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Progressive Discipline

The Progressive Discipline Program used by Alberta Transportation is deployed in a consistent, fair and objective manner.

The program is administered for individuals, facilities and carriers who handle, transport or offer to transport dangerous goods in non-compliance with the legislation and its adopted standards. This includes facilities which manufacture, assemble, modify, repair, inspect and test means of containment used for the transportation of dangerous goods.

The level of the progressive discipline to be imposed is based on the recommendation of the investigating Dangerous Goods Inspector, after considering the following specific factors:

  • The seriousness of the contravention (non-compliance);
  • Whether an incident occurred. or the possibility that an incident could have occurred, as a result of the contravention;
  • The history of contraventions by the individual, facility or carrier;
  • Whether the individual, facility or carrier has committed a criminal offence, or has been charged with a criminal offence, related to the handling, transporting or offering to transport dangerous goods; and
  • Any other factors considered relevant.

The following illustrates the progressive discipline continuum:

  • Level 1: Verbal or Written Warning
  • Level 2: Summons or Traffic Violation Ticket
  • Level 3: Administrative Penalty – $1000 to $5000 per contravention
  • Level 4: Administrative Penalty – $5000 to $10,000 per contravention
  • Level 5: Criminal Code Charge (where applicable)

The purpose of any enforcement or progressive discipline is to promote voluntary compliance. All interventions are progressive, but action may be initiated at any level based on individual circumstances.

Appeals

The Dangerous Goods Transportation and Handling Act provides the Minister, or designate, with wide ranging powers; including the designation of Inspectors, the powers of these Inspectors, the penalties that can be issued for non-compliance, as well as the authority to issue Permits and to allow Municipalities the power to designate dangerous goods routes within their jurisdictions.

The Act gives the Chief Inspector and Inspectors the authorities to:

  • Issue an Inspector’s Direction;
  • Place a unit “Out of Dangerous Goods Service”;
  • Issue a written or verbal warning;
  • Issue a Traffic Violation Ticket;
  • Issue a Summons to appear in Court;
  • Issue refuse the issuance of, or revoke a Permit.

The Act provided the Director the authority to:

  • Issue an Administrative Penalty

Criminal matters or charges laid via Traffic Violation Tickets can be refuted as per the process outlined in the Provincial Offences Procedure Act.

The Dangerous Goods Transportation and Handling Act provides the ability to appeal an Administrative Penalty to the Alberta Transportation Safety Board. To appeal an Administrative Penalty, the defendant must purchase an appeal package from an Alberta Registries Agent. There are two types of Applications for Hearing, non-oral which requires a written submission ($125) or an oral, which requires a personal appearance before the Board ($250). In addition to the application fee, a Registry Agent fee will be charged.

Appeals must be relevant to the actions of the defendant and/or the Director leading up to the decision. Actions taken by the defendant after the decision may be pertinent to the defendant making a new application to the Department (i.e. Permit applications), but not to an appeal.

For more information about appealing an Administrative Penalty, visit the Alberta Transportation Safety Board’s website at http://atsb.alberta.ca/505.htm.

Prior to submitting an appeal it is recommended you contact the Dangerous Goods and Rail Safety Section of Alberta Transportation to ensure you fully understand the decision of the Registrar and its impact.

References

Dangerous Goods Transportation and Handling Act (Alberta) (PDF 496 KB)
Dangerous Goods Transportation and Handling Regulation (Alberta) (PDF 419 KB)
Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act (Canada)
Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (Canada)