That's exactly the area I feel needs attention. The lack of adequate funding of Transport Canada's regulatory oversight branch in the 1980s was the root cause of the Dryden crash in 1989. It seems to me that it remains hanging like Damocles' sword over the Canadian air-travelling public today.
As I point out in my brief, the cost-cutting frenzy on the part of the federal government upon Transport Canada in the early 2000s resulted in the progressive and finally total abandonment by the department of hands-on regulatory oversight of air carriers since 2007. SMS itself is a wonderful program. I recommended it. It's one of my recommendations in the Dryden report. However, I recommended that it be subject only to the provision of adequate oversight of the airlines by a properly trained and funded aviation inspectorate.
What has happened in the meantime is cost-cutting, which has resulted in inadequate funding of Transport Canada's oversight regime. There are inspectors now who haven't flown an airplane for a year, or some even longer than that. They're supposed to be supervising the training and operational effectiveness of the pilots who are flying the airplanes, and they themselves are not flying now due to lack of resources to cover the cost of providing them with aircraft to fly, or time on the aircraft. I get calls all the time from captains of the major airlines, complaining about this particular situation.
I think one of the things this committee has to think about is recommending to the government an increase of resources to the aviation surveillance and inspection directorate. If they can't do that, then I have suggested in my brief, which I hope you've read, that there be—I hate to call it a tax—a fee imposed on each passenger on every flight that takes off in Canada. This would make up the shortfall so that, number one, these inspectors can be restored to the level of inspectors they had previously, which has gone down drastically, and second, funds are made available for the operation of the inspector regime.