The transportation industry is rapidly evolving as a result of factors such as technology, climate change, and changing market demands. In this respect, one of the big challenges in Canada concerning the country's transportation services is the use of renewable and creative transportation (Alexander et al., 2016). In 2015, Canada's Minister of Transportation conducted a feasibility study to explore how the country's transportation networks can become more environmentally sustainable in order to reduce their effect on the natural environment, thus making the transportation infrastructure cleaner, more stable, and internationally competitive. Furthermore, Green transport is one of the major themes of Transportation 2030 which is the government’s strategy for a more sustainable transport network (Alexander et al., 2016). This issue is relevant since, in this era of global warming and environmental uncertainty, each country has a responsibility to contribute to the earth’s sustainability and therefore, by implementing this strategy, Canada is illustrating its commitment to environmental preservation. Besides, implementing a green strategy is a way of setting the pace for the citizens so that they can illustrate environmentally conscious practices in their daily lives (Crane& Matten,2016). The potential impact of this strategy is that it will result to a cleaner and healthier environment hence reduce global warming and contribute significantly to environmental sustainability. As well, the approach will increase environmental awareness among the country’s citizens as well as push them to be more innovative so as to come up with ways to reduce the environmental impact of transport systems.
The second current issue in the transport system sector in Canada is about the recent announcement by Transport Canada that it is planning to stop evaluating pilots and instead give the responsibility to the operators in an attempt to self-regulate (Theodore, 2017). Transport Canada stated that the recent changes are as a result of the department’s inability to maintain highly qualified supervisors. This change is likely to increase operational costs for companies since the airlines will be tasked with the responsibility of regulating and ensuring that the pilots observe their code of conduct (Theodore, 2017). The issue is relevant given that it is likely to affect public safety and customer prices since companies are likely to pass the self-regulation expenses to their customers. Besides, critics warm that this shift might erode oversight hence lower compliance to the pilot’s code of conduct hence increasing the relevance of this issue. In addition, the change will change the way the airline companies relate with TA since the department will offer services aimed at helping the companies to develop stronger internal controls as opposed to when it used to play an oversight role (Crane& Matten,2016). The potential impact of the change is that it will alter the airline's industry structure and affect the profitability of the airline companies and increase the air charges. This shift is also likely to reduce the investment attractiveness of the airline industry as a result of the increasing costs of operations (Crane& Matten,2016).
Also, the recent strategic alliance between Drone Delivery Canada and TECSYS to develop drone delivery solutions to expand TECSYS’s logistic capabilities is another major event that is likely to affect the transport sector in unprecedented ways. According to the agreement, the two companies will collaborate to facilitate delivery of medical equipment’s to remote areas by use of drones (Shankar, 2017). The drones will be focused on depot to depot delivery. This alliance is important in the transport sector since it opens a new dawn for the transportation of medical equipment’s to any place hence improving accessibility to medical care especially by underprivileged populations. Furthermore, this issue is relevant since it illustrates how companies and governments can integrate technology in the supply chain hence improving customer experience by delivering goods and services within milliseconds (Shankar, 2017). The potential impact of this innovation is that it will inspire companies in other industries to follow suit hence significantly improving efficiency in the transport and logistics sector. Besides, it will improve the general wellbeing of the society as a result of timely delivery of medical equipment’.
Transport Canada’s (TC) Vision is to develop the country’s transport industry into a sustainable system that incorporates social, environmental and economic objectives. In light of this vision, the department generates an annual report on the plans and priorities to modernize and make the country’s transport systems more resilient. In the 2016/17 report on Plans and Priorities, TC identified four priorities which are discussed below.
The first priority expresses the government of Canada’s commitment to fasten the modernization of the country’s transport safety and security in an attempt to build stakeholder confidence in the sector (TC Report on Plans & Priorities, 2017). This is in line with TC’s mandate to support a secure and safe transport system which requires effective oversight and taking action to influence public and private behavior. Some of the initiatives under this priority include efforts to implement safety responses, strengthening of marine incident prevention and putting measures aimed at reinforcing railway safety (TC Report on Plans & Priorities, 2017). The issue of modernizing Canada’s transport safety was identified as a priority since it contributes to the protection of life and property and given that this is one of the main principles which guide TC’s operations, the department wanted to transform the principle into practice. In addition, improving the security of the transport system min Canada increases the nations attractiveness to foreign investors hence making the country a hub for foreign investment. Foreign investments contribute to economic and social development of a country hence improving the standards of living of citizens in a particular country.
The second priority aimed at advancing initiatives and programs that contribute to an environmentally responsible transport system. In this regard, TC saw an opportunity to ensure that the country’s transport system sustainably promotes economic growth since the only way to guarantee a thriving economy is to preserve the environment (TC Report on Plans & Priorities, 2017). This was also in line with the theme of Green Transportation 2030 in which the government expresses its commitment to apply innovative transport technologies to promote environmental sustainability and build more resilient transport systems. Initiatives under the second priority includes the development of transportation policies that foster environmentally responsible shipping practices and working with other stakeholders in the transport sector to protect the marine environment (TC Report on Plans & Priorities, 2017). The second priority was selected since it helps the country to reduce global warming hence play a greater role towards environmental preservation. Besides, promoting environmentalism illustrates that the country is committed to the Millennium development goals hence improving international relations. For a country to thrive economically, it must have cordial relationships with its neighbors to facilitate collaboration in trade, tourism and security maintenance.
The third priority includes developing long-term federal strategies aimed at improving Canada’s infrastructure taking into account the recommendations of the Canada Transportation Act (TC Report on Plans & Priorities, 2017). This priority was designed on the basis that the right policy framework contributes to adequate infrastructure which is vital for supporting trade and economic robustness in the country. Through initiatives such as strengthening regulations that boost innovation and cooperation with other ministries, TC aimed to develop an effective regulatory framework to steer the country towards economic prosperity (TC Report on Plans & Priorities, 2017). The third priority was selected since, without a clear legal guideline, it is impossible to have an effective and efficient transport network. This priority is also vital in establishing partnerships with lobby groups and special interest groups since it helps the department to come up with policies that take into account the interests of all stakeholders. The fourth priority aimed at optimizing integration of natural and human resources in the transport sector in Canada hence minimizing waste (TC Report on Plans & Priorities, 2017). By doing this, TC aimed to deliver its mandate and manage allocation and program risks. The planned initiatives for the fourth priority included positioning the transport sector to adapt to new information systems and strengthening the department’s approach to integrated planning and report to facilitate effective decision making and appropriate resources allocation. TC chose this priority since it helps the country to modernize its transport system hence boosting efficiency in the industry.
As an organization, Transport Canada understands the importance of public trust in maintaining its organizational integrity. Therefore, the ministry has a code of values and ethics that seeks to preserve public confidence in the department, assist TC’s staff in adhering to organization’s core values and to guide the professional conduct of the employees towards the public and the government. The code’s provisions are applicable to all the employees at TC, consultants, help personnel and volunteers working in the Department (TC Code of Values & Ethics, 2012). The code requires all the employees and partners of TC to demonstrate the core values through personal and professional conduct and to seek guidance when faced with an ethical dilemma.
TC’s code of conduct has several shared values which employees and partners of the department must demonstrate in their actions, decisions, and policies. One such value is respect for democracy which emphasizes the need for a non-partisan public servant (TC Code of Values & Ethics, 2012). This is essential since all public servants are answerable to Parliament and ultimately to the Canadian citizens and since every citizen is a tax payer, then one should not discriminate those of different creed or political opinion while discharging duties. Through this, the department is able to promote the rule of law which is the compass of decision making and policies in every democracy. The second core value requires respectful treatment of people since this contributes to a conducive working environment that fosters transparency and engagement (TC Code of Values & Ethics, 2012). The department acknowledges that people of diverse backgrounds bring different ideas hence contributing to innovation within the country. Besides, the agency advocates equal treatment of all people regardless their gender, race, culture or sexual orientation. TC’s third core value is integrity which the department views as a way to enhance public confidence through fair and impartial discharge of duties. To do this, the ministry strives to prevent conflict of interest which may adversely affect the professional conduct of the department’s staff. Furthermore, the ministry asks all its employees to operate within its mandate and policies hence increasing public trust in the institution. Besides, TC requires all its employees to conduct themselves in a way that maintains the reputation of the department and respects the law.
The fourth shared value of TC is stewardship, and it emphasizes the need for public servants to understand that they are holding public office in trust and thus, they must make viable decisions that are aimed to promote social, economic and environmental sustainability. This value requires TC staff to demonstrate frugality and diligence in use of public funds and to acquire and transmit knowledge within the confines of the law (TC Code of Values & Ethics, 2012). The fifth core value is excellence, and it states that public servants should deliver their services in a way that is beneficial to all Canadian citizens. This is through offering timely and efficient services and behaving in a manner that supports health and safety for all stakeholders.
In case of an ethical dilemma, the TC Code of ethics encourages the employees to discuss the issue with their manager or the Values and Ethics Regional Coordinator since this consultation offers more insight and clarity. Furthermore, the code gives all TC’s employees the responsibility of reporting wrongdoing to their supervisor or integrity officer (TC Code of Values & Ethics, 2012). Such wrongdoing might include financial mismanagement, an act that creates imminent danger to life or a serious breach of the code of ethics.
Alexander, D., Baccar, K., Barr, M., Calder, M., Carter, M., Chan, Y., ... & Douglas, D. (2016). Sustainability Planning and Collaboration in Rural Canada: Taking the Next Steps. University of Alberta.
Transport Canada. (2017). Transport Canada 2016/17 Report on Plans & Priorities.
Transport Canada. (2017). Transport Canada’s Code of Values &Ethics.
Crane, A., & Matten, D. (2016). Business ethics: Managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. Oxford University Press.
Shankar, B. (2017, August 2). Drone Delivery Canada partners with supply chain company TECSYS to assist the healthcare sector. Mobile Syrup. Retrieved from https://mobilesyrup.com/2017/08/02/drone-delivery-canada-tecsys-healthcare/
Theodore, T. (2017, October). Transport Canada to cut pilot evaluators, leaving responsibility to airlines. The Star. Retrieved January, from https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/10/29/transport-canada-to-cut-pilot-evaluators-leaving-responsibility-to-airlines.html
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