moved for leave to introduce Bill C-278, An Act to amend the Civil Air Navigation Services Commercialization Act.
Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today. I want to thank my colleague from the west coast for seconding this important legislation.
Nav Canada right now is in the process of considering closure of traffic control centres in Whitehorse, Windsor, Regina, Fort McMurray, Prince George, Sault Ste. Marie and St-Jean in Quebec. The government has not been assertive on this. It has said that it has to wait for a study to take place, but through economic development and the changes that would take place with aviation, Windsor would see significant consequences and upheaval during the time of this pandemic, especially to keep regional airports alive. We are asking for a delay of the study and the closures.
The government has said that it cannot stop the study from taking place because of legislation, so we have proposed tools for the government to stop the study and support air traffic control towers in existence right now. The excuse the government has that it cannot act would be lifted by this legislation. It could also be done through an order in council or through the government taking this legislation, just as it has taken previous legislation of mine in the past. I would encourage it to do so.
In particular, I want to thank pilot Dante Albano. There are others, but he has been a coordinating person for this and was active in creating a petition that thousands of Canadians signed in support of this initiative. I also thank the Air Traffic Controllers Association.
This affects economic development and safety. The Windsor airport has five different competing traffic zones, including the United States, that complicate this airspace. This legislation would give the government the power to immediately stop this nonsense, which will continue to go on for months, if not a year, with studies causing upheaval in local economies, putting public safety in jeopardy and, more important, creating confusion.
We are hopeful that the Prime Minister will look at this and do it through an order in council or steal this legislation in a positive way and implement it. We need to ensure that when we build back from COVID. We have the proper tools to do so. I would argue that having the safety and protection at regional airports to do those things would be a net asset as opposed to the process right now , which is destabilizing our air industry.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)