|For Immediate Release
March 16, 2011
Harper government must help to protect Air Canada jobs
OTTAWA – Liberal MPs are calling on the government to ensure that maintenance and overhaul jobs in Montreal, Winnipeg and Mississauga are protected.
“When Air Canada was privatized in 1988 the intent was clear,” said Liberal Transport Critic John McCallum. “The Government of Canada wanted to ensure that Air Canada maintained three overhaul centres in Montreal, Winnipeg and Mississauga.”
Up to 4,500 jobs may now be at risk, most of which are located in Winnipeg and Montreal. Liberals will introduce a motion at the Transport Committee calling on the government to take immediate action to clarify the legislation.
“Liberals are standing with Air Canada workers whose jobs are threatened,” said Liberal MP Marlene Jennings. “The Harper government has an obligation to ensure the intent of the law is respected and these jobs are protected.”
Liberals supported a study of this issue at the Transport Committee. MPs have so far heard from representatives of Air Canada, the maintenance workers and from Transport Canada. What has become abundantly clear is that there is no consensus on exactly what requirements are placed on Air Canada with regards to the operation of these overhaul centres.
Winnipeg MP Kevin Lamoureux previously raised this issue in the Manitoba Legislature when he was a Liberal MLA, and since becoming MP, has been raising it in the House of Commons.
“The Government of Canada made a clear commitment through the Air Canada Public Participation Act that it would protect overhaul and maintenance jobs in Winnipeg,” said Mr. Lamoureux. “These good quality jobs are vital to Winnipeg’s aerospace industry and I am calling on the Prime Minister to clarify whether he intends to uphold the true intent of the law and protect these jobs.”
“Air Canada’s responsibilities should be clarified for all players in the market,”added Newton-North Delta MP Sukh Dhaliwal. “The Harper government’s hands-off approach to this file is stranding these workers and their families under a cloud of uncertainty.”