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e-2604 (Transportation)

E-petition
Initiated by Marie-Eve Dumont from Montreal, Quebec

Original language of petition: French

Petition to the Government of Canada

Whereas:
  • Thousands of Canadian consumers have had their trips cancelled because of border closures and the lockdowns put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19;
  • Thousands of these consumers are being given travel credits instead of refunds by air carriers and tour operators;
  • Many consumers are currently experiencing financial hardship as a result of reduced income or job loss due to the pandemic;
  • These travel credits come with restrictive terms and conditions, including that they must be used within 24 months, that they are non-transferable or that they do not provide any price guarantee;
  • Many consumers will not be able to use these credits within the time limits imposed by air carriers due to financial or health problems or the fact that the risks related to COVID-19 have not yet been eliminated; and
  • Forcing consumers to accept these travel credits contravenes both the Civil Code of Québec with respect to the restitution of prestations in case of superior force and Quebec’ Consumer Protection Act with respect to prepaid payment instruments.
We, the undersigned, Citizens of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to require airlines and other carriers under federal jurisdiction to allow customers whose trips have been cancelled due to the current pandemic to obtain a refund.

Response by the Minister of Transport

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable Marc Garneau

On July 15, 2019, Canada’s Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPR) came into effect.  The APPR impose minimum standards and requirements if a flight is delayed or cancelled.  These vary depending on whether the reason is within the airline's control, outside of the airline’s control, or within the airline’s control but required for safety reasons. The APPR include limited provisions for flights delayed or cancelled for reasons outside of the carrier's control.

Air carriers are facing significant revenue losses that are placing them in a highly precarious financial position as a result of the pandemic and resulting travel bans and low travel demand. Air carriers have indicated that their industry is at risk due to the COVID-19 air travel downturn. Although carriers have provided refunds for some types of tickets, they have predominantly issued vouchers for tickets cancelled due to COVID-19. This has led to concerns among passengers who seek cash refunds. The Government is very sympathetic toward passengers being issued vouchers who want a cash refund. Canadians may be facing financial difficulties and could thus benefit from a refund for their cancelled trip due to the pandemic.

On November 9, 2020, the Minister of Transport announced a willingness to enter into negotiations with airlines on potential assistance, but made it clear the provision of refunds would be a condition of such support.

Open for signature
May 15, 2020, at 12:09 p.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
August 13, 2020, at 12:09 p.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Xavier Barsalou-Duval (Pierre-Boucher—Les Patriotes—Verchères)
October 19, 2020 (Petition No. 432-00123)
Government response tabled
December 2, 2020
Photo - Xavier Barsalou-Duval
Pierre-Boucher—Les Patriotes—Verchères
Bloc Québécois Caucus
Quebec
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