NEWS: NDP wins fight for flight attendants

NDP Delays Conservative attempt to lessen air safety

OTTAWA - Today, NDP Transport Critic Peter Julian, MP (Burnaby-New Westminster) applauded the overdue decision of the Conservative government to back off on lessening air safety standards by decreasing the number of flight attendants on Canadian flights.

“It’s high time that this government recognized that there can never be any compromise on the safety standards that threaten people’s lives on Canadian aircrafts. Flight attendants have saved many lives through their prompt action and dedication. Today’s development is a prime example of what an effective public campaign can accomplish when people band together to put pressure on the minority Conservative government,” stated Julian.

For the past year, Transportation Critic Peter Julian along with his colleagues from the NDP and members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents flight attendants, have worked to prevent the government from cutting the number of flight attendants on Canadian planes.

“By reducing the number of required attendants you reduce passenger safety,” said Julian. “We will watch this Conservative government like a hawk to make sure they do not backtrack on this decision and once again put public airline safety in jeopardy."

The NDP has maintained pressure on both Liberal and now Conservative governments to make sure that the highest and most rigorous safety standards in Canada are upheld. Growing public understanding and consistent NDP scrutiny helped to delay Harper’s attempt to make flights in Canada less safe.

At the last meeting of the Transport Committee held in June of 2006, Julian brought forward motions directing the government to not reduce safety standards and presented witnesses to testify on the dangers of such a move. The meeting was cancelled because Conservatives were not willing to attend.