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e-3007 (Business and trade)

E-petition
Initiated by Heidi Hurst from Calgary, Alberta

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

Whereas:
  • Travel agents have worked tirelessly through the pandemic to protect and care for Canadian travelers at home and abroad;
  • Travel Suppliers (Airlines, Cruise and Tour operators) are clawing back the duly earned agent commissions (wages) from this work, to offset impact of consumer refunds;
  • This means agents are expected to pay suppliers the equivalent of the majority of their income earned this year;
  • This money will come from the other government COVID-19 programs (i.e. CERB and CRB) since most travel agents haven’t generated any income in the past 9 months;
  • This could also cause many to claim personal bankruptcy;
  • Government bailouts for the airline and travel industries as currently proposed will have a crushing financial impact on travel agents and agencies, a workforce that is largely female (over 80%) and commission based;
  • Travel suppliers are not recalling the wages of their in-house staffing when a file is refunded;
  • Travel agents support consumer refunds, and will continue to manage these files for suppliers; and
  • Additional support, retroactive to the pandemic declaration or non-essential travel advisory issued on March 13, 2020, for those agents already required to pay back tens of thousands of dollars, should be made available to prevent hard-working Canadians from having to declare bankruptcy to prop up large corporations.
We, the undersigned, residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to consider travel agents as external staffing for travel suppliers and include this caveat on any supplier bailout terms, provided that previously paid travel agent commissions not be subject to clawbacks, but rather be considered a sunk business (staffing) cost.

Response by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable Chrystia Freeland

We remain committed to supporting airlines and air sector workers during this unprecedented and difficult time for the industry.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the air sector has already received over $1.8 billion in support through the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.

In the Fall Economic Statement we announced over $1 billion in support for airports and smaller airlines. This includes supporting regional air transportation; investments in health and safety infrastructure; and rent relief.

Any further taxpayer support will prioritize:

  • Refunding Canadians for cancelled flights;
  • Retaining and reinstating regional routes in Canada; and
  • Protecting jobs across the air sector.

We continue to emphasize this in our ongoing conversations with the airlines.

Open for signature
November 30, 2020, at 10:57 a.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
December 30, 2020, at 10:57 a.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Jag Sahota (Calgary Skyview)
January 29, 2021 (Petition No. 432-00469)
Government response tabled
March 22, 2021
Photo - Jag Sahota
Calgary Skyview
Conservative Caucus
Alberta
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