IN THE HOUSE ~ NDP BILL WOULD LET AIR CANADA CREATE JOBS IN VANCOUVER

40th Parliament, 2nd Session
Context : Introduction of Private Members' Bills

Bill C-379. Introduction and first reading

Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP) moved for leave to introduce Bill C-379, An Act to amend the Air Canada Public Participation Act.

Mr. Speaker, I thank my seconder, the member for Vancouver East (Libby Davies). She supports this bill, as well. The bill calls for an operational and overhaul centre for Air Canada to be constructed and maintained in Vancouver, British Columbia, so the member of Parliament for Vancouver East is standing up, as she always does, for people of the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.

When the Air Canada Public Participation Act was put into effect, it called for the corporation, Air Canada, to maintain operational and overhaul centres in the city of Winnipeg, the Montreal urban community and the city of Mississauga, but it did not include the city of Vancouver. As a result, the Lower Mainland has seen a haemorrhaging of jobs in the operational sector, in overhaul centres. A wide variety of jobs have been cut back. We believe Air Canada should be maintaining those jobs on the west coast of Canada, it should be maintaining those jobs in the Lower Mainland. This has an impact not just in the Richmond, Vancouver and Burnaby—New Westminster areas but of course right through the Lower Mainland. There are small businesses that depend on the dollars that are brought in through the provision of those jobs in operations and in overhaul.

So for those reasons, the NDP is supporting this amendment to change the Air Canada Public Participation Act and to oblige Air Canada to maintain those facilities in the city of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 6, 2009

NDP BILL WOULD LET AIR CANADA CREATE JOBS IN VANCOUVER

Ottawa – Peter Julian, MP (Burnaby-New Westminster) and NDP International Trade Critic, today tabled a Private Member’s Bill in the House of Commons, Bill C-379, An Act to amend the Air Canada Public Participation Act. The Bill would amend section 6(c) of the act to require an “operational and overhaul centre” for Air Canada in Vancouver, British Columbia.

“Vancouver is the gateway to the Asia-Pacific world and a major centre for domestic and international travel. Air Canada is important to us, not just to maintain Canada’s air lift capacity but also to ensure that high skilled jobs are created and retained all across the country including in BC”, stated Julian.

At critical points in its history, Air Canada has been the regular recipient of public funding in order to ensure it remains as a national airline capable of serving not only business interests, but the national interest of the travelling public. The Bill would improve service to Canadian travelers by allowing for more planes to be serviced and maintained in the BC region. It would also ensure that service and safety positions such as stewards and flight attendants are maintained in BC.

“It is fundamentally important strategically to keep those high skilled jobs in Canada and that our transport infrastructure needs to be served by appropriate made-in-Canada infrastructure. The creation of an operational and overhaul centre for Air Canada is consistent with this vision for a national transportation system built in the public interest.”