News releases

TSB # C01/2011

"Progress Stalling on Watchlist" Says the TSB

(Gatineau, Quebec, July 7, 2011) – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) announced today that a "stronger effort" is needed to resolve key safety issues highlighted on its recent Watchlist.

"The TSB's goal is to improve transportation safety," said Board Chair Wendy Tadros. "That means speaking up if risks still remain, and pushing for change when not enough has been done. And right now, progress is stalling."

Initially released in March of 2010, the Watchlist highlights nine key issues posing the greatest risk to Canada's transportation system. Underpinning these issues is a series of 41 safety recommendations—action items aimed at both industry and regulators. And while Tadros said the past year has seen progress on Marine and Rail safety issues—with seven recommendations receiving the Board's highest grade of "Fully Satisfactory"—she called the lack of similar progress in aviation "troubling".

"We need to do more," she said. "Without strong leadership, we won’t reduce the risk of collisions or aircraft overruns at Canada's airports, nor can we ensure better data and voice recorders on aircraft—areas where Canada needs to meet new international standards."

"A year in, important commitments have been made but Canadians need to know that all of the critical issues on the Watchlist will be tackled. And right now, when responses to key recommendations are being downgraded to 'Unsatisfactory', the only possible conclusion is that Canada is lagging behind."

Tadros added that the TSB also plans to release a periodic "scorecard" aimed at tracking developments and commitments by the regulator, Transport Canada. "We will report publicly on the results next spring," she said, "when we update our Watchlist. Those issues that have been squarely addressed will be removed, and if necessary, we'll add new issues of concern at that time."

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

For more information, contact:
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Media Relations
Telephone: 819-994-8053