Mr. Speaker, I rise in adjournment proceedings to follow up on a question about why the government did not apply the 1988 public participation act when Aveos declared bankruptcy.
We have seen a few developments since then. Today, for instance, Air Canada admitted to labour unrest and decided to launch a low-cost carrier, damn the evidence against such risky ventures. The only way that it could accomplish such a risky venture amidst all of this labour unrest is through the strong arm of the federal government and its rush to back-to-work legislation.
The government continues with its program of prosperity for the few and propping up the losers in our economy.
Let us look at the history of Air Canada. Some people in the chamber may remember Zip Airlines, which did not fare so well when competing with other low-cost carriers. Now Air Canada is trying again. Instead of Air Canada strengthening what it has, it is recklessly going out of its way in risky ventures because it knows that it has a friend in the Canadian government and can take on such risky ventures.
Let us look at the situation here. Top executives at Air Canada get double-digit compensation increases while the company preaches austerity for its employees who keep the company running. This is just not fair to the workers who have given their lives to Air Canada and its affiliated services.
Usually a system of merit exists for executive bonuses. At Air Canada stock shares are currently tumbling, yet executives are increasing their pay. It used to be that bonuses were awarded for performance and merit, but now the Conservatives' philosophy that the market will regulate all leads to this sort of wild capitalism in which compensation for Air Canada's executive team rises by a whopping 47%.
Let me name off some of the executive team of Air Canada who received bonuses: Calin Rovinescu, $4.5 million; Michael Rousseau, $1.68 million; Duncan Dee, $1.62 million; Benjamin Smith, $1.37 million; and David Legge, $1.15 million.
This is very disturbing, because the workers have been taking austerity measures for several years and shares are tumbling, yet this team takes executive compensation. The airline lost $249 million last year.
When asked about the truth in advertising bill, which said that consumers should know how much they pay in airline prices, the parliamentary secretary stated that “...we do need to ensure that the regulations...are not harmful to an industry that employs people across this country”. We see that from the Conservative government.
When it comes to labour regulations, the government is not there. When it comes to safety regulations, the government is not there. Somehow when it comes to protecting workers affected by bankruptcies or a balance between executives compensating themselves and workers getting paid money owed to them, the government is not there to regulate that either.
It is an unfortunate situation. We hope that the Conservatives will come around to seeing things our way.