Evidence of meeting #44 for Transport, Infrastructure and Communities in the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was air.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

I'm more than happy to give it to Mr. Guimond, unless Ms. Brown wants it.

December 14th, 2010 / 11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Lois Brown Newmarket—Aurora, ON

We'll come around the next time.

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Merv Tweed

Okay.

Mr. Dhaliwal.

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Sukh Dhaliwal Newton—North Delta, BC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Welcome to the committee, witnesses.

I'm very disappointed. Ms. Sénécal, I deal with the employees of Air Canada every day, and I hold them in the highest regard. Now, today, when I am listening to you, I'm very disappointed, because you have come to the committee to speak on the Air Canada Public Participation Act, but I'm hearing that either you are not in a position to answer those questions, or you are not capable of answering those questions, or you do not want to disclose those answers. I, personally, feel that we are disrespected here, and I ask that you and your colleagues come up with those answers. That is why you are here at this committee.

I'm going to ask these questions again, and I hope you are able to answer them.

In your opinion, what does the obligation to “maintain operational and overhaul centres” in your articles of continuance mean for Air Canada?

11:40 a.m.

Director, Government Relations, Air Canada

Joseph Galimberti

The legislation is very clear in what our obligations are. As far as interpreting our obligations, Transport Canada was in front of this committee. It is Transport Canada that enforces. Air Canada does not enforce the statutes of the Government of Canada upon itself. So as far as what it means to us, what it means to us is irrelevant. We are compliant. We intend to, on a going-forward basis, be compliant. Transport Canada is the one that determines what that compliance represents.

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Sukh Dhaliwal Newton—North Delta, BC

I see all these employees coming to us, and now you are saying the legal obligations and all that stuff.... Do you think the only way to go forward is with lawsuits, then?

11:40 a.m.

Director, Government Relations, Air Canada

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Sukh Dhaliwal Newton—North Delta, BC

The resolution of this will be through lawsuits?

11:40 a.m.

Assistant General Counsel, Law Branch, Air Canada

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Sukh Dhaliwal Newton—North Delta, BC

Lawsuits.

11:40 a.m.

Director, Government Relations, Air Canada

11:40 a.m.

A voice

Legal action.

11:40 a.m.

Director, Government Relations, Air Canada

Joseph Galimberti

I can't speak to any potential future lawsuit. As far as we're concerned, we are compliant with the legal obligations the Government of Canada placed upon Air Canada, the corporation.

On a going-forward basis, we have, as a corporation, no ability to enforce law. We do not enforce the law upon ourselves. If we are found to be in contravention of that act, then there are certain remedies that are obviously in place. But as to our opinion, it's not relevant. We don't enforce the law. We didn't create it. We live under it, we respect it, and we have committed to respecting it going forward.

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Sukh Dhaliwal Newton—North Delta, BC

So are there any sections of the law that you would like to see revised?

11:40 a.m.

Director, Government Relations, Air Canada

Joseph Galimberti

To see it otherwise?