Canada to Allow Air Canada Flexibility to do Maintenance

Canada has decided to allow more flexibility to Air Canada in deciding where its planes are maintained, triggering bitter protests by the union as it claims the move could result in loss of thousands of jobs. According to the announcement made by Transport Minister Marc Garneau on Thursday, Air Canada now needs more flexibility in order to be competitive in market so the government will reconsider its 1988 law that restricts the company to carry out its maintenance in Quebec, Manitoba and Ontario.

Revealing the proposed changes to the law known as the Air Canada Public Participation Act, Garneau elucidated that it will allow Air Canada to have more say about where the company carries out its maintenance including the opportunity to do it abroad. He explained that “we’re allowing Air Canada to compete internationally in this respect because … it is important for them to be able to play on more of a level playing field.” Garneau’s spokesperson added that the 1988 act was outdated and in places referred to facilities and jobs that did not exist anymore.

Whereas on the other hand, The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers has announced to fight the proposed changes and press the federal Liberal government to change its mind. The union’s Quebec coordinator, David Chartrand, stated that “the Liberals are on the verge of changing a law which will confirm the loss of thousands of jobs … they have just given carte blanche to Air Canada.”

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