CTA Upholds Tariff Concerning Transportation of Primates

In a decision dated December 20, 2012, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) dismissed complaints launched by the Public Health Agency of Canada and Queen’s University against Air Canada.  The CTA found that Air Canada’s proposed tariff revisions that would allow it to stop transporting non-human primates for research are not unreasonable, nor are they unduly discriminatory.  Furthermore, it found that the proposed tariff revisions do not subject any person or description of traffic to any prejudice or disadvantage.

Air Canada first filed its revisions in November 22, 2011; however, these revisions were suspended following a decision from the CTA on January 9, 2012, pending the CTA’s investigation into this matter.

In order to address these complaints, the CTA had to assess the reasonableness of the proposed tariff and determine whether they were unjustly discriminatory.  This involved balancing the shippers’ rights against the carrier’s obligations and required the CTA to consider various factors including, current business practices, and the commercial impact on the parties involved.  The CTA reviewed comments from the parties directly involved with the complaints as well as the three organizations granted ‘intervener’ status and twenty four other individuals and organizations that were granted ‘interested person’ status.

The CTA found that the proposed tariff revisions constituted a rational business decision as many of Air Canada’s competitors already had similar policies in place and since Air Canada had been receiving thousands of letters of protest regarding the transport of non-human primates for research.  Furthermore, it found that the revisions would not result in a differentiation between shippers of a specific characteristic or otherwise, nor would it subject any description of traffic to undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage.

In the end, the CTA elected not to monkey around with Air Canada’s proposed tariff.


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