FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 11, 2009
During Question Period on April 23, the Honorable Rob Merrifield, Secretary of State for Transport, rejected the claims of the NDP Transport Critic, Dennis Bevington, that Canada is not meeting international standards for aviation safety. Perhaps Mr. Merrifield has been duped by bureaucrats in the same manner as the Canadian travelling public.
In addition to evidence provided during extensive Committee hearings held in 2007 over a controversial Bill to amend the Aeronautics Act, further proof was recently aired in a landmark Round Table discussion on Air Safety held at Parliament Hill and hosted by Mr. Bevington.
The organizers have now created a new website, www.safeskies.ca, which allows media and members of the public to experience the Round Table: to see and hear the revelations made by pilots, industry insiders, whistleblowers and accident victims.
“Canadians need to know that despite lessons learned from aviation accidents and related problems in the rail industry, Transport Canada has abandoned them and left their lives in the hands of those responsible for profit margins – a dangerous strategy which is likely to have tragic consequences,” claims the SafeSkies website.
“International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) says you absolutely have to retain your traditional oversight and the fact of the matter is, Transport Canada is simply not doing that and has no intention of doing it” states Greg Holbrook, National Chair of the Canadian Federal Pilots Association (CFPA), during his presentation.
Apparently the Canadian Public is travelling under a false sense of security. The major airlines have already been empowered to regulate themselves, and are operating without scrutiny from Transport Canada. A similar situation in the US resulted in national disaster, thousands of cancelled flights and huge public outcry.
Business aircraft have been governing themselves since 2003 – though enabling regulations were not actually passed until 2005. Transport Canada’s own audit in 2007 revealed this has created a system plagued with troubling holes. Air Taxi and Commuter aircraft in Canada have not yet been enabled by regulations to govern themselves, yet Transport Canada is no longer overseeing this major sector of aviation either.
Other Round Table presentations highlighted the systemic problems within Transport Canada, and the known failures which have caused multiple deaths and destroyed lives.
An alliance of individuals and industry representatives is now being formed with its prime focus to seek resolution to these issues, hold Transport Canada accountable to the public, and restore Canadian’s faith in air safety. For information about future developments on these topics, check back with www.safeskies.ca and subscribe to the newsletter.
Kirsten Stevens and Kirsten Brazier
Advocates for Air Safety