2019-20 Corporate Information

Raison d'être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do

Raison d'être

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, rail and pipeline transportation safety.

The President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada (who also serves as Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade) 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 performs a key role within the Canadian transportation system. We provide Canadians with an organization entrusted to advance transportation safety by:

  • conducting independent investigations, including, when necessary, public inquiries, into selected transportation occurrences in order to make findings as to their causes and contributing factors;
  • identifying safety deficiencies as evidenced by transportation occurrences;
  • making recommendations designed to reduce or eliminate any such safety deficiencies;
  • reporting publicly on our investigations and related findings; and
  • following-up with stakeholders to ensure that safety actions are taken to reduce risks and improve safety.

The TSB may also represent Canadian interests in foreign investigations of transportation accidents involving Canadian citizens or Canadian registered, licensed or manufactured aircraft, ships or railway rolling stock. In addition, the TSB carries out some of Canada's obligations related to transportation safety at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

As one of the world leaders in its field, the TSB regularly shares its investigation techniques, methodologies and tools with foreign safety organizations by inviting them to participate in in-house training programs in the areas of investigation methodology, and human and organizational factors. Under the terms of international agreements, the TSB also provides investigation assistance to foreign safety organizations, such as downloading and analyzing flight recorder data or overseeing engine teardowns. The TSB also shares data and reports with sister organizations, in addition to participating in international working groups and studies to advance transportation safety.

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