Original language of petition: English
The Government of Canada is working to support Canada’s air transportation network. Air transport has faced difficulty during the pandemic. The government has encouraged Canadians to avoid non-essential international travel and has also implemented strong measures including travel restrictions and quarantine policies, in order to protect Canadians from COVID-19 and the spread of the virus.
Transport Canada’s objective is to ensure Canadians continue to have access to air services that connect them to other parts of Canada and the rest of the world, and obtain refunds for flights cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On November 8, 2020, the Government of Canada announced it would develop a package of assistance to Canadian airlines. This was further reiterated in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, which also included details regarding support for airports.
Strict conditions will be applied to any federal assistance to ensure that public policy objectives are met, including requiring air carriers to offer refunds to passengers whose tickets were cancelled due to the pandemic.
On December 21, 2020, a Ministerial Direction was issued to provide the Canadian Transportation Agency with the authority to develop a new regulation on the issue of refunds to passengers. This new regulation will apply to future flights that are cancelled for reasons outside an air carrier’s control, such as a pandemic, and where it is not possible for the carrier to complete the passenger’s itinerary within a reasonable timeframe. The new regulation will also ensure that a similar situation does not occur again in the future.
Travel agencies and their agents play a vital role in the air travel system, both in terms of assisting Canadians wanting to explore the world beyond Canada’s borders and welcoming tourists to Canada, and by virtue of the latter, they also play an important part in supporting jobs and businesses dependent on tourism.
The approximately 24,000 travel agents across the country showcase the entrepreneurial spirit of women and small business in Canada. The Government recognizes the work undertaken by many to repatriate Canadians during the onset of the pandemic. The Government also understands the unique business model of travel agents, the impact of COVID-19, and the importance of commissions as a means of fair compensation for services rendered.
Currently, the Government is engaged in active discussions with air carriers and related conditions as they pertain to a sectorial recovery package. Transport Canada recognizes that travel agencies may be affected by these measures, and the Government will give close consideration to this situation as the department finalizes any potential financial assistance to air carriers.
Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.
|Province / Territory||Signatures|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||34|
|Prince Edward Island||28|