Code of Values and Ethics for the Canadian Transportation Agency

Table of contents

1. Introduction

1.1 About our Code

The Code of Values and Ethics for the Canadian Transportation Agency outlines the core values and expected behaviours that guide us – as Agency employees and public servants – in all activities related to our professional duties.

All federal public servants are expected to uphold the same core values and ethics, as outlined in the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector. However, each organization has unique considerations that relate to its specific role and mandate.

As an independent administrative tribunal and economic regulator of the Government of Canada, the Agency acts as:

  • a quasi-judicial tribunal, the Agency, informally and through formal adjudication, resolves a range of commercial and consumer transportation-related disputes, including accessibility issues for persons with disabilities. It operates like a court when adjudicating disputes.
  • an economic regulator, the Agency makes determinations and issues authorities, licences and permits to transportation carriers under federal jurisdiction.

Consequently, the Agency is particularly concerned with values like transparency, natural justice and non-partisan behaviour and these considerations are reflected in the values and expected behaviours outlined in our Code.

Our Code incorporates the overall Public Sector Code.  Both codes are established pursuant to the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act.

In addition, the Agency follows the new Policy on Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment.

1.2 Objectives

Federal public servants play a fundamental role in serving Canadians, their communities and the public interest. By committing to these values and adhering to the expected behaviours, we strengthen the ethical culture of the Agency and contribute to public confidence in the integrity of public institutions. 

While our Code cannot reflect all possible situations or questions, it acts as a starting point for conversations about how we make decisions, treat each other and conduct our business every day.

Our Code sets out what management expects from employees, what employees can expect from management, as well as what employees can expect from each other.

1.3 Who it applies to

Our Code applies to all Agency employees, including all levels of management, whether they are indeterminate, term, casual, student or seconded. As Governor in Council appointees, members are not subject to our Code because they follow a separate Members Code of Conduct.

Every employee, regardless of level or position, must accept and adhere to these values and expected behaviours as a condition of employment. Employees can also expect to be treated in accordance with these values. Breaches of our Code may result in disciplinary measures up to and including termination of employment. 

2. Values and expected behaviours

Values are demonstrated through behaviour. Therefore, employees should conduct themselves in accordance with the expected behaviours listed for each value.

The values and expected behaviours are intended to guide you in choosing courses of action and to encourage open dialogue. As they sometimes overlap, it is best to approach them as a connected set of principles.

The Agency is committed to integrating these values into its decisions, actions, policies, processes and systems. In the performance of our mandate, we will strive to apply the values to ensure procedural fairness in making decisions.

Our Code is a living document to be referred to and acted on continuously.

2.1 Respect for democracy

The system of Canadian parliamentary democracy and its institutions are fundamental to serving the public interest.  Public servants recognize that elected officials are accountable to Parliament, and ultimately to the Canadian people, and that a non-partisan public sector is essential to our democratic system.

Employees shall uphold Canadian parliamentary democracy and its institutions by:

  • Respecting the rule of law and carrying out their duties in accordance with legislation, policies and directives in a non-partisan and impartial manner.
  • Loyally carrying out the lawful decisions of their leaders and supporting accountability to Parliament and Canadians.
  • Providing decision makers with all the information, analysis and advice they need, always striving to be open, candid and impartial.

At the Agency, respect for democracy also means:

  • We promote the constructive and timely exchange of views and information.
  • We give employees the opportunity to voice their ideas and to provide input.
  • We ensure that pertinent information is cascading down and up throughout the Agency.
  • We encourage horizontal information sharing and dialogue within and across the Agency.
  • We make Agency information easily available and accessible to the public.

2.2 Respect for people

Treating all people with respect, dignity and fairness is fundamental to our relationship with the Canadian public and contributes to a safe and healthy work environment that promotes engagement, openness and transparency.  The diversity of our people and the ideas they generate are the source of our innovation.     

Employees shall respect human dignity and the value of every person by:

  • Treating every person with respect and fairness.
  • Valuing diversity and the benefit of combining the unique qualities and strengths inherent in a diverse workforce.
  • Helping to create and maintain safe and healthy workplaces that are free from harassment and discrimination. 
  • Working together in a spirit of openness, honesty and transparency that encourages engagement, collaboration and respectful communication.

At the Agency, respect for people also means:

  • We treat people with fairness, courtesy and respect, and foster a cooperative, rewarding working environment.
  • We respect people’s time, priorities, schedules and workload.
  • We communicate our needs and expectations clearly to others.
  • We respect each other’s expertise and we support and recognize the contributions of others.
  • We respect our audience by using plain language and we identify ourselves and our positions for transparency and follow-up.
  • We respect work-life balance.

2.3 Integrity

Integrity is the cornerstone of good governance and democracy. By upholding the highest ethical standards, public servants conserve and enhance public confidence in the honesty, fairness and impartiality of the federal public sector.

Employees shall serve the public interest by:

  • Acting at all times with integrity and in a manner that will bear the closest public scrutiny, an obligation that may not be fully satisfied by simply acting within the law. 
  • Never using their official roles to inappropriately obtain an advantage for themselves or to advantage or disadvantage others.
  • Taking all possible steps to prevent and resolve any real, apparent or potential conflicts of interest between their official responsibilities and their private affairs in favour of the public interest. 
    • Acting in such a way as to maintain their employer’s trust.

At the Agency, integrity is a fundamental value. For us, it also means:

  • We act with honesty, fairness and transparency.
  • We respect the rules of confidentiality.
  • We live up to our commitments within the workplace and with clients and stakeholders.
  • We faithfully and consistently implement decisions, regulations and policies.
  • We show professionalism by recognizing our limitations and directing people to where expert help is available.
  • We support the concept of natural justice and act in a way that reflects positively on the Agency’s reputation for fair, objective and respected decisions.

2.4 Stewardship

Federal public servants are entrusted to use and care for public resources responsibly, for both the short term and long term. 

Employees shall use resources responsibly by:

  • Effectively and efficiently using the public money, property and resources managed by them.
  • Considering the present and long-term effects that their actions have on people and the environment.
  • Acquiring, preserving and sharing knowledge and information as appropriate.

At the Agency, stewardship also means:

  • We take full responsibility for our obligations and commitments.
  • We share our knowledge and expertise with other government organizations.
  • We are committed to transparency and accountability.
  • We encourage succession planning and knowledge transfer initiatives to preserve corporate memory.

2.5 Excellence

Excellence in the design and delivery of public sector policy, programs and services is beneficial to every aspect of Canadian public life.  Engagement, collaboration, effective teamwork and professional development are all essential to a high-performing organization.

Employees shall demonstrate professional excellence by:

  • Providing fair, timely, efficient and effective services that respect Canada’s official languages.
  • Continually improving the quality of policies, programs and services they provide.
  • Fostering a work environment that promotes teamwork, learning and innovation.

At the Agency, excellence also means:

  • We provide the highest quality service through expertise, professionalism and responsiveness.
  • We commit to creative thinking as the driving force to achieve continuous improvement.
  • We encourage our employees to develop learning plans that ensure continuous improvement.
  • We keep up to date with the latest in our field of expertise to provide the highest quality service.
  • We challenge the status quo and foster a creative work environment.

3. Responsibilities

No matter our role within the organization, modeling our behaviour and actions according to our Code demonstrates leadership.  Ethics in the workplace is a shared responsibility and we are all expected to “walk the talk”.

3.1 Employees

All Employees are responsible for:

  • Being familiar with the values and expected behaviours in our Code.
  • Conducting ourselves in accordance with the values and expected behaviours.
  • Engaging in discussions about implementing the values and expected behaviours.
  • Acting with transparency and fairness.
  • Striving for excellence and doing the right thing every day.
  • Maintaining open, positive communications and working relationships.
  • Discussing ethical concerns with management or designated officials.
  • Reporting illegal activities or wrongdoing.
  • Disclosing and resolving actual and perceived conflict of interest situations.
  • Cooperating in investigations regarding violations of our Code.

3.2 Management

The Chair is responsible for:

  • Establishing policies, programs and services to support our Code.
  • Overseeing the implementation, application and evaluation of our Code and internal disclosure procedures.
  • Fostering a culture of values and ethics.
  • Ensuring that employees are aware of their responsibilities under our Code.
  • Arranging for the non-partisan delivery of programs and services.
  • Ensuring that employees have access to information and advice on ethical issues, including possible conflicts of interest.

Directors General, Directors and Managers are responsible for:

  • Integrating the values and expected behaviours into organizational practices.
    • Ensuring that their employees are aware of our Code and its values and expected behaviours and helping them to learn from mistakes in a respectful manner.
    • Creating opportunities for open dialogue about our Code and its values and expected behaviours.
    • Fostering a climate of trust and respect that supports ethical behaviour and where concerns may be raised without fear of reprisal.
    • Protecting from reprisal all employees who, in good faith, disclose any breach of this our Code.
    • Being alert and dealing with undesirable conduct in a timely and appropriate fashion.
    • Promoting the Informal Conflict Management System (ICMS).

Executive Committee and the Executive Sub-Committee on the People Strategic Priority are responsible for:

  • Ensuring that programs, policies and services correspond to the values and expected behaviours.
  • Monitoring the implementation and application of our Code.

3.3 Designated officials

The Senior Official for Values and Ethics is responsible for:

  • Fostering a culture of values and ethics at the Agency.
  • Informing, supporting and advising employees on their professional conduct within the context of our Code.
  • Supporting prompt resolution of complaints related to values and ethics.

The Senior Officer Responsible for Internal Disclosures of Wrongdoing is responsible for:

  • Managing internal disclosures of wrongdoing as described in the Agency's Policy and procedure for disclosures under the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act and in the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act.

The Delegated Manager for the Prevention of Harassment is responsible for:

  • Advising employees on the topic of harassment.
  • Promoting the prevention of harassment.
  • Supporting prompt resolution of harassment complaints.

The Designated Official for Conflict of Interest is responsible for:

The Senior Officer for the Informal Conflict Management System is responsible for:

  • Advising employees on how to resolve conflicts informally at the earliest possible stage.
  • Promoting the ICMS.

For more information on the role of designated officials, visit the Values and Ethics section on the Intranet.

4. Where to go for help

The expected behaviours are not intended to respond to every possible ethical issue that might arise in the course of your daily work.  When ethical issues occur, you are encouraged to discuss these matters with your immediate supervisor. 

4.1 Informal

You are expected to resolve issues in a fair and respectful manner. If you experience an ethical dilemma or encounter workplace conflict, first attempt to discuss and resolve the issue with the other party or your immediate supervisor.  In the event that you are not comfortable discussing the matter with your immediate supervisor, you may also use the following informal options:

  • Seek advice and support from one of the designated officials for values and ethics.
  • Use the Informal Conflict Management System.

4.2 Formal

If informal methods do not resolve the issue, there are a variety of formal options available, such as filing complaints with designated officials for values and ethics or with external organizations. Visit the Intranet for a detailed list of conflict resolution options.

5. Additional resources

5.1 Agency

5.2 Public service

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