The Liberal government will this week table long-anticipated changes to Canadian transportation laws, which are expected to address the rights of airline passengers, particularly after a series of overbooking scandals.
Transport Minister Marc Garneau's office declined to comment on the specifics of the bill until it is properly introduced in Parliament.
Mr. Garneau has committed to introducing legislation this spring that would establish an airline passenger bill of rights to deal with consequences for overbooking, delays and lost or damaged luggage. The government is aiming to have the law in place by 2018.
According to House of Commons rules, the government must give 48-hours' notice before introducing legislation, meaning the bill could be introduced as early as Tuesday.
The legislation will come a month after United Airlines faced massive public backlash for its handling of an overbooked flight.
On April 9, a 69-year-old man was violently dragged off a fully booked United flight to Chicago after refusing to leave his seat to accommodate airline crew members. The altercation was caught on video and went viral on the Internet.
The airline apologized and reached a legal settlement with the man.
After the incident, United and other U.S. airlines boosted the incentives offered to passengers willing to give up their seats on an overbooked flight. Another U.S. carrier, Southwest Airlines Co., said it will stop overbooking altogether.
Overbooking allows airlines to ensure their planes are flying at maximum capacity, even if customers miss the flight.
While the Canadian Transportation Agency has said the practice is acceptable, Mr. Garneau warned airlines last month that forcibly removing passengers from overbooked flights will not be tolerated.
"I am sure that you were as disturbed as I was, and as all Canadians were, over the appalling incident that took place on board a United flight earlier this week, when a passenger was forcibly removed from his seat. I am writing to you today to convey that such an incident would be unacceptable in Canada," Mr. Garneau said in an April 13 letter to Canadian airlines.
It is not yet clear how the legislation will specifically address consumer issues, such as overbooking.
The letter also outlined the government's plans to table an airline passenger bill of rights after months of consultations with Canadians on their concerns about air travel.
The NDP has been urging the Liberals to introduce legislation since Mr. Garneau expressed the government's intentions to do so last November.
"We need to put the safety and rights of passengers ahead of the interests of airlines and we think Canadians have waited long enough," said NDP industry critic Brian Masse in a statement last month.
The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) has been advocating for clearer, simpler rules for airline passengers for years.
It said this week's legislation will bring Canadian air passengers one step closer to better consumer protection.
"The legislation must provide a clear set of standards for the airlines to follow, so that Canadians can easily understand their rights and how to claim them," said Jeff Walker, vice-president of public affairs at CAA National.
In addition to bumping and excessive delays, the CAA said the bill should also ensure parents do not have to pay extra to sit with their children on a flight.
The legislation is also expected to establish a long-term plan for the rail shipment of all commodities, including grain.
Canadian farmers have expressed concern over a potential repeat of the 2013-2014 rail bottleneck that prevented bumper grain crops from getting to market.
Mr. Garneau will also deliver a speech on "the future of freight rail" at the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Thursday.