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April 24th, 2023

Liberals fall short in latest attempt to fix air passenger rights

OTTAWA – On Monday, NDP Transport Critic Taylor is reacting to government legislation which amends the CanadianTransportation Act meant to protect air passengers. Bachrach says the Liberals’ latest attempt to fix Canada’s air passenger protections falls short of the standard set by the European Union.

“The minister promised to give Canadians the strongest air passenger protections in the world, but this latest attempt isn't going to address the big issues,” said Bachrach. “So far, the Liberals seem to be doubling down on their expensive, complex, bureaucratic approach, which has failed Canadian travellers.”

In a recent report to Parliament, the Standing Committee on Transport recommended the government remove a loophole that has allowed airlines to denied travellers compensation.

“By leaving the loophole intact, the minister has chosen to largely ignore the committee, consumer advocates and his own transportation agency in favour of Canada’s big airlines," said Bachrach. "Canadians have been frustrated by this process at every turn. The government should be standing with passengers not with big airlines."

In March, Bachrach tabled a private member's Bill C-327, which laid out what is required to adequately defend air passengers and bring Canada’s law up to the standard set by the EU. Bill C-327 bill has been endorsed by leading consumer advocacy groups including Air Passenger Rights Canada, Option Consommateurs and the Public Interest Advocacy Center.

“I am disappointed, but not surprised by the government's bill,” said Dr. Gabor Lukacs, President of the consumer advocacy group Air Passenger Rights. “The government has a lengthy track record of legislative non-solutions that favour only the airlines and shortchange the travelling public. Canadian air travellers deserve the same rights as their European counterparts. Unlike the government's bill, Mr. Bachrach's Bill C-327 accomplishes just that.”