MP Report — Air Canada strike would threaten economy

Government action needed to prevent a shutdown of airline

This week is expected to be busy one on Parliament Hill as there is potentially up to 10different votes that may occur in addition to the introduction of new legislation. With every vote recorded in Parliament I have noted back at home here in Okanagan Coquihalla there will be those citizens who are strongly in support of these votes and also those who are opposed. This week I will potentially be supporting a bill that will disappoint some members of our region and I believe it is important to share further information on this topic.

Recent labour negotiation challenges at Air Canada have threatened to potentially ground the airline and create a situation that would adversely impact thousands of Canadians and threaten segments of our Canadian economy. Out of concern for the travelling public and to protect our fragile economic environment our government will take action. This news will not sit well with some members of our region and in particular with some staff members at Air Canada.   However, I have also heard from many citizens who depend upon the services of Air Canada and who will be severely impacted if the airline experiences a disruption of services.  In addition the economic impact of a service disruption has been estimated to exceed $ 20 million on a weekly basis.   From a national interest it is clear that our Government has a responsibility to help protect the interests of Canadians and to help keep our economy moving.   A shutdown at this point has the potential to lead to layoffs and job losses and that is a situation that must be avoided and is why I will be in support of these efforts.

Also this week the Safe Streets and Communities Act will come back before the House of Commons for the final reading.   This has also been a controversial Bill as our Government believes that toughening sentences does not create new criminals but rather helps to keep the existing ones in jail.  Many citizens have shared concerns with me over the revolving door of justice that continues to put the rights of criminals ahead of victims.  I have also heard from critics who believe that criminals are the real victims and should not be incarcerated.

I greatly value hearing from citizens and the input I have been getting on a range of topics continues to increase.   Citizen engagement in Okanagan Coquihalla from my perspective is excellent. I have been highly impressed by citizen efforts to promote   the West Kelowna entry in the Kraft Hockeyville contest and also to citizens in Penticton who came out in flash mob to support bringing expanded airline service to the community.   Citizens have great power when they work in support of an important cause.   As next week is a break when the House stands adjourned I will be back in the riding and available to meet with you.   Contact my office at 250-770-4480 or toll free at 1-800-665-8711 to schedule a meeting or a phone call.


Dan Albas is the member of Parliament for Okanagan Coquihalla.