Airline: The Last Six Months
Of Federal Activity

About

This Report

This is a computer-generated report that shows all of the federal activity with respect to the keyword "Airline" over the last six months. This is a demonstration of the power of our government relations automation software.

Hansard

House: 76 Speeches
Senate: 19 Speeches

House Senate

Bills

Active: 0

Regulations

Filed: 0
Proposed: 0

The House

Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.)

November 20th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...r the others that will be necessary. In essence, Canada's no-fly list currently piggybacks onto the airlines' computer systems, which means that the government does not control the fields to be included nor the way that the whole system works. This bill would give us the authority we need to allow the government, instead of airlines, to screen passenger information against the no-fly list. The people who have been affected...”

Hon. Erin O'Toole (Durham, CPC)

November 20th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, the government is in the process of passing an airline passenger bill of rights, which says it is a right for a child to be seated next to their parent on an airline. However, because the Liberals refuse to fix the no-fly list, some of those kids will not ev...”

Mrs. Karen McCrimmon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Lib.)

October 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... irritants faced by air passengers. These rights would be easy to understand and uniform across all airlines and all flights, domestic and international.

Canadians understand that in certain circumstances airlines do not have full control over events, such as weather, emergency, and security incidents, or even medical emergencies, but even then Canadians have a right to a certain level of protection when they travel. In other circumstances, when the carrier makes commercial decisions that may have an impact on the passenger, Canadians expect fair compensation for any inconvenience they experience.

Should Bill C-49 receive royal assent, the minister has received assurances from the agency that they are committed to establishing the regulations on air passenger rights as soon as possible.

Bill C-49 specifies that the regulations would include provisions addressing passengers' most frequently experienced irritants: providing passengers with plain language information about carriers' obligations and how to seek compensation or file complaints; setting standards for the treatment of passengers in the case of denied boarding due to overbooking, delays, and cancellations, including compensation; standardizing compensation levels for lost or damaged baggage; establishing standards for the treatment of passengers in the case of tarmac delays over a certain period of time; seating children close to a parent or guardian at no extra charge; and requiring air carriers to develop standards for transporting musical instruments.[Translation]

The minister has been clear that the regulations would include provisions ensuring that no Canadian is involuntarily removed from an aircraft due to overbooking after they have boarded the aircraft. He has also been clear that airlines will be expected to fulfill their obligations to the passenger and, in cases where a passen...”

Mr. Alupa Clarke (Beauport—Limoilou, CPC)

October 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...dam Speaker, some provisions of the bill attempt to respond to a specific situation. Sometimes, two airlines may be compelled to streamline their operations. For example, if there is a flight between Toronto and Atlanta, Delta Airlines and Air Canada could decide to merge their operations and offer a single route instead of two separate ones. That means that when a customer books a plane ticket, either Air Canada or Delta Airlines will get the contract.

When airlines merge their operations, even if it is just for one particular route, the competition commissioner must determine whether so doing will reduce the competition on the market and he must also ensure that this will not drive up prices for consumers.

Under this bill, the minister would have the final say as to whether this sort of action is in the public interest or not. I would therefore like to know how the Liberals define the notion of public interest when airlines want to merge routes.”

Hon. Judy A. Sgro (Humber River—Black Creek, Lib.)

October 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ortation into 2030 and the future. The bill would be an expansion of economic opportunities for the airlines, our shippers, and our railways. Much of this focuses on the economic side.

Would the parliamentary secretary elaborate a bit more on the passenger bill of rights, which we all know is extremely important as we move forward with more transportation challenges? How would that better protect the interests of Canadians when they book flights with airlines?”

Mr. Tom Kmiec (Calgary Shepard, CPC)

October 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...motive, and was moved to commemorate CP's history.

The bill, because it deals with railroads, airlines, and transportation, is omnibus legislation. The minister said yesterday that 90% of the bill dealt with one facet. However, it would go on to amend so many other pieces of legislation, some of which really do not deal so much with safety as with competition and the relationship between a consumer and producer of a good or service provider. Therefore, when the minister says this, then it is an omnibus bill. It is kind of like introducing an infrastructure bank in a budget implementation bill. That makes the budget implementation bill an omnibus bill. Therefore, the Liberals cannot deny that this is another broken Liberal promise.

Yesterday I called it a trick or treat bill. It is offering something that supposedly will resolve an issue or problem in the marketplace, a user-experience problem, but it is not so much the treat but the trick. It would not resolve the issues the Liberals believe it would.

The general opinion I have heard on the bill, from editorialists and critics on passenger rights and the service provided by different railroads, is that the proposed legislation will not meet the goals set out by the government. It might be a step in the right direction sometimes, but it is one step forward and two steps back.

As I had mentioned in my commentary for the parliamentary secretary, all the reasonable amendments put forward by Conservative members were voted down. The three that were not were subamended by Liberal members. I had put forward very similar ideas. The Liberals had heard a very similar concept from witnesses. They are actually changing it from seven to two days and one year to 180 days. These are highly technical date and number amendments done at committee. It is not the type of work I have seen with other pieces of legislation, such as the Senate private member's bill that dealt with the Magnitsky Act. There was far more back and forth and substantive amendments were made.

I know many members expect this, so I have a Yiddish proverb. “To every answer you can find a new question.” I will lead off the rest of my intervention on this proverb.

The more I hear answers from the government and various members on all sides, the more questions I have about the goals of the bill and where it will go. With every answer, I have even more questions. Therefore, I have some rhetorical questions that I will share with the House. (1115)

I read a May Globe and Mail editorial called the bill “a strange beast”. Yesterday, I called it the “demogorgon” from Stranger Things, a show I highly recommend for all members of the House, although not for young children.

The bill works at cross-purposes. Editorialists mentioned that the costs might be reduced on one end but would go up on the other end. Hopefully, competition will increase, which is a goal of this legislation. I do not think it will achieve that. The government hopes more people will be enticed to use airline services and choose to fly instead of drive.

Security fees will go up, which is a disincentive for air passengers. However, cost is only one issue for passengers. There is also the user's experience and accessibility. Access, in general, is a point we should always remember.

The bill talks about a higher max amount for foreign ownership being changed for Canadian airlines. Although it is a step in the right direction, it is only one step.

Higher equity stakes by themselves do not lead to more competition, and that is important to remember. Allowing international investors to own a bigger portion of current companies will not lead necessarily to more competition. It is a goal. What we need is a level playing field to allow an opportunity for new airlines and joint ventures.

I have much more to say about joint ventures because the bill gets that balance wrong. It puts the onus on the wrong person. More government involvement in the private sector in business is not the correct way to structure the economy in general.

As well, new entrants will look at taxation and a solid, stable business environment. That is something the fall economic statement does not envision for the future of Canada. GDP is going down every year. There is a gap between the first budget the Liberals tabled in the House and the following budgets, such that GDP growth goes up one year and the next year it goes down drastically. Today is Halloween, so I find these GDP growth numbers spooky.

A few provisions in the bill directly affect how joint ventures will be agreed to. It gives the minister of transport a role in approving applications for airline joint ventures, where two independent companies arrive at a negotiated agreement to provide a service to customers in Canada. Injecting the Minister of Transport into such a process is the wrong way to go. We already have the Competition Bureau to ensure there will be an increase in competition. We should not be involving more ministers of the crown in business decisions. There should be less government involvement in the business sector and the private economy.

The Government of Canada's answer has been that this will be good for business. This brings back the Yiddish proverb that it begs more questions. If the solution is that more government involvement will create more competition and thus be good for customers, then why politicize the process by putting a minister of the crown in the position where he or she has to decide whether a joint venture goes forward? Why inject the minister into a business decision?

The exact reverse is being done in the energy infrastructure approval process where everything is being delegated down to the National Energy Board. We can see the results of this. There is a complete paralysis in companies going ahead with the approval and construction of new projects. A lot of companies are concerned about going forward with new projects being considered in their shops and offices. They have not yet gone to the regulator to propose them. They are concerned that they will be unable to meet the new rules the NEB keeps creating, or that the costs of meeting them will be high.

This does not improve the business environment. Rather, it is worsen it. It would be much better to level the field, reduce political involvement, and ensure business certainty is provided. I do not think injecting the minister into joint venture provisions and allowing him or her to have a say over whether a joint venture can go ahead is the right way. (1120)

Most of the amendments were put forward after the committee had heard from witnesses, but I really want to dispel the notion that this bill, as it stands, is a product of bipartisanship or collaboration between the parties. Although I am sure there is collaboration at committee in terms of the discussions back and forth and that everything is cordial and collegial, there still have to be substantive differences between the opposition and the government, and there were on this issue. The opposition parties provided substantive amendments that could have been considered more seriously by the government caucus members for approval. Then we could say the bill was truly due to a collegial bipartisan effort and that the product is good.

What do passengers care about? That is the goal of the bill. Members were asking themselves what passengers and producers care about when dealing with railroads, but especially asked this question with respect to air passengers, because more and more Canadians are travelling by air. Cost, access, and user experience I think are the three most important things. Cost comes down to the dollar amount. There is opportunity to shop on different websites and I think everyone considers how many points they will get. We know that Canadians love their points, whether from Mastercard, Visa, Aeroplan, or Air Miles. Whatever they are, people in this country like to collect points, and it goes into the total cost.

Access comprises the ease of the travel, the convenience, and the airport services. Who can travel and how are other considerations. I choose an airline based on my ability to sit with my kids. I have three young kids and I want to make sure that I do not have to rush to the airport early to get them assigned seats. I want to make sure that they will all be sitting with me, so other passengers and I have an easier time travelling. I actually pick an airline based on the one that will give me the easiest time dealing with my three kids to make sure they can get through their experience.

As for the total user experience, Bill C-49 focuses only on user experience. This is not just my point. Massimo Bergamini, president of the National Airlines Council of Canada, says that the bill focuses too much on air carriers and fails to recognize that the air traveller experience, as I mentioned, does not just start at the check-in phase and then end at baggage pickup. It is the total experience one has. That is far more difficult to get right in one piece of legislation and the bill before the House does not quite achieve that point, because it does not consider the end costs or the access component of it.

We should not sacrifice customer expectations. That point was raised by others, and I agree with it. We are always purchasing difference services and products, and critics of the bill have said that the passenger bill of rights is a band-aid solution. To the point of the Yiddish proverb, the government caucus says this will resolve customer expectation and service-delivery issues, but it begs the question of why we are doing this if critics are saying this is only a band-aid solution. What then is the best remedy? The best remedy is always more competition in the free market, which leads to more consumer choice. The solution is not more government, yet this bill would create more government. By setting out expectations, the government would be able to deliver on more fairness and would be able to police the airlines more effectively. On the railway side, the government would also be more involved in setting prices and telling the railroads how to deal with their customers.

The passenger bill of rights has a section called “Ministerial Directions”, and says, “The Minister may issue directions to the Agency to make a regulation under paragraph (1)(g) respecting any of the carrier’s other obligations towards passengers.” This is after listing a whole series of obligations. In the bill, “obligations” is a very general term. It says, “The Agency shall comply with these directions.” If, in the future, the minister decides that airlines have a new obligation they need to meet, whatever it could be, whether providing a certain type of meal, a certain type of seat, or a certain type of service beyond those enumerated, then the minister can give that direction.

Again, in a free market, we can shop around. That would be the best way to go forward. We have already seen this is in the tech sector. There are apps on our iPads and phones and when an app does not deliver what we expect, we delete it. We get rid of it and move on. Whatever costs we have sunk into it, we ignore them. Hopefully, it was free, though it is not always free, and then we move on. (1125)

The same thing applies to smart phones. There is broad competition phones between all of the different smart phone providers and software types offered. People pick and choose which ones they want based on the services offered, the functionality, cost, and ease of use of the phones, and sometimes the ease of transferring to another device when it comes time for an upgrade.

The same concept should apply to airlines and the services they provide, particularly if people are not satisfied with them. It is not necessarily just a matter of choosing between airlines, but also about choosing other modes of transportation. Depending which part of the country someone lives in, people will have different modes of transportation to choose from. If someone lives in the Windsor, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa corridor, they will have more choices. I have taken advantage of that and taken Via Rail in the past. As a westerner, it is quite an experience because we do not have those types of service levels. The distances are far greater. I could have flown but chose not to. I wanted to experience Canada, as well as the travel time it would take using passenger rail.

I have travelled throughout Europe using passenger rail as well. It is very convenient. Again, their governments are sometimes involved in setting prices, but mostly in dealing with disputes. There is far more competition in Europe. Encouraging competition and new entrants is more than just about the equity stakes allowed. It is a matter of the regulatory environment, fees, and taxes that new entrants will face. At the end of the day, it is about the ease of doing business.

I remember my time working at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, where people would not come to us complaining about taxes or to verify a specific regulation, although that would happen, but more about the total package. For example, there was the issue of how complicated it was for them as business owners to comply with regulations. That applies to the owners of small-, medium-, and large-sized businesses. If the large businesses are publicly traded companies, the owners will be looking at the quarterly bottom line, and their executive team will be looking at how easy it is to comply with different rules and whether they have the people to do it. Can they meet the expectations of both their customers and the government, and can they deal with their competitors?

I know that the equity stake issue has been used. Vancouver's Jetlines have said they want a higher equity amount in their specific case to capitalize their company. This is because airlines face cash flow crunches and need large volumes of passengers to make ends meet, and profitable routes are quite limited. To have a new entrant come in, companies need to be well capitalized to be able to compete. Therefore, in their particular case, it would be beneficial to them.

As I mentioned before, I think about this Yiddish proverb, and every answer we hear from the government caucus and members leads to more questions. More generally, why do we continue to worry about foreign ownership in airlines? I want to draw a parallel. We are not as worried about the devices we use that are not manufactured in Canada, with operating systems not made in Canada, or that sometimes have data that is not even stored in Canada. I do not hear vast amounts of complaining about that, because people generally like the services they receive from their smart phone providers and the different software they use on the phones, whether it be operating or business software, or other recreational features they use. We are not as concerned about where those components come from, where they are ultimately made, but at the end of the day we care about the user experience and the cost. Foreign ownership in that respect is not as important.

However, with airlines, we could achieve far more if we provided much looser foreign ownership rules. In the legislation itself, the government goes into a lot of detail trying to change it. It has been said that airlines are not at the commanding heights of the economy. I know the government changed some of the...”

Mr. Tom Kmiec

October 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...gency is then required to abide by these directives. Not only can new directives be issued, but the airlines can be forced to comply, without there even being an opportunity for members to study them ...”

Mr. Gagan Sikand

October 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ers use these smaller airports as their hubs. All of this could lead to more choice when purchasing airline tickets, more travel destinations for all travellers, including those from smaller cities, and lower prices for Canadian travellers. Additionally, there could also be benefits for airports and suppliers and the entire country, as more jobs are added to the Canadian economy.

Another improvement to the air travel sector in this bill is that it proposes a new transparent and predictable process for the authorization of joint ventures between air carriers, taking into account competition and wider public interest considerations. Joint ventures are a common practice in the global air transport sector. They enable two or more air carriers to coordinate functions on specific routes, including scheduling, pricing, revenue management, and marketing and sales. In Canada, air carrier joint ventures are currently examined from the perspective of possible harm to competition by the Competition Bureau under the Competition Act. (1220)

Unlike many other countries, notably the United States, Canada's current approach does not allow for the consideration of the wider public interest benefits other than competition and economic impacts. Furthermore, the bureau's review is not subject to specific timelines. This raises concerns that the current approach to assessing joint ventures may make Canadian carriers less attractive to global counterparts as joint venture partners and may limit the ability of Canadian carriers to engage in this industry trend.

The bill before us in the House proposes amendments that would allow the minister to consider and approve air carrier joint ventures, taking into account competition considerations. On this latter concern, the current transport minister would work in close consultation with the commissioner of competition to ensure that he or she was properly informed regarding any concerns he or she may have with regard to competition. Air carriers that chose to have their proposed joint ventures assessed through the new process would be given clear timelines for an expected decision.

Providing Canada's air carriers with such a tool would also benefit the air traveller. By joining up networks, air carriers could allow seamless travel to a wide range of destinations and could reduce the duplication of functions. For Canadians, this could mean more seamless access to key global markets, easier inbound travel in support of tourism and business, and increased transiting traffic through our airports, thus increasing flight options.

Globally, airports are making unprecedented investments in passenger screening to facilitate passenger travel and to gain global economic advantages. Canada's largest airports have expressed interest in making significant investments in passenger screening, either through an additional workforce or technology innovation. Smaller airports have also shown interest in obtaining access to screening services to promote local economic development. In the last two years alone, 10 small airports across Canada have requested screening services.

The proposed amendments to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority Act are important, as they would create a more flexible framework to allow CATSA to provide these services on a cost-recovery basis, which would in turn allow Canada to maintain an aviation system that is both secure and cost-effective. It would also strengthen Canadian communities' competitiveness as they attracted new commercial routes.

That is not all the transportation modernization act would do. Bill C-49 proposes to mandate the Canadian Transportation Agency to develop, in partnership with Transport Canada, new regulations to enhance Canada's air passenger rights. These new rules would ensure that air passenger rights were clear, consistent, and fair for both travellers and air carriers. When passengers purchase an airline ticket they expect and deserve that the airline will fulfill its part of the transaction. When that agreement is not fulfilled, passengers d...”

Mr. Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway, NDP)

October 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...his Liberal colleagues voted against an NDP amendment that would have, among other things, required airlines to reimburse passengers for the full price of a ticket when a flight was cancelled. It would seem to me that this would be a very logical and reasonable request of airlines. Why did the Liberals not support that NDP amendment?”

Mr. Gord Johns (Courtenay—Alberni, NDP)

October 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... piece of legislation forward separately?

This legislation talks about joint ventures between airlines, a passenger bill of rights, and protecting the marine industry through transportation, whi...”

Mr. Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway, NDP)

October 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...deo and voice recorders in trains, a coastal trade act, port infrastructure, joint ventures between airlines, and a passenger bill of rights. Other than the common thread of transportation, these are ...”

Mr. Luc Berthold (Mégantic—L'Érable, CPC)

October 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...Canadian air carriers; enable Transport Canada to examine and approve joint ventures by two or more airlines; update the Canadian freight system; require railway companies to install voice and video recorders in locomotive cabs; expand the authority of the Governor in Council to require major railway companies to provide information regarding rates; and amend the Canada Marine Act to permit port authorities to access the Canada Infrastructure Bank. (1240)

All of that is in the same bill. Whether one is for or against certain of those measures, voting is impossible. One may like some of them, but if one dislikes others, there is no way one can logically vote for this bill.

There is a fundamental lack of respect and clarity in all these measures, including the passengers' bill of rights that the government promised. The Liberals say the measure is a document that will protect travellers, but upon closer examination, one can see that is not necessarily the case. Precious little is known about this bill of rights. Nobody knows what it will look like or what penalties will be imposed on airlines if they break the rules.

Instead of putting forward something very clear, the government decided to let the Canadian Transportation Agency made the decisions. The agency will decide what is in the document and will flesh out the details, details that will affect every air traveller and every airline in Canada.

How can we have an intelligent discussion about a passengers' bill of right...”

Mr. Alupa Clarke (Beauport—Limoilou, CPC)

October 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...the bill that caught my attention and that I would like to mention. First, with respect to allowing airlines to form international joint ventures, the bill will enhance the role of the Minister of Transport. How? Consider Delta Airlines and Air Canada, for example, each of which offers flights between Toronto and Atlanta. For ...”

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

October 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ing of cargo through our ports or the shipping of cargo and passengers on our rail system or in our airlines. In fact, with this legislation, yet another campaign commitment, the commitment to provide an air passenger bill of rights dealing with the issue in respect of passengers on airlines, is in fact being dealt with.

My question for the member is this. Would he not at the very least acknowledge that, whether it is in the legislation or regulation, at least now, for the first time, we are actually moving forward on protecting airline passengers?”

Mr. Gord Johns (Courtenay—Alberni, NDP)

October 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“Mr. Speaker, I think we all agree that we need clear measures to discourage airlines from overbooking and forceably removing passengers from aircraft.

The NDP introduced a bill in the last Parliament that clearly set out the steps needed to establish a passenger bill of rights to do just that. We put forward amendments with concrete proposals in the bill so airlines would have to offer passengers the choice between a full refund and rerouting under comparable conditions when a flight was cancelled. If the airline did not comply with this, it would have to pay $1,000 in compensation to every passenger in addition to the refund. Also, if an aircraft were on the ground for more than an hour, the airline would have to provide passengers with adequate food, drinking water, and other refreshments. For each additional hour that the airline failed to comply with this, it would have to pay each passenger $100 in compensation. It see...”

Mr. Dan Vandal

October 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ll occur.

I believe the key to this whole bill is achieving a balance between the passengers, airlines, and carriers, although there is some flexibility built into it. Our minister has been crys...”

Mr. Gord Johns

October 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...is Liberal colleagues voted against the NDP amendment that would have, among other things, required airlines to reimburse the full price of a ticket when a flight was cancelled? It is a simple questio...”

Mr. Garnett Genuis (Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, CPC)

October 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...me from a lot of different directions.

I also want to address the issue of joint ventures. If airlines want to propose a joint venture for a route, at present, the proposal is reviewed and ruled...”

Mr. Garnett Genuis (Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, CPC)

October 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...e lots of other problems with this bill. To name one, for example, in the spirit of the season, the airline passenger bill of rights is extremely skeletal. It is opposed by all sides for not providing...”

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP)

October 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...realize that Bill C-49 removes the power of the Commissioner of Competition to challenge mergers of airline operations? Is he aware that by eliminating the commissioner's power, the same minister can approve an arrangement that could quite possibly increase the costs of airline tickets? How on earth is that of any benefit? Why on earth would the Liberals limit the amou...”

Hon. Marc Garneau

October 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ved at every stage of the process when we talk about a proposed change regarding joint ventures for airlines. It is clear, and perhaps my colleague has not had a chance to read the legislation, that w...”

Mr. Tom Kmiec (Calgary Shepard, CPC)

October 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“.... Instead of increasing competition and providing for more opportunities for customers of different airlines to choose a different one if they do not get the service they want, the government's soluti...”

Hon. Marc Garneau

October 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...there are two critically important parts to the bill. One is allowing foreign ownership of Canadian airlines to go from 25% to 49%. That is specifically in order to increase competition. The second pa...”

Mrs. Celina Caesar-Chavannes (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development, Lib.)

October 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...will appreciate the passenger bill of rights, particularly with recent events that have happened on airlines.

I want to ask the minister how the amendments would increase the safety, effectivene...”

Hon. Marc Garneau

October 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“Mr. Speaker, I want to reassure my colleague that we very clearly will not be holding the airlines accountable for situations that are beyond their control. They cannot control the weather. They cannot control an outage by NavCan, which provides air traffic control. They cannot control a security issue at the airport that closes down the airport. There are a number of situations that are beyond the control of the airline itself. It is definitely not our intent, and I will make sure that this does not happen, because we have already discussed many of these parameters. For events that are within the control of the airlines, passenger rights would have to be respected. We would not hold the airlines accountable for things they cannot control.”

Mr. Gagan Sikand (Mississauga—Streetsville, Lib.)

October 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...strengthened rights for air travellers. Canadian travellers want to know that when they purchase an airline ticket, the air carrier will, in fact, provide the services they have purchased. If the air carrier cannot deliver the purchased services, then the traveller must be provided with a certain standard of treatment and, in some cases, the traveller must receive compensation from the air carrier.

Canadian travellers also expect that they should not have to fight to get the service for which they have paid. As such, air passenger rights must be easy to understand and apply consistently to all airlines, domestic and international. They must apply to all flights from and within Canada and benefit all travellers.

Should Bill C-49 receive royal assent, the Canadian Transportation Agency will be mandated, in collaboration with Transport Canada, to develop a set of clear regulations to ensure a consistent framework for air passenger rights applicable to all carriers. As our government is committed to ensuring this regulatory process moves forward in an open and expeditious manner, further consultations will take place with stakeholders throughout Canada.

The regulations would enshrine standards of care and compensations in a variety of situations faced by air travellers. They would address some of the more frequent irritants, such as providing passengers with clear and concise information about air carriers' obligations and how to seek compensation or file complaints; establishing standards of treatment for passengers in cases of denied boarding, delays, and cancellations, including compensation for inconvenience in situations of overbooking; standardizing compensation levels for lost or damaged baggage on both domestic and international flights; developing clear standards for the treatment of passengers in the case of tarmac delays; ensuring children under 14 years of age are seated in proximity to a parent or guardian at no extra charge; and requiring air carriers to define their policies on the carriage of musical instruments.

Canada is not alone in legislating or regulating specific practices of the airline industry by establishing a framework of passenger rights. Other countries have developed guidelines or regulations to ensure that passengers receive a standard level of treatment for compensation when their flights are delayed or cancelled. This government, however, is committed to establishing air passenger rights that would make our country a world leader in how such irritants would be to be addressed.

For instance, under the regulations that would be developed for air passenger rights, provisions would be included to ensure that no passengers could be involuntarily removed from an aircraft after they boarded as a result of overbooking. If the airline cannot find a volunteer to give up his or her seat, it will need to pay compensation to reme...”

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

October 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ve something tangible and we are moving forward. This is good news for those who travel through our airlines.

Could my colleague provide his thoughts on how important it is that we move forward ...”

Ms. Marilyn Gladu (Sarnia—Lambton, CPC)

October 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...f a travel fiasco, as I understand it, the legislation calls for them to sort out whether it is the airline's fault or the fault of another government agency. I am concerned about the administrative b...”

Mr. Ben Lobb (Huron—Bruce, CPC)

October 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ment that the minister made, which I think he needs to expand upon, was his reference to the United Airlines incident. There was more than one incident, but specifically he mentioned the one where an individual was dragged off the plane. I do not believe that situation is addressed in the bill. If one is waiting on the tarmac in the airplane for over three hours, I believe it is dealt with, but as far as physically dragging somebody out of an airplane, I do not believe that is dealt with in the bill. He would perhaps like to provide further clarification on that at a later date.

Others also have concerns. I think Air Transat expressed a concern around the joint venture side of things, which is another area that needs to be fleshed out and further examined. With respect to foreign ownership, we always have debates on the proper threshold and amount of capital for a Canadian airline. It is set at 49%, and any individual entity can only own 25%. We will see how that unfolds. (1350)

If we are trying to modernize the act, some people would probably think that landing rights should be looked at as well. Over the last nine or 10 years, airlines like Emirates and others have requested more landing spots. Pearson, for example, would be one, and I do not believe that is addressed here either. As far as competition and pricing go for international flights, certainly competition has proven time and time again to bring in the best price and the best service.

The other criticism I have, and I am open to someone else proving me wrong, is the part that deals with the proposed air travellers bill of rights, including with in regard to flight delays, damaged or lost luggage, or passengers being on the tarmac for more than three hours. The bill does not specifically spell out what that compensation would look like. It does mention minimums, but those are left to regulation. I notice this is a recurring theme in some of the bills the government puts forward. Part of this will be gazetted and people will have an opportunity to comment on it, but if the minister feels so strongly about this as one of the key parts of the bill and an election promise, if he has been thinking about and focused on this for a long time, the least he could do is to provide air passengers or flight groups some framework or numbers from which they could work. That is the least he could do.

In addition, we all understand that there will be days like today or a couple of months ago when there were hurricanes in the U.S., and some of that weather came up to Toronto and Ottawa and messed up all the flights. People understand there are going to be adjustments made because of weather and that there is nothing we can do about it. However, from the time they recognize there is an issue, airlines can work with the people. That said, I do know know how we could compensate someone who takes take a week or eight days off and has two of those days messed up, one because of the weather and one because of the airline. From what the minister said, we are going to leave that up to the department and the agency...”

Mr. Robert Aubin (Trois-Rivières, NDP)

October 30th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...rding to internal documents from Transport Canada, pilot proficiency tests will be conducted by the airlines themselves, rather than by Transport Canada inspectors, which is at odds with the recommend...”

Hon. Marc Garneau (Minister of Transport, Lib.)

October 30th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...to correct my colleague. We are not getting rid of the function of checking the check pilots of the airlines. The member misunderstands what we have decided to do. Using a risk-based approach, we periodically conduct an airline safety audit. It is a much more intelligent approach and it is the approach that our governm...”

Ms. Rachel Blaney (North Island—Powell River, NDP)

October 30th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...anada is planning to stop evaluating pilots and will instead transfer the responsibility to private airline companies. Not only are the Liberals considering privatizing our airports, they are also pla...”

Hon. Marc Garneau (Minister of Transport, Lib.)

October 30th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...to correct my colleague. We are not getting rid of the function of checking the check pilots of the airlines, who check their own pilots. We are continuing to use this approach, because it is an intel...”

Mr. Darrell Samson (Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, Lib.)

October 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...portant issues that Canadians face and that we need to deal with, including consistency between our airline carriers, which is extremely important; passengers' rights; industry or carriers' rights as well; and when there are issues, the compensation. We need to bring some standardization to compensation, because it is not obvious if Canadians are being compensated for some of the challenges they face.

As I indicated earlier, we need to consider denial of boarding, delays and cancellations, baggage that is lost or damaged, tarmac delays, seating with family members or delicate cargo, such as musical instruments, etc. Those are major issues that we need to look at as a government. This bill will help us reach that objective.

Let us look at the issue we had last summer when a flight from Belgium to Montreal was diverted to Ottawa. The passengers stayed on the plane. They were told by the carrier there would be a delay of about 30 minutes. The 30 minutes continued on and on, and at the end of the day had become six hours. Throughout those six hours, the passengers were not able disembark from the plane, and the air conditioning stopped or broke down. They were running out of food and water. These are all critical things that passengers should be able to access at all times. Not being able to do so showed disregard for the passengers and their rights. We need to do something about that.

Not so long ago, we also saw on television a United Airlines flight on which a doctor, again because of a mistake by the carrier, was removed because of...”

Ms. Rachel Blaney (North Island—Powell River, NDP)

October 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... supported our bill and could have followed our example by introducing concrete measures to protect airline passengers. For example, when a flight is cancelled, the airline would have to offer passengers a choice between a full refund and re-routing under comparable conditions. Air carriers that failed to comply with this rule would have to pay $1,000 in compensation to every passenger, in addition to the refund. If an aircraft was held on the ground for more than one hour, the airline would have to provide passengers with adequate food, drinking water, and other refreshments. For each additional hour during which the airline failed to comply with that rule, it would have to pay each passenger $100 in compensation.

We also asked the government to implement protection measures immediately instead of delaying them until 2018. However, the minister chose not to propose concrete measures. Instead, he included provisions in the bill. The government sold it to the media and to Canadians as a passenger bill of rights, but that is simply misleading. The minister is delaying what needs to be done by handing over the responsibility for regulations to the Canadian Transportation Agency. When the CTA enacts inadequate regulations, it will give the minister a way out. That is not the political leadership Canadians expect.

What is disappointing is that the Liberals rejected our amendments without studying them, folding under pressure from the airlines.

The facts are clear that flights subject to the European regulations have a cancellation rate of 0.4%, which is four times lower than flights subject to the current Canadian regulations.

We have seen this government continuously abdicate its responsibility for airports. While the federal government does not manage them directly, it is up to the government to ensure a strategic vision, especially in a country as large as Canada. This vision must include every single size of airport, from Pearson to the local airports in my riding.

The communities of Campbell River, Comox, Port Hardy, and Powell River have expressed serious concerns about this continued pursuit of the for-profit privatization of our airports. These airports are essential elements of the social and economic infrastructure in our region. Representing many medium-sized and rural communities, air transportation provides a vital link that connects families and communities and promotes economic growth.

As a representative of the third largest riding in British Columbia, I have landed and taken off from several airports in my region, going to or returning from Ottawa. This is how I get to community events across the riding when travelling to and from this place.

These communities need these services, and as the government continues this privatization creep, they are connecting with me about their concerns. Campbell River recently shared with me that these privatization plans delay much-needed effective action on other issues, such as the burden of federal rents and fees on airlines and air travellers. These stand in the way of more competitive and economical air transportation in Canada.

There is still worse news in this bill regarding remote and rural airports. I think members can understand why I will not be supporting this bill as it stands. Bill C-49 would amend the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority Act. Instead of supporting the growth of regional airports, the government would use Bill C-49 to pass the buck for security screening to regional airports or the municipalities that own them. This policy would hurt rural economies, as the cost of security screening is so high that almost no small airport would be competitive if it had to pay the bill. The government is clearly stepping back from funding and developing regional airports. (1535)

Currently, the commissioner of competition has the power to determine whether a joint venture arrangement between airlines is anti-competitive and can subsequently apply to the Competition Tribunal to prohibit the joint venture. However, Bill C-49 would strip this power from the commissioner of competition. If Bill C-49 is adopted, the Minister of Transport would have the final word on proposed joint ventures between airlines. Once an arrangement was approved, the Competition Tribunal would no longer be able to prohibit it.

If Air Canada proposed an arrangement to merge its operations with those of an American company, even if the commissioner found that the agreement would lessen competition among airlines and increase ticket prices for passengers, the minister could approve the arrangement if the minister was satisfied that it was within the public interest. This is why the NDP proposed deleting clause 14 of Bill C-49, as it would expose consumers to unfair increases in airline ticket prices.

A decision by the minister to ignore the commissioner's advice could be influenced by political considerations to favour an airline at the expense of consumers. In addition, the bill does not spell out what is meant by the “public interest” as a basis for a decision by the minister to approve a merger of two airline operations. The concept of public interest is so broad that the minister could consider factors that are not in the interest of Canadians but rather in the interest of the shareholders of major airlines.

Bill C-49 would impact two elements in the marine industry. First, the bill would al...”

Ms. Marilyn Gladu (Sarnia—Lambton, CPC)

October 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“Mr. Speaker, my question has to do with the price of an airline ticket. I am a little concerned when I see some of the provisions in the bill that would allow the airport authorities to basically buy screening services. I worry. In my riding, for example, there is only Air Canada. It is a monopoly situation. The price of a ticket there is nearly $1,000 to get to Ottawa, compared to being able to go to Florida for $200, if I wanted to.

Is the member concerned about the increase in airline ticket prices?”

Ms. Marilyn Gladu (Sarnia—Lambton, CPC)

October 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...passengers, including delays, cancellations, lost or damaged baggage. I had a flight recently on an airline that was not Canadian, I am happy to say, but my bag arrived with the corner torn right off and I had to replace the luggage myself. There was no compensation for me on that one.

I am not sure that this, although well intentioned, will be able to be easily implemented. For every claim for compensation, it has to be determined whether it was the airline's fault, the government agency's fault, the fault of the weather. That is a huge administrative burden, and that usually means increased costs. Those increased costs typically get passed on to the people who are buying the airline ticket. I have a concern that some of the provisions, although well intentioned, will result...”

Mr. Sean Fraser (Central Nova, Lib.)

October 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...hoods. A number of these problems are being addressed in Bill C-49 and we are going to require that airlines make it known to the public how they can seek recourse when an airline falls below the standard expected for travellers who paid for quality service on their flight.

In addition, there is a key part of air travel that I wanted to hit on as well. We have changed the foreign ownership limits from 25% to 49%. This is going to encourage more investment by international companies in the Canadian air sector and potentially drive the cost of air travel down. We have already seen two discount airlines, when they qualified for this kind of an exemption under the previous rules, announce that ...”

Mr. Sean Fraser

October 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...e foreign ownership restriction that has been moved from 25% to 49%. We are already seeing discount airlines come into Canada. This is bringing the price down and increasing service to secondary markets that are not very well served or not served by discount airlines today.

The final question that he referenced was the need to prevent one person from ...”

Mr. Bob Saroya (Markham—Unionville, CPC)

October 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...cs on the proposed air passengers' bill of rights, and is not supported in its current form by many airline passenger advocates, including Gabor Lukacs and Jeremy Cooperstock from the Consumers' Association of Canada. They oppose this bill, as they consider its measures of little value to support passengers. If advocates for an air passengers’ bill of rights do not support this, it speaks volumes to this legislation.

Port authorities and their wholly-owned subsidiaries will be able to receive loans and loan guarantees from the Canada infrastructure bank. My Conservative colleagues and I strongly oppose the creation of an infrastructure bank.

A further concern that is raised by this bill is that of staffing. The Canadian Transportation Agency and Transport Canada will require significant new staffing to handle all the additional data collection and regulatory powers this legislation introduces.

This bill would lead to drastic changes in every means of transportation. With respect to air transportation, in particular, I have a few concerns. This bill does not specify the compensation levels for passengers under the proposed bill of rights. Voting for this bill would give the Minister of Transport and the Canadian Transportation Agency a blank cheque to set monetary compensation for passengers in the future with no oversight. That is wrong.

The bill also raises a concern that the Minister of Transport will have significant new powers to approve or overrule proposed joint ventures between airlines. This will lessen the role of the independent and non-partisan Competition Bureau. (1645)

Further, the bill would allow airport authorities to charge airlines and passengers for extra security lanes. This has the potential to lead to new airport secu...”

Mr. Bob Saroya

October 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“Mr. Speaker, there is very little to the airline passengers' bill of rights. If someone is stuck in Toronto international airport or somewher...”

Mr. Bob Saroya

October 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...l. I am strongly suggesting that we go back to look into the questions from the railway lines, the airlines, and the people who are questioning the bill. We should go back and re-evaluate the bill.

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

October 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ly have expressed great concerns about some of the discomfort and problems they have faced with the airlines. Now we have a piece of legislation that would enable us to address many of the problems ou...”

Mr. Bob Saroya

October 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...tion? We are looking for crystal clear stuff. This all depends on the minister or his staff, or the airlines. We are doing this now. Why would we want to go back again tomorrow? Let us finish the job ...”

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

October 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... covers a number of areas, but that one really came to mind for me. (1700)

The other area is airlines and the idea of having an airline passenger bill of rights in place. This legislation contains a mechanism that would enable that bill of rights to happen. I see that as a strong and encouraging aspect of the legislation.

Most MPs do a considerable amount of flying, some more than others, depending on their proximity to Ottawa. I do not know how many stories I have heard over the years in regard to issues that have arisen between airlines and passengers. Passengers are quite upset because of the lack of recourse. Airlines have some restrictions in place that often lead to complications. Things are beyond one's control when it comes to nature. However, in many cases, airlines need to be held more accountable. That is why it is encouraging to see within this legislation things that will protect the interests of consumers and ultimately producers.

My colleague raised the issue of the Canada infrastructure bank and the opportunities there for our ports and others. He also talked about how this legislation would enable future investments. These things are critically important.

If we take the time to do this right and we invest in things such as infrastructure, or offer opportunities for investment in infrastructure through things such as the Canada infrastructure bank, then we will be creating all sorts of opportunities. We can talk about those opportunities in terms of the jobs directly affiliated with the construction of a particular project; they are tangible and easily seen. However, the jobs that can be created as an indirect result are equal to or quite often greater than that, especially if we are talking about issues surrounding our ports.

There is a huge demand for modernizing and improving our ports, and it would be at a substantial cost. We are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars. Bringing in legislation that could potentially enhance that development opportunity, the flow of goods both into and out of our country, is a positive thing. That would assist us in creating good, solid middle-class jobs that are necessary to drive our economy.

I am pleased with the policies that this government has put in place over the last couple of years, and their impact on Canada, on our middle class and those aspiring to be a part of it, and on those who are finding it more challenging. At the end of the day, literally hundreds of thousands of jobs are being created. We are seeing many benefits in terms of full-time jobs that are being created.

Bill C-49 would do many things, and I could list some of them, but I will not have time because I know the Speaker wants me to sit down. The point is that the bill caters to our airlines, our ports, and our railways, and members opposite would be best advised to get behind this...”

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux

October 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ting and ultimately passing legislation that is going to assist in enacting that protection for our airline passengers.

We recognize that in good part it will be done through regulations. There ...”

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP)

October 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ation Act, giving the minister of transport the power to approve joint-venture arrangements between airlines. This is worrisome, because that type of arrangement could proceed with the minister's approval even if the commissioner of competition found that it was anti-competitive, and it could increase the price of airline tickets. Let me repeat: it would give the minister of transport the final word on proposed joint ventures between airlines, and once an arrangement was approved, the Competition Tribunal could no longer prohibit it.

The NDP proposed deleting clause 14 of Bill C-49, because it would expose consumers to unfair increases in airline ticket prices, yet that clause remains. The bill would also increase the limit on foreign ownership of Canadian airlines from 25% to 49%, despite a University of Manitoba study, published on Transport Canada's own website, that demonstrated that this measure would have no positive impact on competition.

Most concerning, Bill C-49 would amend the Railway Safety Act to allow railway companies to use video and voice recorders, and despite the fact that the bill would risk violating section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms by authorizing the government or employers to collect private information without instituting adequate protections, the Liberals rejected NDP amendments to limit the use of these recorders.

Locomotive voice and video recordings should be accessible only to the Transportation Safety Board. There is nothing to stop individual railway companies from using them to attack workers' rights. In fact, there are a number of precedents in which CN and CP have attempted to attack workers' rights and privileges. New Democrats object to clause 14 for this reason.

If the government were truly serious about improving railway safety, it would revise the standards regarding train operator fatigue. Train operators are under pressure from employers to work unreasonable hours, and as such, this demand by employers represents a real danger to the safety of workers and the public.

There is a better way. Canada needs and deserves an affordable, accessible, reliable, and sustainable system of public rail transit, and Canadians have the right to the highest levels of service, protection, and accessibility of travel that can be provided. Instead, we see the erosion of infrastructure due to the neglect and corporate offloading of maintenance responsibilities, and passengers are subjected to the cancellation of rail services across the country.

Canada has a growing population, families with children, disabled Canadians, and senior citizens who need to travel. At the same time, Canadians are conscious of the environmental legacy we are creating for future generations. With proper stewardship and a visionary plan, we have the very real potential to revive our once thriving rail-travel industry. However, that kind of vision requires a federal government focused on national stewardship, rather than what both Liberal and Conservative governments did when they sold off national interests and pandered to those who bankrolled their campaigns. (1715)

It is because we need reliable rail service that I have drafted and tabled Bill C-370, which would create a clear mandate for VIA Rail Canada. Canadians are weary of the refusal by the current government, as well as Conservative and Liberal governments in the past, to acknowledge the economic and environmental benefits of a truly enhanced, integrated, accessible, and sustainable rail transit system that would far outweigh and outlive short-term political gain. Past governments have failed to understand that everyone, from the youngest Canadian to the seasoned commuter, benefits if rail travel is part of our future. I can tell members that this reality is not lost on the citizens of London and southwestern Ontario. They are the people who suffer from what is described, in the network southwest action plan, as the “mobility gap”.

Bill C-370 would provide the opportunity for Canadians and the current Parliament to evaluate cases where VIA Rail planned to eliminate a required router station. In addition, my bill would provide a legislative framework for VIA Rail's mandate as a crown corporation to make services mandatory, set minimum frequencies for certain itineraries, and increase levels of service with regard to punctuality. It would provide a transparent and democratic means to evaluate any proposed cancellation of service routes and a framework for managing and funding VIA Rail. It would help prioritize passenger trains where and when there were conflicts with freight trains and would create efficiencies. I encourage members on all sides of this House to support Bill C-370 when it comes to the floor for second reading.

In a previous parliament, the NDP introduced a bill setting out clear steps to establish a passenger bill of rights. The current Minister of Transport supported our bill. He could have followed our lead and introduced concrete measures to protect airline passengers but instead handed off responsibility for making regulations to the Canadian Transportation Agency.

The NDP proposal for a passenger bill of rights included measures to ensure that airlines would have to offer passengers the choice between a full refund and re-routing under comparable conditions when flights were cancelled. Air carriers that failed to comply would have to pay $1,000 in compensation to every passenger affected, in addition to the refund. Also, when an aircraft was held on the ground for more than one hour, the airline would have to provide passengers with adequate food, drinking water, and other refreshments, as well as compensation of $100 for each additional hour the flight was held on the ground.

Witness testimony tells us that such measures could result in flight cancellation rates four times lower than those experienced in Canada. The Liberals heard this testimony in committee, yet they rejected amendments from the NDP based on this solid evidence. It leads me to wonder what their motivation was and where their loyalties lie.

It is unacceptable for the government to shift the responsibility of protecting passenger rights to the Canadian Transportation Agency. Passengers and airlines need clear measures to discourage overbooking, and we need those measures now. The minister...”

Ms. Irene Mathyssen

October 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...g to work for the travelling public of our country. In terms of the passenger bill of rights in the airline industry, it needs to be better and stronger. First steps are fine, but we do not get many c...”

Mr. Kelly McCauley (Edmonton West, CPC)

October 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... the bill under the guise of passenger protection, referring constantly to the much-reported United Airlines incident where someone was dragged from the plane, as if something like that had happened here.

He also tries to pretend that government regulation is what is needed to prevent those situations in Canada. We all have our own horror stories of airline travel. What would address this issue is not half-hearted regulations, but more competition.

Changing the foreign ownership limit to 49%, up from 25%, is a good start, but why limit it at all? If we want improved service and other issues, then open up the market to more competition. We saw how this worked when WestJet entered the market. Nothing has done more to force better pricing and service from airlines across the country than having WestJet expand across Canada.

Why not focus on this, instead of measures that are rolled out populist-style to take advantage of consumer sentiment influenced by a viral video.

A University of Toronto report has found that relative to Americans, we often pay between 50% and 100% more for comparable travel between Canadian cities. Various expert reviews of the airline industry, including by the Competition Bureau, have recommended allowing a right of establishment for foreign carriers on domestic routes to put pressure on our airlines to improve.

The airlines might argue that foreign carriers would only operate on lucrative routes. However, Canadian carriers are under no obligation to fly to money-losing destinations currently, and there is no proof that the airlines are presently cross-subsidized to operate otherwise unprofitable routes.

One of the problems of this part of the bill is that it amends the Canada Transportation Act with regard to joint ventures, taking away decision-making authority from the Commissioner of Competition, and places the power in the hands of the minister. Yes, giving the minister the power to interfere for political reasons is just what is needed to improve airline service and lower rates—said no one ever.

The CAA, the Canadian Automobile Association, notes that the Bill C-49 relies on a complaint from a passenger in order to trigger action. The Canadian Transportation Agency cannot initiate domestic investigations on its own. Advocates and organizations can not intervene and each complaint is handled as a one-off, adding time and delays.

It is worth noting that the CTA was able to initiate hearings into the recent infamous Air Transat situation only because it concerned an international flight. The CTA would not have the authority, even under Bill C-49, to decide itself to hold a hearing into a similar situation if the flight occurred within Canada. Nor would the CTA be able to examine any broader systemic issues the CTA might note that did not come from a specific complaint and would have to ask the minister for permission to investigate them.

Noted passenger rights advocate, Gabor Lukacs, says the bill is “smoke, mirrors and has no teeth”, and contains no provisions about the enforcement of rights of the passengers. He says, “This strikes me as an an attempt to shield airlines from complaints and further prevent the public from ensuring their right.”:

He says that Bill C-49 contains no provisions about the enforcement and that it passes the buck to the Canadian Transportation Agency to establish standards at some point in the future. What we need is more competition, not relatively toothless regulations basically responding to a United Airlines' video that went viral.

We do not need regulations that will increase airport costs a...”

Mr. Chandra Arya (Nepean, Lib.)

October 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...wnership of air carriers, from 35% to 49%, while ensuring that no single foreign entity or group of airlines could own more than 25% of the airline stake. At the same time, it would ensure that speciality air carriers, like firefighting air...”

Ms. Brigitte Sansoucy (Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, NDP)

October 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...r current Canadian regulations. It seems clear that the Liberals are giving in to pressure from the airlines and turning a blind eye to the studies on the issue.

Bill C-49 would also require railway companies to install voice and video recorders in the locomotive cabs. This seems to make sense for dealing with accidents, but it must not prompt the railways to use this information for surveillance or disciplinary purposes. That is why we are calling for the use of these voice and video recordings to be reserved exclusively for the Transportation Safety Board.

The provisions of Bill C-49 are not clear enough and do not spell out how the train conductors' private information will be used by the railways. For example, the minister could decide by regulation that a train conductor's hourly productivity is something to take in consideration in a safety review. Following that reasoning, Via Rail Canada could use this data to manage employee performance, for example, during a stop at the Saint-Hyacinthe station.

The employees are refusing to give up their right to privacy. The government is not listening to the testimony of people like Roland Hackl, vice-president of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference. According to him, the bill, as currently drafted, goes against the employees' rights as Canadians, and he is right. Bill C-49 might be in contravention of section 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms because it would authorize the government or employers to gather private information without providing adequate protections. What is more, according to the findings of a Transport Canada working group, voice and video recordings are not part of proactive safety management.

The NDP therefore proposed a series of amendments to ensure that only the Transportation Safety Board could have access to the recordings in the event of an accident. Our amendments would also guarantee that the minister and the railways would not be able to use the voice and video recordings. Obviously, the Liberals in committee once again summarily dismissed these proposals.

I would like to talk about the change in the agreement between the airlines included in Bill C-49. Currently, the competition commissioner may make an application to the Competition Tribunal to propose the rejection of a merger of airline companies that stifles competition. The Competition Tribunal therefore has the authority to cancel a merger or a part thereof. However, under Bill C-49, the Minister of Transport will now have the final say in the matter. (1745)

As soon as the minister approves the agreement, the Competition Tribunal can do nothing to stop it. The NDP is opposed to clause 14 of the bill because it gives the minister the power to supervise and authorize joint ventures between airlines.

Imagine if Air Canada submitted a proposal to merge with United Airlines. Even if the commissioner found that the agreement would reduce competition among airlines and could raise ticket prices, the minister could still approve the merger if he or she deemed it to be in the “public interest”. I challenge the minister to provide a precise definition of that term. In Bill C-49, it is so vague that the minister could include reasons that are not in Canadians' interest but in the interest of shareholders of major airlines. The Liberal government is trying to erode our consumer watchdog's authority.

Bill C-...”

Mrs. Kelly Block (Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, CPC)

October 25th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...s bill. I will be suggesting four amendments, as they were moved. The first of these has to do with airline joint ventures. Joint ventures, while sometimes useful for creating efficiencies for airlines on routes in the air passenger industry, can also run the risk of comprising consumer interests due to the loss of competition on a given route, and the ensuing increase in ticket prices.

That is why the decision to grant or deny an application for a joint venture has historically been left in the hands of the very capable Competition Bureau and the Commissioner of Competition. Bill C-49 would change that. If the bill were to pass in its current form, the Minister of Transport would have the final say on whether or not two airlines could combine routes and share cost and profit.

Further, this bill stipulates that th...”

Hon. K. Kellie Leitch (Simcoe—Grey, CPC)

October 25th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...>With respect to this bill, and clause 14 that amends the Canada Transportation Act with respect to airline joint ventures, it takes the final decision-making authority pertaining to joint ventures away from the Commissioner of Competition and gives it to the Minister of Transport. In giving the Minister of Transport that final authority with respect to airline joint ventures, the clause mandates the minister to keep the act in the public's interest, b...”

Mrs. Kelly Block

October 25th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...c interest.

A potential effect of clause 14 would be that Canadian consumers might have fewer airlines to choose from on certain routes. As a result, Canadians might face higher costs for air tr...”

Mr. Robert Aubin (Trois-Rivières, NDP)

October 25th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... commissioner. Those who followed the case will remember the joint venture agreement between United Airlines and Air Canada that the competition commissioner ruled on. He said that a number of routes ...”

Hon. Michael Chong (Wellington—Halton Hills, CPC)

October 25th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...undertakings providing air services. In other words, section 14 involves joint ventures between two airlines, joint ventures that allow airlines to co-operate in terms of sharing routes, frequent flier programs, and revenue-sharing and cost-sharing.

This is not an insignificant section of the bill. This is a major change to competition law. Section 14 of Bill C-49 makes major changes to the Competition Act.

I want to take a step back and explain why I think this is so concerning. The Competition Bureau is a very important organization. It ensures fair competition in Canada. It ensures that Canadian consumers and Canadian companies operate in a marketplace where they can prosper, a marketplace where there is sufficient competition, and a marketplace that delivers lower prices and more choices for consumers and companies.

Canada has long had a strong legal tradition and strong framework legislation in the area of competition law. We introduced competition law before the United States did in the 19th century, and throughout the last 150 years we have continually strengthened that competition law in order to ensure that we do not see anti-competitive behaviours in the marketplace.

I remember in 2004 when the then-minority government of prime minister Paul Martin was in place. It introduced a bill that would modernize competition law with the introduction of administrative monetary penalties that would work in place of, and alongside of, Criminal Code penalties that have a much higher threshold of proof.

While that legislation did not pass, the subsequent Harper government introduced similar legislation that was eventually adopted, and administrative monetary penalties are now part of our competition law. Canada has long had a strong tradition of ensuring competitive marketplaces. We are also seen around the world as leaders in competition law enforcement and ensuring that companies cannot abuse their marketplace position.

It is with great concern that I read section 14 of this bill that is in front of us, because it would weaken the bureau. The bureau is an independent law enforcement agency. This bill would actually take power away from the Competition Bureau and the commissioner of competition, and give it to the Minister of Transport. Not only that, it would allow the Minister of Transport to ignore competition concerns and to approve airline joint ventures.

The reason why this is so very concerning is that we know that more competition and a more competitive marketplace leads to lower prices and more choice for Canadian consumers. If we look at the history of airline policy in this country, we have come a long way over the last 30 years.

Privatization and increased competition have given Canadians more choice and lower prices in the airline industry. We started with deregulation in the 1980s, we privatized Air Canada in 1988, we spun out of Transport Canada the airports across this country in 1992, we established independent airport authorities in the 1990s, and because of that, there have been literally tens of billions of dollars of investment in airports and in airlines in this country.

For example, in the early 1990s, some $50 million a year was being spent on airport improvements. Since airports were spun out of the Department of Transport in 1992, over $14 billion has been invested in Canadian airports. The same is true of Air Canada. It is a much better airline today than it was in the 1980s when it was heavily regulated and not subject to competition, and owned by the Government of Canada. Today it is a much better airline, and it is a better airline because it has been subject to competition. (1615)

However, the job is not yet done. It is clear through numerous studies that the Canadian travelling public is still paying far too high a price to get from A to B in this country. That is why section 14 of the bill is so very concerning. It is going to lead to less competition, increased prices, and less choice for the travelling public, which runs counter to the effort that we made over the last number of decades to increase competition and lower prices for Canadians.

I want to give an example to illustrate this point. In 2011, Air Canada wanted to enter into a joint venture with United Continental that would allow them to share many transborder routes between Canada and the United States, and Canada and other destinations. That joint venture was fully reviewed by the Competition Bureau and the bureau demanded that certain conditions be put on that joint venture. The bureau in its review concluded that 10 cross-border routes between Canada and the United States would be less competitive for Canadian consumers because Air Canada and United Continental would be subject a monopoly and nine other routes would be subject to less competition than currently is the case.

The bureau refused to approve the joint venture unless certain routes were exempted, so the consent agreement that was entered into between the parties and the Competition Bureau exempted 14 cross-border routes from this joint venture, ensuring that on those 14 cross-border routes there was sufficient competition for Canadian consumers. The bill in front of us today would allow the minister to override the bureau and to approve these joint ventures without any conditions to ensure sufficient competition.

If we take a step back from this and we ask ourselves why the government is doing this, it seems to me that one of the reasons is that it has become a bit of a political “scratch my back and I will scratch yours” game. The government pressured Air Canada to buy 75 C Series jets from Bombardier in order to help the government politically with the problem it had with Bombardier. Fearing that the company was entering a dangerous period of insolvency, the government put a lot of pressure on a private sector company to purchase these 75 C Series jets.

I suspect that in return two bills were introduced in Parliament. I think the government needs to come clean on whether or not there was a quid pro quo in this arrangement. Air Canada buys these jets and in return the government introduces two bills, Bill C-10, which lifted the requirement for Air Canada to have maintenance facilities in certain cities in this country, and Bill C-49, which has section 14 that would allow the Minister of Transport to approve joint ventures without any conditions to ensure sufficient competition.

This would be a real step back for competition law. It would weaken competition particularly when it comes to future joint ventures that airlines in this country may enter into. It would lead to higher prices for Canadian consumers and l...”

Mr. Martin Shields (Bow River, CPC)

October 25th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...that already have security screening services buy additional screening, that cost is shifted to the airlines. The airlines then pass it on to consumers. This provision would essentially be a veiled tax on air travellers.

I respect that the government intends to benefit air passengers by introducing this bill. However, it would leave what compensation passengers would be entitled to from the airlines to the discretion of the minister and the CTA. This would be extensive government intervention. We cannot risk those well-intentioned measures actually making air travel more expensive through ad hoc decisions. The CTA would have to determine on a case-by-case basis if a service breach was the fault of the airline or of any other factors. We need a charter of rights. We need it up front. People need to kn...”

Mr. Martin Shields

October 25th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“Mr. Speaker, the airline passenger bill of rights would be a critical piece for consumers in Canada who travel on the airlines. They would know up front what the results would be for delays and lost luggage. People nee...”

Mr. Alain Rayes (Richmond—Arthabaska, CPC)

October 25th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...cy.

The Canadian Transportation Agency will therefore not be able to consult consumer groups, airlines, airports, or any other stakeholder in the sector, only the Minister of Transport. That is not all. The minister is also giving himself extensive powers to approve joint ventures between airlines. That power traditionally belongs to the Competition Bureau, which should also be independent and non-partisan, and certainly operate at arm's length from the Minister of Transport.

The lack of integrity and transparency in the process is quite apparent, but mostly it is troubling. If the minister cannot bear to allow the agency to establish its own standards, he should simply present them to the House and give all members a say on the matter.

There is another false message: the purpose of the bill is to reduce travel costs for Canadians, while improving service, and yet the reverse could happen. The costs related to the bill could force consumers to pay more, since they will have to pay for the new regulations, for example, regarding overbooking. (1640)

If the goal is to enable Canadians to travel for less, why not just lower taxes for airline companies, which already have a narrow profit margin, by cancelling the carbon tax, for exam...”

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP)

October 25th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...We also have other things that could become quite problematic with respect to consumer rights. An airline passenger bill of rights is included in the legislation by name, and name only. It is a good example of what the government is proposing, namely, doing things by regulation, with no enforcement, no real law and, at the end of the day, nothing for consumers.

I will follow up a little on the people that consumers should contact about those types of situations in the future. If consumers have a problem with their airline and any type of compensation or problem related to it, they should contact the Liberals. The Liberals will own all of these problems directly, because they are willfully passing this on to the regulator. They will be the voice in the future to address any particular problems to that consumers face.

It is clever, because they are avoiding the responsibility of a real passenger bill of rights, which should have been done in a separate piece of legislation, with a rules-based system that is very clear and legislated. By doing it this way they are thinking they can say it is just a matter for the regulators and that they have nothing to do with it. However, the public could become quite educated about this process when they have a problem with the regulation in force. They would just need to see their Liberal member or to call another Liberal member somewhere else to get that direct input, because the Liberals are going to pass this piece of legislation with that knowledge. That will be the only real route to have input on anything, ranging from being delayed to not having one's rights observed, to being stuck on the tarmac for unlimited time, and so forth. All of those things, in terms of regulation, will basically be set through the minister. That is going to be a curse that the Liberals brought upon themselves once members of the public become a little more educated about how to actually respond to their particular situations.

With regard to report stage, the bill went back to committee and several pieces of legislation were dealt with in separate sections, which are important for Canadians to understand. One of them was the arrangements between airlines that would be allowed. We had amendments on that to challenge what would take place, because we will see less accountability in regard to airline mergers and ownership, and there will be no oversight to ensure that passengers and/or competition thrive. In fact, this bill would be a disincentive to competition, because it would take away that accountability and review by the tribunal.

The bill would strip away powers from an independent body that ensures competition in the airline industry, a body that would at least examine those issues and bring them to the minister, wh...”

Mr. Tom Lukiwski (Moose Jaw—Lake Centre—Lanigan, CPC)

October 25th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...d like to know exactly what happened and, hence, their access to what we know as a black box in the airline industry, but as a video and voice recorder on the trains.

What impact, however, might...”

Mr. Jim Eglinski (Yellowhead, CPC)

October 25th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...me is right. We all know that over the last few years we have seen a lot of bad things happening in airlines and we see a lot of bad things happening in Canada: delays, lots of times the airlines say they do not have a crew, people cannot go to a smaller community, or the flight is canc...”

Mr. Tom Lukiwski (Moose Jaw—Lake Centre—Lanigan, CPC)

October 25th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...haps two or three of the elements of this bill that are poorly crafted.

I will start with the airline passenger bill of rights component of the bill, but before I get into those comments, I have to say that every time I hear someone speaking on an airline passenger bill of rights, it brings a smile to my face. I recall an exchange several years ago in this place, and many of my learned colleagues who have been around this place for a while may remember the exchange I am referring to. It happened between an NDP member of Parliament—I believe his name was Jim Maloway—and a minister of the government at the time, Mr. John Baird. It was on a Friday morning. Sittings on Friday mornings, as most members know, are usually not that well attended. Many times, subject material comes out of left field. We were in government at the time this exchange took place. We never really knew what questions would be coming from members on the opposition benches. Because so few members attended, it meant that many members who had never had an opportunity to ask a question before could get up to ask something that was of local concern to their constituency. As a result, many of our members did not have direct answers for the questions. In this particular case, Mr. Maloway got up and indicated that he had introduced a private member's bill for an airline passengers bill of rights. In his question to former Minister Baird, the member pointed out that reports had indicated that in Europe a number of airline authorities were thinking, as a cost-saving measure, of charging airline passengers a fee to go to the washroom. Mr. Maloway asked Mr. Baird whether he thought it was right that airlines would be able to charge passengers to go to the bathroom. Mr. Baird, without a moment's hesitation, responded, “Depends”. Members may have to think about that for a moment, but it was one of the cleverest quips and retorts I have heard in my time, and one that I will never forget.

Let us talk about this bill and its suggestions for an airline passenger bill of rights. Once again, there is a lack of specificity and a lack of detail. The bill is suggesting that any passengers who feel aggrieved by an airline or who wish to file a grievance against an airline for a host of different reasons would potentially be able to receive monetary compensation from the government. That means that if a passenger had a poor flight and the airline lost that person's baggage or if passengers were stuck on a runway or the tarmac for several hours for whatever reason, or if passengers felt aggrieved in a number of different areas, they would be able to go after the airline for monetary compensation. This bill suggests that the minister responsible would then have the ability to set a monetary compensation level, but it is completely open-ended. It does not set down any clarity or any rules surrounding this compensation, such as what would prompt it, what would curtail it. The bill merely states that a minister would have the ability to arbitrarily set a monetary level of compensation for a passenger who felt his or her rights had been violated. On that basis alone, I do not think most members in this place could support the bill, because it is too vague. There is no detail illuminating exactly what the responsibilities of the airlines would be and what the responsibilities of the passengers should be. It is poorly written and I would encourage all members to at least go back to their own caucuses, talk to the minister and suggest that he look to at least amend or rewrite that portion of the bill, because it is poorly written. (1725)

Also, in a section in the bill dealing with air transportation and screening, in particular, whether or not airports would be able to avail themselves of additional screening devices. On the surface, it appears that might be a legitimate consideration for airports if their traffic were increasing and they felt they needed more screening devices to be able to properly screen passengers. It is something that most members here would think is a legitimate consideration. However, the bill also suggests that if an airport avails itself of a new screening apparatus, then the airline might end up paying for that screening device and passing along the additional cost to the passenger. In other words, rather than the airport authority paying for a screening device, it may pass that cost along to the airline.

The airline would want to recover that cost and would then pass the additional cost on to the passenger. What is that? It is a tax. There is no other way I can define it. It is simply a tax. Canadians are being taxed enough right now. The government, of course, wants to tax them even more, but that is perhaps a debate for another day. However, this provision is poorly thought out, poorly designed, and might end up, as an unintended consequence, taxing airline passengers even more than they are taxed today. It is another example of how the bill is not...”

Mr. Jim Eglinski (Yellowhead, CPC)

October 20th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...If someone wants to take their family on a Christmas vacation, it will be more expensive because airlines will pass that cost down to the consumer. Carbon pricing will not change how many gallons o...”

Mr. Bob Benzen (Calgary Heritage, CPC)

October 18th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...eaker, the “City of Calgary” is retiring. No, not my hard-working hometown, but rather a Boeing 747 airliner that has shared the city's name since 1989.

Calgary aviation enthusiasts have been lo...”

Mr. Colin Carrie (Oshawa, CPC)

October 6th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...usiness owner in Oshawa, employs 55 people and makes major investments in our community. Enterprise Airlines was planning the first daily scheduled charter service into Oshawa from Buffalo. Now that t...”

Hon. Hunter Tootoo (Nunavut, Ind.)

October 6th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...d services.

Transport Canada has proposed new regulations affecting duty time that could make airline operations and our cost of living even more expensive. When finalizing these regulations, will the minister take into account our unique circumstances and consider the impact these changes will have on northern airlines and Nunavummiut?”

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP)

October 4th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...l of rights in his legislation, but he never presented a plan. Instead, he wants to leave it to the airline industry. The safety and rights of passengers must be prioritized, which is the whole point....”

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.)

October 4th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...in a passenger bill of rights, and that is exactly what we are doing.

We know that protecting airline passengers and travellers across this country is an important issue for Canadians, and that ...”

Mr. Robert Aubin (Trois-Rivières, NDP)

October 4th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...d us that there are already solutions. It seems as though the Liberals are colluding with the major airlines.

If they want to avoid scandals like the ones we have seen with Air Transat or United Airlines, why do the Minister of Transport or the Prime Minister not immediately guarantee air passe...”

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.)

October 4th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, when Canadians buy a plane ticket, they expect airlines to be respectful, fair and competent.

That is why our government has introduced a bill to establish new rights for passengers. We even challenged the airlines to immediately respect the specific intentions of this bill, so that we can continue advanc...”

Mr. Gabriel Ste-Marie (Joliette, BQ)

September 27th
Hansard Link

Standing Order 52

“...large part because of its aerospace sector. While Boeing and Airbus traditionally shared the global airliner market, Bombardier and Quebec play in the big leagues. Clearly our talent, our ingenuity, a...”

Mr. Rodger Cuzner (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, Lib.)

September 27th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...es is unfair to employees working in other provinces and territories. (1855)

For example, an airline pilot or flight attendant working for a company like WestJet or Air Canada in Alberta should...”

Mr. Peter Fonseca (Mississauga East—Cooksville, Lib.)

September 18th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...xit information would offer a range of benefits. For instance, with access to exit information from airline passenger manifests prepared up to 72 hours in advance, the CBSA and its law enforcement par...”

Mr. Francesco Sorbara (Vaughan—Woodbridge, Lib.)

September 18th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... new exchange of information between nations would be required. The information comes directly from airline passenger manifests. To obtain an exit record in the air mode, for example, the CBSA would r...”

Mr. Tom Kmiec (Calgary Shepard, CPC)

September 18th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...t, the date, and the time of departure. Much of this same information may be found when printing an airline ticket to present to officers, similar to much of the information found on a person's travel documents. I know many people who share much more personal information over social media and Facebook. There are a lot of pictures there. One can get to know a person better that way than by sharing this type of information.

I say this as someone who came here from another country. My family came to Canada in 1985, after being kicked out of Communist Poland. Canadian authorities already had a lot of this information as part of the spousal sponsorship that my father had made at the time in his application. (1315)

We reveal a lot of information today too through social media, Instagram, and a whole bunch of other applications that proliferate on our smart phones. People really have accepted that. The point of contention becomes how that information is used by governments.

I do not often hear people worrying about how Walmart or Amazon are using their information when they buy books from them and have them mail it to them. I do not hear that same type of concern. I do hear concern with large firms like Equifax, and we see the privacy breach that is affecting Canadians, Americans, and many others. It will be a problem for many years of people trying to unwind any type of fraud committed against them.

In a situation where it is the government exchanging this type of information, the airlines already have a lot of it. It is not just border services in different countries, the United States, or Canada, but the airlines carry a lot of this information too. I still do not hear people mentioning how Air Canada or United airlines are using or sharing their information is a concern for them. People are already sharing it...”


The Senate

Senator Mercer

December 8th
Hansard Link

Transportation Modernization Bill Bill to Amend—Second Reading

“...’ rights as we must wait to see what the actual regulations will be. It’s a nothing bill to protect airline passengers really. Will these new rules be strong enough? Will they prevent the situation that passengers face on those Air Transat flights held up on the tarmac of the Ottawa airport? Eventually the airline was fined a few days ago. I truly hope so, because if not, what would the point of this exercise be? Ask yourself this question: Why is it not being done through legislation rather than regulation? It is not as though they didn’t know there was a demand for this change. It’s been ongoing for years, and I’m sure somebody paid attention. Honourable senators, for those of you who do not know what interswitching is, I’ll try to explain it in simple terms. It is complicated. It is an operation performed by a railway company where one railway picks up railcars from a customer and transfers the cars to another carrier that actually performs the shipment. Customers require this in cases where there’s only one railway near them. It gives them access to other railways in order that their businesses remain competitive. The bill replaces temporary, extended interswitching with long haul interswitching. In the previous bill, the former government had a number, and this government has brought in and changed the number to a significantly larger number. While on the outside this looks like a good idea, there are some concerns by stakeholders that this change could potentially allow too much access for U.S. railways into the Canadian market. This threatens Canadian sovereignty, Canadian jobs and Canadian investment. Why this is being done while NAFTA negotiations are ongoing has also been raised. It is beyond me that, while we are renegotiating NAFTA, we are giving away access to American railways with little or no guarantees for Canadian railways, no reciprocity. It makes no sense. Anybody in business 101 will tell you not to give away a negotiating point like that at the beginning of the negotiations. Perhaps the most troubling part of this bill is the installation of locomotive voice and video recorders, or LVVR. Proponents of this clause say that this is about safety and preventing accidents. Opponents say it is a serious violation of privacy and could be used for disciplinary purposes. Could we potentially alleviate privacy concerns in a way that satisfies both sides of this argument? We shall see. Privacy is a real concern, especially when you consider whose rules will apply. As I asked Senator Lankin the other day, when a Canadian train goes into the United States, after a certain distance they have to switch to an American crew. So now we have Americans in the Canadian train. If they’re being recorded by video and voice, whose privacy rules are we going to follow, the Americans or the Canadians? Whose rights are being affected? All very important questions. (1100) Lastly, honourable senators, I would like to comment on grain. If the government is or was so concerned about the movement of grain, why did they not extend the previous legislation, like they did once already, to help get the product to market, rather than put it in this omnibus bill that has so many changes that the concern over the movement of grain gets lost? We need to ensure that grain can get to market, and I’m happy to support the parts of the legislation that do that. But the sheer size of the bill means that it has to be studied as a whole and that takes time. New data shows that the crop this year has been fruitful. I’m very pleased for western farmers, and indeed all Canadians, that they’ve had a great year again despite some bad weather in the early going. So yes, let us help farmers get their crops to market, but let us not do so by overlooking other parts of this bill that may not be good for other stakeholders. Bring in a separate bill in the House of Commons today or Monday and pass it quickly. Send it down here and I can assure you it will have my support to get it through here quickly if it deals with that subject matter. Honourable senators, all of these questions and more need to be asked and we will ask them. We will do our jobs and the legislative process will persevere despite the best efforts of some to rush this bill through the Senate. I would rather get it right than do it quickly, as I’m sure all of us here would agree. I would remind those who want to see this bill rushed through quickly that we are doing our duty in this chamber for all Canadians. I do commend the government for some very important work that has been done on these files, and I look forward to hearing from the minister and officials. I also look forward to hearing from railways, airlines, a number of unions and other stakeholders as we move the legislation to committee. Honoura...”

Hon. Leo Housakos

December 7th
Hansard Link

Preclearance Bill, 2016 Third Reading

“... airports will help increase the number of national airports in the United States to which Canadian airlines and travellers will have access. Pre-clearance is currently in effect in eight Canadian air...”

Hon. Pamela Wallin

December 5th
Hansard Link

Transportation Modernization Bill Bill to Amend—Second Reading—Debate

“...work, family events, funerals and in some cases, it means losing your income. We need to strengthen airline passenger rights. The bill promises plain language when it comes to the carrier’s obligation...”

Hon. Pamela Wallin

December 5th
Hansard Link

Transportation Modernization Bill Bill to Amend—Second Reading—Debate Continued

“...tment of passengers. Travelling, as we all do weekly, but as I do from Saskatchewan, I realize that airlines clearly cannot be held responsible for weather emergencies or medical or security incidents, but Canadians do have a right to a reasonable level of respect and fair treatment and compensation when the former are denied. Appropriate and timely reporting is key to measuring and managing. You can’t fix what you can’t measure. In addition to establishing this passenger bill of rights, the bill also seeks to increase the limits on foreign ownership from 25 per cent to 49 per cent, with safeguards. For example, a single international investor will be permitted to hold no more than 25 per cent of voting shares in a Canadian airline, and no combination of international air carriers, either directly or indirectly through an ...”

Hon. Michael L. MacDonald

December 4th
Hansard Link

Transportation Modernization Bill Bill to Amend—Second Reading

“...ere, I travel a lot and only have positive things to say about all of the employees working for the airlines and at our airports. They show great patience as they are on the front lines when dealing with passenger frustration. Of course on occasion flights do not go as we hope, but the government sometimes appears to be willing to pit passengers against airlines rather than fixing the structural problems in Canada’s aviation regime. This legislation does not spell out what the compensation regime will be, just that there will be one. The bill states that after consulting with only the Minister of Transport, the Canadian Transportation Agency will make regulations concerning carriers’ obligations toward passengers. However, for even greater clarity, subsection 2 of proposed section 86.11 states that the Canadian Transportation Agency must comply with any instruction from the minister about setting regulations concerning carriers’ obligations to passengers. What this means is that the Canadian Transportation Agency is tentatively responsible for creating the rules of service and setting what financial penalties a carrier would have to pay to a passenger in the case of a service breach, unless the minister is dissatisfied with the level of prescribed compensation that the CTA decides is appropriate, in which case he or she can dictate what that level of compensation will be. It is noteworthy that the agency will by law be allowed to consult only with the Minister of Transport concerning the setting of these regulations and not with the consumer advocate groups, the airlines, the airports, NAV CANADA and other stakeholders in the sector. I do not understand what the purpose is of consulting only the minister. If the Canadian Transportation Agency is to be an arm’s-length organization, this legislation clearly diminishes its independence. If the minister does not allow the agency to set the parameters of the passenger compensation regime independently, then the government should just spell out in legislation what it will be and let members of Parliament and stakeholder groups decide whether this is a good proposal or not. While it would have been preferable to have the sections of this bill dealing with air and rail examined as stand-alone pieces of legislation, I can only surmise that the government’s laborious management of its legislative agenda has led us to the point where an omnibus transportation bill is the end result. I guess we should be somewhat gratified that we are at least debating something in the transport sector, because so far the only positive initiative the government has to show regarding transportation legislation since its election over two years ago is An Act to amend the Air Canada Public Participation Act. The only other initiative, introduced just days before the introduction of this legislation we are debating today, is Bill C-48, the oil tanker moratorium act, a bill that departmental officials conceded would impact only the future development of Canada’s oil sands and no other activity in northern British Columbia. Equally concerning about this oil tanker moratorium, which could also be appropriately named the oil pipeline moratorium, is that there is considerable support among First Nations on B.C.’s coast to pursue energy development opportunities, but the wishes of these First Nations are being ignored. For the Liberals to promote this tanker moratorium while ignoring the serious long-term economic consequences of this arbitrary decision is financially and socially irresponsible and extremely problematic. The government goes to painstaking lengths to emphasize the amount of consultation they undertake, but it is becoming more apparent that their interest in consulting is about optics and perpetual virtue signalling and not about listening and reflecting on differing and informed views. If Bill C-48 was not introduced for political purposes only, why is it that this moratorium has been introduced as a stand-alone bill and not as part of this omnibus package we are debating today? Canada remains one of the most expensive jurisdictions in which to operate an airline, and this is about to become even more so with the imposition of a national carbon tax. This...”

Hon. Frances Lankin

November 30th
Hansard Link

Transportation Modernization Bill Bill to Amend—Second Reading—Debate Continued

“...s today are the locomotive voice and video recording issue, the long-haul interchange issue and the airline joint venture issue. With respect to locomotive voice and video recording, as I understand it, the bill does provide for railway companies to place in the engineering cab area of locomotives a voice and video recorder that will be positioned such to record a video of and the voices of the running crew, being primarily, I would assume, the engineer and conductor. Cameras are currently locomotives. They are forward-facing. I think there is, at the rear of the locomotive, a rear-facing one as well but for sure forward-facing on the track. The information gathered there is used in safety investigations where there has been an accident or a safety incident of some sort. The addition of the — this may not be the correct language, but I will call it the “cab” area and rear-facing video and voice recorder. This is a new development, at least with respect to Class 1 and short-haul railways. With respect to Class 1 railways, the issue is being positioned in the bill as one that will be advantageous to all of us in terms of increasing passenger safety, crew safety and civilian safety, and I think we will all want to embrace that. I believe this is something that the Transportation Safety Board feels will be a major addition to the information they will be able to gather in investigations in order to determine cause and to set forth recommendations or orders to ensure that we eliminate future incidents of that sort or that we reduce the incidence of them. The concern being raised is the ancillary potential use of the video recording that will be produced in this situation. The running crew have, through their union representatives, brought forth the issue of, one, personal privacy and, two, the issue of evidentiary material being used for disciplinary processes. I think the first gut response to that is if there is a safety incident, and if the cause is human error, one would want to know. And if that human error was a result of negligence, disciplinary action would well be warranted. The concern is the gathering and collection of material in a surveillance way for the monitoring of output or performance, which under privacy legislation has been restricted for years. That use has been restricted. So as the legislation currently sets out, it not only allows for but it compels; railways must have this kind of equipment. It does not only ignore the provisions of the privacy legislation, PIPEDA; in fact, it exempts this material and these kinds of recordings from those provisions. And it not only allows for employers to review that information; it actually sets up a regime where it becomes compulsory because the railways are charged with the responsibility of monitoring and of sampling all the data that they can to understand safety trends and incidents. So we have a situation that’s a bit of a perfect storm because alongside the information I just provided you, we have employers who have actually — as noted by many others, not just the unions in these situations — a workplace relationship record, which is one of a punitive and disciplinary approach. So one has to wonder what restrictions on the use of this information would be appropriate in these circumstances. In the case of a safety incident, you most certainly want this information to be investigated by the Transportation Safety Board. I think it’s easy to argue that you would want employers to be aware of this information and understand what needs to be done to correct the situation, to educate and to provide appropriate training. More and more we see less training going on and fewer interventions in situations from that perspective and, in fact, less supervision. With the kinds of layoffs and cuts that have happened, there is less direct supervision and more of it has come to a digital means of supervision. It raises a lot of questions. I don’t have the answers to these questions. I know that the minister, when these concerns were first raised, provided a statement that the legislation prohibits such use. As we’ve looked into it, we do not see that. We do see a provision in the legislation that prohibits the use of the information contained on the video and voice recording from being used in the prosecution of offences under this act. That’s not the issue being raised; it’s with respect to the workplace. If people think that might be a bit paranoid on the part of people raising this concern, I would point to information I have been provided that in particular railway maintenance shops across the country there have already been cameras placed, objections have been raised by the unions, and those cameras have been covered temporarily — and the answer has been provided — until the resolution of the issues in this legislation. (1520) This legislation presumably has nothing to do with cameras in maintenance shops; however, that’s the direction the railway employers are going and they’re using this act as cover for it. In the long run, that could be disputed, dealt with and addressed. It does raise the concern of the attitude and the culture of the workplace that these provisions will be interpreted in, and I think we need clarity on that. Recently the minister sent out a letter to the railways indicating that these concerns have been raised and making it very clear, from his perspective, that any information that is gathered, collected and retained from the voice and video recorders is not to be used in workplace disciplinary processes, outside of the investigations of serious incidents of safety breaches and/or accidents. That’s comforting, but it isn’t assurance. I would ask the committee to look carefully at the overarching architecture of this with respect to exemptions from privacy legislation and provisions, how this will or will not preserve the principle of employers not having the right to survey their employees for output and performance monitoring in that way, and the potential spinoff effects of the structure of this legislation with respect to other parts of the railway operations outside of the cab. I do want to assure people that there is no argument or objection to wanting to increase safety and be able to respond to incidents with appropriate investigation and have the best information available. I will point out that, like on planes, there is a data recorder that keeps a range of information that is gathered as the train is operating. There is already a system —I’m not sure of the name, but it’s something like WayTraX. Like the monitoring in our cars that you can get with insurance companies, if you slam on the brakes suddenly, the system will send an email to the monitoring supervisor, who will call the conductor or engineer on the radio and ask what the incident was. There are mechanisms in place. It’s not that we are without information. The last point I will make on this issue is that we have a situation akin to this with airlines where everyone knows there is voice and data recording. No video recording is done in that situation, and I’m not sure, but I don’t believe there is a general exemption from privacy legislation. I would ask that the committee look at that architecture and come to some determination and report back to us on that. The second issue is long-haul interchanging. I have to tell you this has been a most difficult one for me to try to get information on. I did approach the sponsor — and I appreciate, Senator Mitchell, that you and your staff were terrific in getting information back to us. We were not very clear in the questions we were asking. It has been hard to get a hold of this. Part of it is my problem. Not coming from the West, I don’t understand the grain industry, where a lot of this arises. It seems that the bill provides for shippers to be able to make use of competitive forces to get lower prices in the hauling of their goods. The problem that has been raised is that it means that a U.S. railway like the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe would be able to be commissioned by shippers, let’s say, in Peace River, and that railway would send its shipping cars up there. I’m seeing a “no” from Senator Wells; so I will appreciate learning more on this as we go. The concern that’s being raised is that if there is a situation where CN has to be the one that fills the BNSF cars and then brings them to Edmonton and CP takes over and takes them to the border, and BNSF takes over and takes the cars to Chicago, the heaviest cost element of input there is in the loading of the cars, and CN is bearing that. The least cost would be the shipping, particularly after the interchange at the border, and so the U.S. carrier has the ability to put forward a lower rate. That’s going to change the rate structures and have an impact on shipping in Canada, potentially, and the rates there. I don’t understand that issue thoroughly, and I hope that is something we can be assured that the committee has looked at. I won’t say any more because it will show how little I know about it, but it has been a concern that has been raised. The last issue is airline joint ventures. Many of you may have had a conversation with the officials from Air Transat. They have been the most active in raising this issue. The concern is the matter of competition. The new provisions would allow for joint ventures that could be seen to be akin to mergers. As you know, airline mergers are reviewed by the Commissioner of Competition. There are provisions under the Competition Act that govern what the commissioner’s recommendation would be with respect to a request for a merger. In these joint ventures, I believe what the airlines are attempting to do is to make use of connections with other airlines that actually enhance Canadians’ opportunities to travel, at a similar rate, from Canada to international hubs and abroad. It is seen by the airlines as a way to also enhance their ongoing sustainability and their entrance into markets, and ...”

Senator Lankin

November 30th
Hansard Link

Transportation Modernization Bill Bill to Amend—Second Reading—Debate Continued

“The concern is that it would be a benefit that would accrue to larger airlines and not smaller airlines, and that could have a potential competitive disadvantage for them and, therefore, for the lines they provide to us as Canadians in our commuter flights. We need to look at what the downstream ramifications would be. The bill’s provisions would allow for any position of the Commissioner of Competition to be overruled by the minister on the basis of public interest. Two issues there: In the original legislation, it asserted that the commissioner’s report may be made public, but it wasn’t compulsory. An amendment was passed in the House of Commons which changes that language to “it shall.” That’s a good step forward. However, the airlines have raised concerns about that because there may be times — and I think the Canadian Bar Association argued this — that there is confidential proprietary information in that report that should not be made public. There are balances and ways to address that. On the other side, we would want a government to have the ability to make a decision based on broader public interest. Currently that’s not a large part of what the Commissioner of Competition looks at. The question is what is that public interest, and people have been asking for a stronger definition. Currently, there are guidelines and considerations used with respect to public interest when looking at the issue of mergers. Joint ventures are of a different order and might require a different and/or broader definition of public interest in order to override competition. I would ask that the committee delve into this issue and be able to assure the chamber as a whole as to whether these concerns are valid or not valid, and what the impact would be on Canadians’ flights in commuting cities. With the consolidation of large airlines in terms of their international flights, we have seen, over a period of time, less of a foc...”

Hon. Dennis Dawson

November 22nd
Hansard Link

Transportation Modernization Bill Bill to Amend—Second Reading—Debate Continued

“...nce. Will this bill solve all of those problems? No. Sometimes situations are beyond the control of airlines and sometimes of airports. Sometimes airlines and their customers will sincerely disagree about whether a passenger’s rights were respected. Not all travellers will be inclined to pursue redress. However, I think that requiring airlines to set out service standards in clear language in the passenger tariff and mandating some consistency over how passengers are treated at different times and by different airlines is an improvement over the situation that exists today. Currently, passengers are often con...”

Hon. Frances Lankin

November 22nd
Hansard Link

Transportation Modernization Bill Bill to Amend—Second Reading—Debate Continued

“...s that there’s no reciprocity. The other issue that I would hope would be looked at is , within the airlines, the definition of joint ventures and the request to allow airlines to go into joint ventures where it appears to be more of a merger and appears to be contrary to what our Competition Act would allow. I think there should be big questions about why we’re doing that because the impact on regional airlines and regional travel for many of us that don’t live in major centres is quite important. I w...”

Hon. Grant Mitchell

November 9th
Hansard Link

Transportation Modernization Bill Bill to Amend—Second Reading—Debate Adjourned

“... bill introduces a wide range of measures to enhance the service, safety and competitiveness of our airlines and railways, to stimulate greater investment in airlines, railways and ports, and to improve the efficiency of marine shipping in Canada. A careful review of this bill reveals what I believe to be a legitimate and worthy effort to balance clearly competing and significant commercial interests, to recognize the need for competitiveness in various complex transportation markets, to pursue fairness for sometimes if not often vulnerable shippers, and to respond to the need for safety and enhanced customer service in transportation systems. I will begin by outlining the air transportation features of this bill. First, Bill C-49 addresses many air travel irritants by strengthening airline passenger rights. To do this, the bill will ensure that, first, passengers are provided with plain language, information about air carriers’ obligations and how to seek compensation or file complaints. It will also ensure that standards are set for the treatment of passengers in cases of denied boarding, delays in cancellations, including provision for compensation. It will, among other things, result in prohibiting one particular manifestation of this problem, involuntarily removing someone from a plane due to overbooking once they have taken their seat. The bill will also ensure standardized compensation levels are established for lost or damaged baggage; ensure standards are established for the treatment of passengers in the case of tarmac delays over a certain period of time; and it will ensure that children, including grandchildren — I can hardly wait — are seated close to a parent or guardian at no extra cost. It will also ensure that air carriers develop standards for transporting often very valuable musical instruments. Airlines clearly cannot be held responsible for weather, emergency, medical or security incidents. But Canadians have a right to responsive and reasonable treatment in the ways that I have listed above. Bill C-49 will require the Canadian Transportation Agency to develop, in collaboration with Transport Canada, regulations to implement these important initiatives. They will be expected to consult further with Canadians and industry stakeholders in doing this. These regulations will apply to all carriers when operating to, from and within Canada. Reporting is important to measuring and managing. To strengthen the application of these initiatives, the bill will ensure that appropriate reporting is provided by all service providers involved in air travel, including air carriers, airports and the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority. This information will include data on the travellers’ experiences and the quality of service. The data provided will help measure compliance with the proposed air passenger service rights, and will inform future policy decisions. Second, Bill C-49, in addition to establishing this passenger bill of rights, will increase the limit of foreign ownership of Canadian air carriers from 25 per cent to 49 per cent while ensuring that Canadian control over our airline industry will exist with two associated safeguards. First, a sole international investor will be permitted to hold no more than 25 per cent of voting shares in a Canadian airline; and, second, no combination of international air carriers, either directly or indirectly through an affiliate, will be permitted to own more than 25 per cent of the voting shares of a Canadian carrier. These changes will not apply to specialty air services such as heli-logging, aerial photography, or fire fighting, where the foreign ownership restrictions would remain at 25 per cent of voting shares. There is already a great deal of competition and cross-border access in these markets. Amending international ownership limits will have a number of important benefits. First, it will allow Canadian air carriers to access more capital investment, stimulating innovation, growth, more route choice and improved service for travellers; and, second, these amendments will also encourage investment in new, possibly low-cost carriers, creating more competition in our airline industry and providing even more choice for Canadians. Third, Bill C-49 addresses joint venture arrangements between and amongst airlines. Joint ventures are increasingly common and critical to international competitiveness in this very complex industry. Joint ventures enable air carriers to coordinate and integrate functions, including scheduling, pricing, revenue management, marketing and sales. They allow for greater international reach, greater access for Canadian travellers to more international routes, cost-reducing efficiencies and greater traveller convenience. These joint ventures raise the issue of balancing competition against certain broader public interests in air travel service. To meet this challenge, the bill will allow the Minister of Transport, in consultation with the Commissioner of Competition, to review such arrangements before they are implemented. Currently, collaborations between airlines are subject to review only under the Competition Act. They are therefore conducted from a single, somewhat restricted perspective, competition alone, and they are conducted as after-the-fact reviews. The new process will allow the Minister of Transport, in consultation with the Commissioner of Competition, to consider and balance market competition with broader public advantages anticipated in proposed joint ventures. It will involve preauthorizing joint venture proposals and rigorous ongoing monitoring. Bill C-49 will bring the Canadian process — this review process of joint ventures — in line with those of other countries, notably the United States, where such joint ventures are also considered from both competition and public interest perspectives. To be sure, it is important to be highly cognizant of competition requirements and to be wary of eroding them. To address that concern, the bill requires that a summary of the commissioner’s advice to the minister on these proposals would be made public, without compromising the applicant’s confidential information. The minister will also be required to make a summary of his or her decisions public — again, while protecting the confidentiality of the applicants — and there will be zero tolerance for any divergence from the parameters of approved joint ventures without approval from the minister. Fourth, Bill C-49 will allow for better access by airports to security screening services. With aggressive growth in the airline industry comes a continual need to improve passenger security screening services. Bill C-49 ...”

Senator Mitchell

November 9th
Hansard Link

Transportation Modernization Bill Bill to Amend—Second Reading—Debate Adjourned

“...can’t. The dangers inherent in train safety are probably commensurate, if not greater, than that of airline safety, in some respects. I think they found a balance. They are not going to be able to peer all the time. The railways and the transportation department are only going to be able to randomly access information. That will be legislated and regulated specifically by a regime on establishing the randomness of that. They won’t be able to use that, as is the case with airline pilots, to prosecute a violation on the part of an employee, unless very specifically that e...”

Hon. Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu

November 9th
Hansard Link

Transportation Modernization Bill Bill to Amend—Second Reading—Debate Adjourned

“...er in that regard. It is the part about joint ventures, which are becoming increasingly common with airlines. I am referring to the agreements that Air Canada has with Lufthansa and American Airlines. These companies are entering into agreements that are a much closer to mergers than partnership agreements. If you are flying from Montreal to Romania, you may think that are you travelling with Air Canada the entire way, even though you are actually switching airlines in Germany. These companies now have agreements around competition and prices, which means that smaller airlines like Air Transat and WestJet are being left out in the cold because the American government reviews the agreements every year to make sure that they benefit travellers. What this bill seeks to do is to transfer responsibility from the Competition Commissioner over to the Minister of Transport in order to allow these companies to make agreements that are closer to mergers than partnership agreements. In my opinion, this is a dangerous bill because it would jeopardize small businesses like Air Transat and WestJet. They are unable to compete with the larger airlines, which could merge and attract over 90% of the aviation market worldwide, resulting in job ...”

Senator Mitchell

November 9th
Hansard Link

Transportation Modernization Bill Bill to Amend—Second Reading—Debate Adjourned

“..., here is the balance that is being sought in this bill. The risk is that if we’re not allowing our airlines to enter into joint ventures which extend their reach internationally, they will be washed aside. I’ll give you an example of a personal experience with this. In Edmonton, we had two airports. We had a downtown airport that everyone loved because you could fly on a 737 to Calgary, and we had an international airport. Well, one ate the other. Eventually, we shut the downtown airport and began to see the Edmonton International Airport build and become a remarkable international hub. What will happen is that if we’re not allowing our national airlines to have a presence internationally in a significant, competitive way, our airlines run the risk of simply being left to feed other major airports, probably in the United States or certain limited centres in the country. In turn, that will simply make travel more complicated for our travellers and limit our commercial reach as well. To the extent that it hurts national airlines like Air Canada, for example, that will damage jobs in Quebec and Montreal as well. It can hurt that airline grievously. Air Transat will not be forgotten or brushed aside either. The Commissioner of C...”

Senator Mitchell

November 9th
Hansard Link

Transportation Modernization Bill Bill to Amend—Second Reading—Debate Adjourned

“...ourse. Absolutely, these joint ventures will be reviewed. In fact, one of the concerns of the major airlines is that the reviewing will start at two years, which they believe is too short a time to allow them to negotiate with their partner, to establish, to implement, and then to begin to see the results. The government has tightened up and is restraining that process by limiting the buildup period to two years, not three or four or further. At two years, the government, and very likely the commissioner too, can review this at any given time. Again, that’s a bit of a concern to the other airlines, but nevertheless it’s the right thing to do. (1600) Let’s remember that the Commissioner of Competition views these kinds of arrangements and any other kind of competition arrangements simply from competition. Competition is extremely important for keeping costs down. There are other elements of this bill that will work to keep costs down as well, but the air traffic, air service, airline industry parameters and pressures, particularly internationally, are defined by many things ...”

Senator Mitchell

November 9th
Hansard Link

Transportation Modernization Bill Bill to Amend—Second Reading—Debate Adjourned

“With respect to screening services, there is a good deal of pressure on the government from airlines and airport authorities and so on, from travellers like all of us, to improve that. In fact, I understand that the second phase of the government’s rollout of the plan will look at that and is probably reviewing that now in great detail. It is a concern. Just because there’s going to be a joint venture that is going to consider, in the process of its review, more than just competition doesn’t mean that prices will go up. A joint venture that gets us one flight rather than having to take several flights in collaboration with another airline internationally — maybe gets us into China or Korea in ways we can’t right now — can create greater efficiencies for airlines and may reduce costs. So I don’t think it’s immediately obvious that anything in here will end up creating hidden costs. This is an extremely competitive industry, particularly internationally but also internally in Canada. Look at the pressures on airlines of keeping costs down and look at the level of service over the years that we have been fly...”

Senator Mitchell

November 9th
Hansard Link

Transportation Modernization Bill Bill to Amend—Second Reading—Debate Adjourned

“...ty services for not much extra cost. We also have to remember that security and the strength of the airlines are extremely important. This bill will support and sustain those airlines in a very significant way for a long time to come and make them even greater international ...”

Senator Mitchell

November 9th
Hansard Link

Transportation Modernization Bill Bill to Amend—Second Reading—Debate Adjourned

“...pay extra money to get that child to sit beside them. We have no standard way to ensure that if one airline loses your bag you get paid something, and if another airline loses your bag you get paid the same amount, or at least you get paid adequately. I believe ...”

Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson

September 20th
Hansard Link

The Late Terry Ryan

“...the co-op into other business opportunities, including hardware, snowmobile sales, postal services, airline agency, construction and fuel. Along the way, he was a hunter, hamlet councillor, justice of...”

Hon. Percy E. Downe

September 20th
Hansard Link

Public Safety Cybersecurity

“...but I would like the government to be proactive. I see they are currently proposing legislation, an airline bill of rights and so on, but I think this is even more significant. Would the government co...”


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