(Ottawa) Transport Minister Omar Alghabra accepts the request of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport and will therefore testify on the disruptions to air flights and train departures that occurred during the holiday holidays.
“He will appear,” confirmed his press secretary, Nadine Ramadan, Monday afternoon.
The elected officials who sit on the parliamentary committee must meet at the end of the afternoon to decide on the complete list of witnesses and the timetable for their work.
Earlier this year, Conservative and New Democrat MPs called for an emergency committee meeting in response to air and rail disruptions. The chairman of the committee, Liberal MP Peter Schiefke has already indicated that he would like to hear from Sunwing and VIA Rail.
Hundreds of travelers have found themselves stranded in Mexico over the holiday season after Sunwing canceled their return flight without giving them information on when they could return home.
“The flight delays and cancellations that Canadians experienced over the holiday season were completely unacceptable,” said Ms.me Ramadan by email. Canadians deserve better. They rightly expect their airlines to keep them informed and handle disruptions accordingly. This clearly has not been the case for Sunwing. »
The Travelers Charter, which has been in effect since 2019, provides compensation of up to $1,000 in the event of a flight being delayed or canceled. Air carriers are also required to provide an update on their flight status every 30 minutes until a new departure time has been set.
However, the number of complaints to the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) has since exploded and exceeded 33,000 as of January 4. The passenger charter only applies to air passengers and not to people traveling by train.
VIA Rail passengers were also stranded for hours as a winter storm hit parts of Ontario and Quebec a few days before Christmas. Many trains scheduled to run on Christmas Eve were cancelled, and VIA Rail said the derailment of a CN train caused further cancellations on Christmas Day and then the next day.
With The Canadian Press