Everyone knows that Canadians are so much more social than Americans -- and the Canadian Transportation Agency is proving it.
Stereotypes aside, after the Canadian Transportation Agency decided in December that it would begin drawing up new rules requiring airlines to transparently disclose fees, charges and taxes in advertising, the agency opted to introduce an "online consultation" to gather public input.
It is the first time any Canadian government agency has gathered feedback on proposed regulations in this way, the transportation agency says.
Canadians have until February 26 to post comments in an Idea Forum about ways to improve airline transparency on fees.
Anyone can read the ideas, and residents of Canada can register, post their own comments, like or dislike posted comments, and then share them on Facebook or Twitter.
Consumers are using the forum to post comments and conduct a dialogue about issues such as baggage fees, how an all-inclusive price should be defined, whether a baseline of basic airline service should be spelled out, and whether the new rules in Canada should be consistent with rules on bag fee disclosures established by the US Department of Transportation in January.
Comments an be posted in English or French and formal submissions can be mailed to the agency in Ottawa, Ontario.
The use of Web 2.0 tools and services allow for participatory multi-way information sharing, dialogue, and user-generated content and provides an efficient and effective additional channel to interact with the public. When using 2.0 tools such as this one, the Agency ensures that it is compliant with applicable legislation and Government of Canada policies covering matters such as accessibility, communications, federal identity program, information management, official languages, privacy and access to information, procurement and contracting, and security.
Chantal Laflamme, a spokesperson for the Canadian Transportation Agency, says "it is indeed premature to say if we would do things differently" than the rules established by the US DOT.
"The Canadian Transportation Agency did monitor the various regimes for airfare advertising," Laflamme says. "This is part of the information provided as background on the consultation site."
The Idea Forum in Canada, with all of its blog-style comments and social media elements, contrasts sharply with the process in the US, where comments can be submitted electronically on the Federal eRulemaking Portal, mailed, faxed, or delivered by courier or in-person.
And, there is no social element to the rulemaking process in the US.
The Canadian Transportation Agency is just so much more social.