Since the announcement of the decision of Air Canada to suspend for 30 regional service and the abolition of eight stops in the country, the QMF would have tried on numerous occasions to join the minister, without success.
July 8, 2020 20h14
Regional air Transport: the FQM deplores the silence of Ottawa
Initiative of journalism-local – The Sun
While many actors in the four corners of Quebec are activated in order to find solutions to the crisis in the regional air transport, Ottawa is too quiet for the taste of local elected officials. The Fédération Québécoise des Municipalités (FQM) request the federal minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, to assume its leadership, and “its the end of the road” participating in the efforts.
“All the actors from all walks of life are waiting for a response from the federal”, denounces the mayor of the Îles-de-la-Madeleine and president of the air transport Committee of the FQM, Jonathan Lapierre. Since the announcement of the decision of Air Canada to suspend for 30 regional service and the abolition of eight stops in the country, he would have tried on numerous occasions to join the minister, without success. “It is urgent that the federal government is involved! Up to now, it is radio silence”, dropped Mr. Lapierre.
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When asked about it the next day of the announcement of the carrier, the prime minister, Trudeau said he was “disappointed” by the decision, adding expect that the company “continues to serve the regions of Canada”. This meager response of the federal government is clearly inadequate for the FQM. “The people of the regions will not tolerate the federal government remains inactive in this folder,” she notes in a press release.
If they have not been listening to be expected on the federal side, the representatives of the FQM greet the opening of the provincial minister of Transport, François Bonnardel, which multiplies the meeting with the mayors and the various groups since the beginning of the week. Following a meeting this last Monday, Jonathan Lapierre, who was accompanied by the president of the FQM, Jacques Demers, said he was satisfied with “good exchange for both sides” with the minister.
The FQM in search of a solution
A committee set up by the FQM met for the first time, Wednesday morning, in order to collaborate on solutions to propose to governments. The committee wishes to begin by offering a reflection on the provincial government within the next three weeks. “We want to find long-term solutions for not having to go back on that folder recursively. We want to analyze all the models in the long term,” says Demers.
“The people of the regions will not tolerate the federal government remains inactive in this folder ”
Jonathan Lapierre, the mayor of the Îles-de-la-Madeleine
It is the mayor of the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Jonathan Lapierre, who is also second vice-president and president of the air transport Committee of the FQM, who will chair the group. Many regional elected representatives will be around the table, including several mayors, such as those of Percé, Gaspé, Port-Cartier to Rouyn-Noranda. Two experts, the former president and ceo of the Société du Plan Nord, Robert Sauvé, and the councillor of Octant Aviation, Marie-Hélène Simard, serving also on the committee.
In the course of the last week, the Union of Quebec municipalities (UMQ) has also set up a crisis cell on the air transport, aimed at finding durable solutions to the crisis of regional transport. Mr. Lapierre has defended compete with the approach of the UMQ. “What we want is for you to work everybody together to find solutions,” he concludes.