Order Fixing the Day on Which this Order is Registered as the Day on Which Section 215 of that Act Comes into Force: SI/2020-38

Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 154, Number 12


SI/2020-38 June 10, 2020


Order Fixing the Day on Which this Order is Registered as the Day on Which Section 215 of that Act Comes into Force

P.C. 2020-339 May 18, 2020

Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Transport, pursuant to section 216 of the Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No 1, chapter 29 of the Statutes of Canada, 2019, fixes the day on which this Order is registered as the day on which section 215 of that Act comes into force.


(This note is not part of the Order.)


Transport Canada is proposing to bring into force section 215 of the Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1, which amended the Canada Transportation Act (CTA) by adding sections 6.6, 6.7, and 6.8. Sections 6.6 to 6.8 of the CTA would come into force upon registration of this Order in Council.


The objective of this Order in Council is to bring into force amendments to the CTA that will allow the Minister of Transport to grant exemptions from legislative and regulatory requirements, when in the public interest, for the purpose of research, development or testing to support innovation in the transportation sector.


In 2017, the federal government’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth recommended a number of interventions to help boost Canada’s innovation agenda including removing unnecessary regulatory barriers. The federal government subsequently committed to regulatory reform in support of innovation and business investment, with the goal of making the Canadian regulatory system more agile, transparent and responsive.

As part of this regulatory reform agenda, the federal government announced the introduction of an annual Regulatory Modernization Bill starting in 2019. This Bill provides an important annual mechanism to remove outdated, unnecessarily prescriptive requirements in legislation that impede federal regulators from making changes to keep pace with innovation and technology.

In support of this agenda, Transport Canada brought forward an amendment to the CTA that allows the Minister of Transport to grant exemptions, when in the public interest, to promote innovation in transportation through research, development or testing.

This new authority is intended to enable industry and other stakeholders to test new technology, prototypes, processes or business models in a controlled environment, often referred to as a “regulatory sandbox.”


The new authority would allow the Minister of Transport to issue an order to exempt persons, things, or classes of persons or things, from any provision of an Act or any provision of an instrument, such as a regulation, under the Minister’s authority.

The Minister of Transport may issue an exemption order if the Minister is of the opinion that the exemption, while taking into consideration the purposes of the Act in which the exemption is being sought, is in the public interest and promotes innovation in transportation through research, development or testing.

The Minister of Transport has the authority to request any additional information necessary to assess an exemption application.

Exemptions can be in force for a maximum of five years, and the Minister of Transport may extend the exemption once, for up to an additional five years.

An exemption may be subject to any conditions that the Minister of Transport considers appropriate, for example, conditions that mitigate potential risk or conditions to provide information or data to Transport Canada. Any conditions imposed by the Minister would be subject to Transport Canada’s oversight.

The Statutory Instruments Act does not apply to an exemption applying to a single person or thing. These types of exemptions would still be made accessible to the public unless doing so would be inappropriate for reasons that include safety, security, or the protection of confidential and personal information.

The Minister of Transport is authorized to recover any costs associated with processing and assessing exemption applications, including the use of any third party to assist in reviewing and assessing an application, and to refuse to make an exemption order until those costs are recovered. Determinations as to what costs would be recovered would be made on a case-by-case basis. Where costs are anticipated, exemption applicants would be duly informed in a timely manner.

The Minister of Transport may refuse to process an application if the applicant has any other outstanding debt due to Her Majesty in right of Canada.

The Minister of Transport’s authority to grant exemptions to promote innovation through research, development or testing complements existing Transport Canada exemption powers, and provides clear authority where there currently is none.

The exemption authority supports Canada’s economic competitiveness by promoting innovation and investment in the transportation sector, providing a multimodal framework via the Canada Transportation Act to advance the entire transportation industry’s capacity to innovate. Moreover, it will provide Transport Canada with a critical line of sight into sector innovations to inform policy development and better position the department to keep pace with change.

The authority will allow the transportation industry to develop and test new or improved products, processes and methods in a safe and controlled environment, permitting earlier adaption of products or processes that produce safety, security or environmental protection benefits for Canadians.


The amendments to the CTA were developed in response to issues highlighted in consultations with stakeholders during Transport Canada’s 2018 Transportation Sector Regulatory Review. During that exercise, stakeholders expressed the need for greater collaboration with Transport Canada and to access “regulatory sandboxes” in order to test technological advancements. In addition, during 2019 consultations held by the Treasury Board Secretariat on regulatory reform, transportation stakeholders indicated the need for flexible approaches to support and address emerging technologies.

Departmental contact

For additional information, please contact

Susan Archer
Legislative Modernization
Multimodal and Road Safety Programs
Transport Canada
330 Sparks Street, 9th Floor
Mail Stop: ATTL
Telephone: 613‑991‑2278
Email: Susan.Archer@tc.gc.ca