For Immediate Release
January 29, 2021
Kram Calls for Minister of Transport to Intervene in Nav Canada Scandal
Michael Kram, MP for Regina Wascana, called on federal Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra to stop the closure of air traffic control towers in the wake of revelations that Nav Canada may have made a unilateral, secretive decision to close the towers, including Regina’s.
Nav Canada, a private-public non-profit that operates Canada’s air traffic control towers, had previously announced that it was undertaking a multi-month operational review of towers in St-Jean, Que., Windsor, Sault Ste. Marie, Regina, Fort McMurray, Prince George and Whitehorse. At the time, Nav Canada assured stakeholders that no decision had yet been made.
However, yesterday, members of the Canadian Air Traffic Control Association, the union representing air traffic controllers, revealed that their members in six of the locations had received notices that their towers would be closed in the near future.
“Nav Canada is supposed to act in good faith when examining closures. Clearly, it is not good faith to tell the airport authorities ‘we haven’t made up our minds’ and then turn around and tell their employees ‘clean out your desk’. If Nav Canada continues to go down this road, they may end up in violation of their governing act,” Kram said.
This morning, the CEOs of the six affected airports sent a joint letter to the minister demanding that he refuse to approve the tower closures.
“This minister and his predecessor have been hiding behind the excuse that Nav Canada is technically a private company, but the reality is that Nav Canada cannot make decisions of this magnitude without the approval of Transport Canada. The buck stops with the minister to save these towers,” said Kram, who sits on the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transportation, Infrastructure and Communities.
“As with so much else that has happened during the pandemic, the attitude of the Liberal government seems to be that they just hope all the problems will just magically disappear. But here in the real world, Canada’s air infrastructure is crumbling while our Transport Minister hides under his desk.”
Kram has launched an online petition to rally support for the Regina airport at saveyqr.ca.
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For more information, contact:
Constituency Assistant for MP Michael Kram, Regina-Wascana