Ottawa, ON – Changes in transportation oversight have inspectors concerned about the safety of the travelling public. Christine Collins, National President of the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees (UCTE), told parliament you can’t do away with direct inspections without putting people at risk.
UCTE is the national union that represents most inspectors at Transport Canada and the Transportation Safety Board. Of the 1350 Inspectors at Transport Canada we represent all but the pilot inspectors in the Civil Aviation mode.
“Transport Canada is putting too much trust in industry to regulate itself by relying on company safety management systems (SMS),” says Christine Collins, UCTE National President. “Gone are the days of unannounced inspections. Companies must be given as much as 10 weeks minimum notice in some cases.”
Today, Ms Collins presented UCTE’s position paper, Canada’s Broken Transportation Safety Oversight System: A Concerned Inspectorate Speaks before the Standing Committee on Transportation, Infrastructure and Communications. Highlights include:
• Direct and unannounced inspections should be the primary oversight method.
• Safety Management Systems should be an additional layer of safety, not a replacement layer for direct inspections.
• There must be clear whistleblower protections for those both within and outside of government.
• Incident reporting should be publicly available.
• Follow up time limits should be imposed on Transportation Safety Board (TSB) recommendations.
“I believe that our members and Transport Canada management have the same goal- to keep the travelling public safe,” said Ms Collins. “The problem is no one is asking the experts, Transport’s own inspectors, what is working.”