Question Period, 23rd April 2009
NDP Transport Critic Dennis Bevington asked the following question in the House of Commons:
"Yesterday pilots responsible for inspecting safety practices on airlines said because of this governments move to have the industry oversee its own safety, Canada is no longer meeting international aviation standards.
The proposed safety management systems will remove Transport Canada from its important role inspecting planes and enforcing safety regulations. How can this government continue to allow the industry to police its own safety when it knows doing so puts Canadians' air safety below world standards."
Hon. Rob Merrifield, Minister of State (Transport) replied:
"Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth. Safety absolutely comes first for the airlines. Anyone getting on an airline in Canada must be assured and know that safety is paramount, but further than that, we not only insist on safety but we make sure that we have a culture of safety within the entire airline system. That's our approach in Canada: it's completely different than what the honourable member has tried to allude to, and he should actually apologize for his question."