Opposition calls for emergency meeting Sunwing, Via Rail

Opposition MPs have teamed up to call an “urgent” meeting of the House Transport, Infrastructure and Communities Committee to discuss the treatment of rail and plane passengers during this holiday season, and to hear directly from the minister in charge.

“Hundreds of Canadians have been stranded over the holiday season due to inclement weather and poor customer service from Canadian airlines and VIA Rail. These difficulties add to the hassle of dealing with passengers. airline passengers during the pandemic,” the letter sent to the chairman of the committee read. and Liberal MP Peter Schiefke. “Canadians deserve timely answers and accountability.”

In addition to discussing Canada’s air and rail passenger experiences last month—during which time many travelers were trapped and left in the midst of substandard communications—opposition parties want The committee chair “immediately” plans to invite Transport Minister Omar Alghabra to appear and question the field for at least two hours.

It is not enough for the Liberal Secretary to tweet that the situation is unacceptable, said Taylor Bachrach, traffic critic for the NDP and committee member. “He’s the minister responsible for overseeing Canada’s transportation system and has specific powers under the law. If anyone can do something to protect passengers, it’s him. Canadians deserve to know what steps he took during the crisis and plans to take in the future to protect passengers.”

The letter, signed by five NDP and Conservative members of the committee, meets the threshold for a meeting to be called shortly, at the request of at least four members. Under House rules, a meeting must be held within five calendar days to consider the request, with 48 hours’ notice to members.

On Tuesday, Schiefke announced plans to convene a meeting to hear Sunwing and Via Rail about “unacceptable delays and cancellations during the holiday season,” but did not give a date for convening the session. this hearing. Hundreds of people were stranded in Mexico after Sunwing canceled flights, while many train passengers suffered significant cancellations or delays.

Now, opposition MPs want to speed up the process and potentially expand their work to hear from the CEOs of major airlines beyond Sunwing, as well as airports currently handling Thousands of pieces of luggage are lost.

Conservative transport critic and committee vice-chairman Mark Strahl told CTV News that opposition MPs look forward to getting answers to the series of setbacks this holiday season as soon as possible rather than waiting until the end. month when the House of Representatives is scheduled. to summon again.

“We understand that, as Chairman, you have intended to convene a committee meeting to discuss last month’s travel disruptions. This letter demonstrates our desire to organize organize such a meeting as soon as possible and let it include the appearance of the minister in charge for the purpose of answering questions from committee members,” the letter read.

With files from CTV News Channel Senior Political Correspondent Mike Le Couteur


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