OTTAWA, April 24, 2023 – The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) reacted negatively to the announcement made today by the Minister of Transportation, Omar Alghabra, of proposed changes to the Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPRs), saying the proposals weaken passengers’ rights by making their claims secret, blocking their access to full justice, and failing to remove airlines’ ability to claim routine safety exceptions to payment of claims, among other shortcomings.

“The Minister did not consult with Canadian consumers or air passenger protection advocates before proposing these ill-advised changes – so we won’t clear them for takeoff,” said John Lawford, Executive Director and General Counsel at PIAC. “Consumers shouldn’t support them either, because they will also give the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) too much discretion to determine new exceptions to passengers’ compensation claims and to change the claims process with administrative ‘guidelines’, and also the CTA may now allow air carriers caught breaking the rules to avoid fines by entering into compliance agreements,” he added.

The changes to the APPRs are found in the Government’s omnibus Budget Implementation Act bill, in Division 23. Such changes are often given little scrutiny in Parliamentary Committees due to the urgency of Budget implementation and the large size of Budget bills.  Therefore PIAC called upon the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities (TRAN) to study the Budget Implementation Act Bill and to recommend major amendments, or, simply the remove the Minister’s proposed APPR changes from the Bill.

“We are disappointed the Government did not see fit to simply pass Bill C-327, ‘An Act to amend the Canada Transportation Act (air passenger protection)’, introduced by MP Taylor Bachrach,” added Lawford. “That Bill would change Canada’s air passenger protection law to mirror that in Europe, which is the gold standard.”

For more information please contact:

John Lawford
Executive Director & General Counsel
Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)
(613) 562-4002 ×125

social: @CanadaPIAC


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