. Although this approach is more structured than facilitation, it is flexible, confidential and voluntary, allowing disputing parties to develop creative solutions that may not be available through formal adjudication. When both parties agree to refer their dispute to mediation, an Agency-appointed mediator will work with them to develop solutions and produce collaborative outcomes resulting in a better understanding of the issues and in agreements that inspire high levels of satisfaction and commitment. The statutory time frame for completing the mediation process is 30 days unless parties agree otherwise.
If these informal approaches are not successful, you may also choose to proceed with the Agency's formal decision-making process. As a quasi-judicial tribunal, the Agency operates similarly to a court and has the authority to issue decisions and orders on matters within its jurisdiction through the formal adjudication process.
The status of your case can be checked at any time by clicking on Case Status Enquiries.
What if you are still not satisfied?
If you remain unsatisfied with the result of an Agency Decision following a formal investigation, an appeal can be filed as follows:
- On a matter of law or jurisdiction, any decision can be appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal within one month of the decision of the Agency.
- Any aspect of the decision can be reviewed by the Agency if the facts or circumstances of the case have changed since the decision was made.
- Any decision can be appealed at any time to the Governor in Council (the federal Cabinet).
Please note that the Agency cannot assess damages for such things as lost income, pain and suffering, mental anguish or loss of enjoyment. If you believe that you are entitled to such damages, you may wish to consult a lawyer.
You may also wish to contact the Canadian Human Rights Commission, which can, in some cases, award compensation for pain and suffering.
Privacy Statement - Agency's Complaint Process
Open Court Principle
As a quasi-judicial tribunal operating like a court, the Canadian Transportation Agency is bound by the constitutionally protected open-court principle. This principle guarantees the public's right to know how justice is administered and to have access to decisions rendered by administrative tribunals.
In accordance with the values of the open court principle and pursuant to the Canadian Transportation Agency General Rules, all information filed with the Agency becomes part of the public record and may be made available for public viewing. The names of parties and witnesses involved in a complaint are public.
Information provided to the Agency will be used to investigate complaints and a copy of the complaint will be forwarded to the transportation service provider for comments.
In some instances, the Agency may process complaints together where similar issues have been raised. In such circumstances, information provided to the Agency on each of the complaints may be distributed to parties in the other complaints.
If a complaint is dealt with pursuant to the Agency's formal process, a decision will be issued that contains a summary of the complaint, a summary of other information provided during the pleadings and an analysis of the case, along with the Agency's determination and any corrective action deemed necessary by the Agency.
Publication on Web Site
The decision will be posted on the Agency's Web site and will include the names of the parties and witnesses. The decision will also be distributed to a number of organizations and individuals that have subscribed to receive Agency decisions. In its use of names and personal information in decisions and orders, the Agency has adopted the protocol approved by the Canadian Judicial Council in March 2005 for the use of personal information in judgements. This protocol sets out guidelines to assist administrative tribunals when dealing with requests for the non-publication of names.
In an effort to establish a fair balance between public access to its decisions and the individual's right to privacy, the Agency has taken measures to prevent Internet searching of full-text versions of decisions posted on our Web site. This is done by applying instructions using the "web robots exclusion protocol" which is recognized by Internet search engines (e.g., Google and Yahoo).
Therefore, the only decision-related information on the Agency's Web site that will be available to Internet search engines are decision summaries and comments contained in the Agency's annual reports and news releases. The full-text version of decisions is posted on our Web site, but will not be accessible by Internet search engines. As a result, an Internet search of a person's name mentioned in a decision will not provide any information from the full-text version of decisions posted on the Agency's Web site.
We cannot guarantee that the technological measures taken will always be respected or free of mistakes or malfunctions.
There may be exceptional cases to warrant the omission of certain identifying information from an Agency decision. Such omission may be considered where minor children or innocent third parties will be harmed, where the ends of justice will be undermined by disclosure or the information will be used for an improper purpose. In such situations, the Agency may consider requests, supported by proper evidence, to prevent the use of information which identifies the parties or witnesses involved. Any individual who has concerns with respect to the publication of his or her name may contact the Agency's Secretariat by e-mail at NDN-NPN@otc-cta.gc.ca, or by calling 819-997-0099 or 1-888-222-2592 or TTY 1-800-669-5575, or by writing to the Canadian Transportation Agency, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N9.
Privacy of Records
In all cases, the Agency's records relating to complaints will be retained in the Personal Information Bank numbers CTA-PPU-033 for 10 years after the complaint has been resolved & in CTA-PPU-014 for 10 years once received. An individual has the right of access to their personal information as this information will be protected in accordance with the Privacy Act. Questions or comments regarding your privacy may be directed to the Privacy Co-ordinator by e-mail at Patrice.Bellerose@otc-cta.gc.ca, by calling 819-994-2564 or 1-888-222-2592 or TTY 1-800-669-5575, or by writing to the Canadian Transportation Agency, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N9.