Cycling Perspective on 

Transport Canada's Third Sustainable Development Strategy, 2004 to 2006

Transport Canada – Towards Sustainable Transportation
Transport Canada (1) is preparing its third Sustainable Development Strategy (SDS) that will be presented to Parliament in the fall. The SDS will identify specific actions for Transport Canada to undertake to promote sustainable transportation within its own operations and policies, as well as with other organizations and the Canadian public.
The World Commission on Environment and Development (2) defines a sustainable transportation system as one that “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.
Canadians (1) have long recognized that a sound transportation system is critical to the well being of our society and economy.  The challenge is to balance this need while addressing the three elements of a sustainable transportation system – economic, social, and environmental.
Transport Canada held public consultation sessions across Canada in the second quarter of 2003 asking for input on its proposed seven strategic challenges and opportunities.  Representatives of the VACC attended the Vancouver session.  After reviewing the background documentation and participating in the discussion forum, it became apparent that there are significant shortcomings in the seven strategic challenges that Transport Canada is planning to pursue.  In the documentation there were just two references to cycling and not a strategy to improve the quality of the air (i.e. sustainability) through increased usage of cycling for any type of trip.  Cyclists need to be drawing this to the attention of the Ministers of Transportation and Environment as well as their local Member of Parliament ( ).

Two areas that have not been addressed within the strategic challenges are;

  •  cycling, and

  • passenger intermodal commuting involving cycling as a feeder transportation mode, for part of the trip.
The VACC would like to offer to Transport Canada 19 cycling related strategies (full list - ) that would contribute to achieving the Kyoto protocol commitments.  These strategies with their 5 focuses should be included in Transport Canada’s SDS.

National Roadway Infrastructure

Funding of a national cycling infrastructure at a level based on regional, cycling mode split percentages of the total transportation budget.  Sustainable development strategies specifically target at urban or rural areas, rather than on a just global approach.  Strategy for increasing commuting and tourism by bicycle through use of railway active and abandoned right of ways for rail-trails.

Cycling Infrastructure – Urban

 Strategies for providing private vehicle drivers a true alternative to commuting to work.  Enhancing the cycling transportation mode alternative with strategies and support for cycling modal split targets, national and jurisdictional level cycling master plans, proactive use of Mobility Management or TDM, and vehicle specifications that will address a significant safety barrier for many people to cycling.

Cycling Facilities as an Integral Part of any Federal Infrastructure Funding

 As a condition of receiving federal funding for any transportation mode, excluding freight only, provinces and municipalities must agree to provide cycling facilities as part of any federally funded infrastructure program.

Intermodal Commuting including Cycling as Part of any Trip

Strategies for promoting and facilitating intermodal commuting with cycling for part of the trip.

National Expertise or Centre of Excellence - Cycling

 Strategies for Transport Canada to provide leadership in developing national expertise and capabilities in cycling as a transportation mode and in actively promoting and supporting ongoing discussion between government, the cycling communities, and transportation specialists.

So, write to the Ministers and your representation and let your voice be heard.


1.       Transport Canada, Toward Sustainable Transportation, A Discussion Paper for Transport Canada’s Third Sustainable Development Strategy, 2004-2006, May 2003 July 26

2.       Transport Canada, Sustainable Development Strategy 2001-2003, TP 13123

Proposed Cycling Strategic Challenges
Cycling as a Transportation Option, Our Contribution to a Better, Healthier Future


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