Cancelled flights: the Block on account of popular pressure to move Ottawa

Vols annulés: le Bloc compte sur la pression populaire pour faire bouger Ottawa

Vols annulés: le Bloc compte sur la pression populaire pour faire bouger Ottawa

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May 20, 2020 14h51

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Cancelled flights: the Block on account of popular pressure to move Ottawa

Catherine Lévesque

The canadian Press

OTTAWA – The Bloc québécois is counting on the popular pressure for the federal government to “curve down” and requires air carriers to reimburse passengers whose flight has been cancelled.

For the time being, both the Quebec and Ottawa say they understand the frustration of customers, but argue that the carriers simply do not have the funds necessary to repay them.

During a press conference Wednesday morning, the chief bloquiste Yves-François Blanchet has assigned the blame to the federal government, including the air transport is the responsibility.

“To the extent that the United States and Europe have acted in this sense, the government of Canada does that damn more to himself the spotlight of his own iniquities,” responded Mr. Blanchet.

To the sides of a mp, Xavier Barsalou-Duval, the chief bloquiste has continued to claim that any government assistance to air carriers is conditional on the repayment of their clients.

Mr. Blanchet hoped that “the political pressure will become so untenable” that Ottawa will not have the choice to act.

“As in many other cases, the government may have to hunker down and say: “yeah, it’s going to be a little bit forced to listen, otherwise the population is going to make us pay the price of the favoritism that is granted to certain large companies”, he said.

For the moment, the majority of carriers offer their customers a travel credit if their flight has been cancelled. The Canadian transportation agency, an independent quasi-judicial tribunal, suggests that this credit will be valid for the next 24 months.

Option consommateurs has launched an online petition on the website of the House of commons to seek the intervention of the federal government in this folder.

When asked about it Tuesday, the federal minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, had not much to offer them.

“I understand the frustration of people who would have wanted to be repaid rather than have a credit, but it must be understood that at this time, our airlines are experiencing a very, very difficult with 95 % of their revenues that are missing”, he said.

The prime minister of Québec, François Legault, has held similar remarks this week.

“It must be understood that the carriers, including the big ones such as Air Canada and Air Transat, they absolutely do not have the funds, currently, to be able to repay everyone,” said Mr. Legault.

“Obviously, my first choice, it would repay with money, the consumers”, he added.

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