MONTREAL, WINNIPEG and TORONTO- Stephen Harper is allowing Air Canada and Aveos to flout the law by shuttering plants in Winnipeg, Mississauga and Montreal and laying off over 2,600 Canadian aerospace workers, Liberals said today.
“The 1988 Air Canada Public Participation Act says Air Canada must service its aircraft in Winnipeg, Mississauga and Montreal,” said Liberal Transport, Infrastructure and Communities critic Denis Coderre. “Despite this law, the doors are now locked, thousands of highly-skilled workers are out of a job and, as we speak, the centres are being liquidated. This is a clear violation of the Act. We urge all Canadians to join our efforts to force the Harper government and Air Canada to respect the law.”
Liberal MP Stéphane Dion, whose Montreal-area riding of Saint-Laurent–Cartierville includes one of the affected overhaul centres, also highlighted the effects that the Aveos shut-down will have on local economies.
“Stephen Harper needs to remember the promises he made to Montreal and this crucial and highly specialized Canadian industry,” said Mr. Dion. “Right here in Montreal, less than a month ago, the Conservatives pledged their support for the Canadian aerospace industry, yet today they are allowing more than 1,785 aerospace jobs in Montreal alone to evaporate.”
Liberals are calling on the government to explain how the liquidation of Aveos will affect Canada’s international reputation in the global aerospace industry.
“The City of Winnipeg has a proud history of providing world-class service to Canada’s aerospace industry,” said Liberal MP for Winnipeg North, Kevin Lamoureux, whose riding is also affected by this sudden shut-down. “The over 400 highly-skilled aerospace workers in my riding that are now jobless deserve answers from the federal government on what impact this unlawful closure will have on Winnipeg’s local economy and Canada’s place in the global aerospace industry.”
In addition to Winnipeg and Montreal, the closure of Aveos will have an impact on the cities of Mississauga and Vancouver, as well as 8 Wing Canadian Forces Base Trenton, where the future of skilled Canadian jobs is also uncertain. These losses are in addition to Canada losing control of vital regulations and safety oversight, says Liberal MP for Scarborough–Guildwood, John McKay.
“By keeping Air Canada’s maintenance in Canada, we ensured a superior level of safety with tight regulations and a highly-skilled aerospace workforce,” said Mr. McKay. “By shuttering Canadian overhaul centres, Canada is losing its ability to ensure that our aircraft meet safety regulations.”