2023-24 Corporate information
Raison d'être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do
The Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board, commonly referred to as the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) in its day-to-day activities, is an independent agency created in 1990 by an Act of Parliament. It operates at arm's length from other government departments and agencies to ensure that there are no real or perceived conflicts of interest. The TSB's sole objective is to advance air, marine, pipeline and rail transportation safety.
The President of the King's Privy Council for Canada is the designated minister for the purposes of tabling the TSB's administrative reports in Parliament, such as the Departmental Plan and the Departmental Results Report. The TSB is part of the Privy Council portfolio of departments and agencies.
Mandate and role
The TSB's mandate—as described in the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act which governs its work—is to advance safety in air, marine, pipeline and rail transportation by
- conducting independent investigations, including public inquiries when necessary, into selected transportation occurrences, in order to make findings regarding their causes and contributing factors;
- identifying safety deficiencies, as evidenced by transportation occurrences;
- making recommendations designed to eliminate or reduce such safety deficiencies;
- reporting publicly on investigations and findings in relation thereto.
Consult About the TSB for additional information regarding the TSB's mandate and role.
Operating context: conditions affecting our work
The TSB operates within the context of a very large and complex Canadian and international transportation system. Many Canadian and foreign organizations are responsible for, and involved in, improving transportation safety. The TSB does not have any power or authority to direct others to implement its recommendations or to make changes. The Board must therefore present its findings and recommendations in such a manner that compels others to act. This implies ongoing dialogue, information sharing and strategic coordination with industry stakeholders and federal regulators such as Transport Canada, the National Energy Board and Department of Fisheries and Oceans. The TSB must also engage industry and foreign regulatory organizations in a similar fashion. Through various safety communications including investigation reports, safety concerns, safety letters and recommendations, the TSB presents compelling arguments grounded in fact to drive action on the part of those positioned to best implement change.
The TSB's volume of activities is influenced by the number, severity and complexity of transportation occurrences, none of which can be effectively predicted. This uncertainty poses certain challenges with respect to the planning and management of TSB resources.
In recent years the TSB's public visibility has increased significantly because of high-profile occurrence investigations, the TSB's outreach activities, and the increased use of social media to share safety information. The TSB's enhanced visibility has generated higher stakeholder and public expectations than ever before.