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Policy on the dissemination of information to families, loved ones, and survivors

Effective July 15, 2020

1. Context

1.1 There is international consensus on the need to provide appropriate assistance to victims of transportation-related accidents and their families, regardless of the location of the accident or the nationality of the victims.

1.2 Families, loved ones, and survivors (FLS) usually find some solace in receiving information about the investigation, and the TSB is usually the principal source—and often the only source—of factual information about it.

1.3 The TSB has a responsibility to provide timely, factual information about the process, activities, and progress of an ongoing investigation to the FLS.

2. Definitions

2.1 “Families, loved ones, and survivors” (FLS) means the families and loved ones of persons fatally injured in an accident, as well as survivors of an accident and their families and loved ones. “Families” and “loved ones” also refers to persons with whom accident victims have a relationship.

2.2 “FLS liaison officer” means the TSB employee serving as the point of contact between the TSB and FLS for the purpose of disseminating information.

2.3 “FLS information dissemination procedure” (FIDP) means the TSB document outlining the procedure for disseminating investigation information to the FLS. This procedure is currently under development.

3. Policy objective

3.1 The purpose of this policy is to set out the principles governing the TSB’s dissemination of information to FLS about the process, activities, progress, and final outcome of the TSB investigation.

4. Policy requirements

4.1 When communicating with FLS, the TSB will

  1. coordinate with all other involved agencies and organizations on its role in providing clear, coordinated, and factual information about the investigation;
  2. refer to the coroner/police or carrier/operator all requests for information pertaining to human remains and personal effects;
  3. provide as much factual information as possible about the investigation, providing it is permissible by law and does not jeopardize the investigation;
  4. provide written information in the official language (English or French) of choice of the FLS. In particular circumstances, written information may be translated into other languages;
  5. give advance notification of substantive updates to investigation information and the release of the final investigation report;
  6. provide a copy of the final investigation report to all interested FLS as soon as feasible after its release; and
  7. provide all information with particular sensitivity and care.

4.2 As per the TSB Policy on Representations on Confidential Draft Reports, FLS will not necessarily be selected as designated reviewers.

4.3 The TSB will not reimburse travel or other expenses incurred by FLS to attend a briefing. If FLS are unable to attend, other arrangements, such as videoconferencing or teleconferencing, may be considered.

5. Authorities

5.1 This policy is issued under the authority of the Board in accordance with sections 8(1)(b), 8(1)(c) and 24(4) of the CTAISB Act. It was approved by the Board on June 20, 2018, and revised on September 18, 2019, after consultation with the Executive Committee.

5.2 This policy will be reviewed and may be updated in response to changes in government priorities or TSB strategic direction, but at least once every 5 years.

6. Roles and responsibilities

6.1 Chair

The Chair is responsible for initiating the periodic review and update of this policy by the Board.

6.2 The Board

The Board is the responsible authority for this policy. The Chair of the Board may choose to communicate directly with FLS on behalf of the Board.

6.3 Chief operating officer

The chief operating officer is responsible for the overall implementation, monitoring, and oversight of this policy, as well as for seeking interpretation and guidance from the Board from time to time.

6.4 Directors

The directors are responsible for communicating and implementing this policy and associated procedures in their respective branches.

6.5 Investigator-in-charge

The investigator-in-charge is responsible for representing the TSB at FLS briefings during the early stage of an investigation and as outlined in this policy and associated procedures, including the FIDP.

6.6 FLS liaison officer

The FLS liaison officer is responsible for gathering FLS contact information and communicating information about the TSB investigation process.

7. References

7.1 The following acts and regulations apply:

  1. Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act
  2. Transportation Safety Board Regulations

8. Enquiries

8.1 Questions about this policy may be addressed to:

General enquiries