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NDP and conservatives request meeting to address chaos

The Conservatives and NDP are calling for urgent testimony from the Liberal transportation minister after hundreds of commuters were stranded over the vacations.

Members of both parties on the House of Commons transportation committee sent a letter to the committee chair Wednesday requesting a meeting as soon as possible.

"It is not enough for the Liberal minister to tweet that the situation was unacceptable," NDP transportation critic Taylor Bachrach said in a statement Wednesday.

The committee's chair, Liberal MP Peter Schiefke, tweeted Tuesday that he planned to convene a meeting to address the travel issues with the CEOs of Sunwing Airlines and VIA Rail.

Opposition MPs are calling for any hearing to also include a two-hour question-and-answer period with Alghabra.

At a press conference, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh called for more protection for passengers and for the government to use its power to hold the companies accountable for the holiday travel chaos.

The committee can do important work, but that does not absolve the transport minister of his responsibility. The committee can hold hearings to hear witnesses and those affected by these companies and question their managers about the reasons why this has been happening to prevent in the future. But the transport minister and the government have the power to make decisions right now to protect passengers and are not doing what is necessary. They could strengthen the bill of rights, they could squeeze these airlines, which by the way receive large public funds and make them responsible for the treatment of passengers since they receive that public money. There is much the government can do. What passengers have been through, whether from Sunwing, Via Rail and passengers in general throughout the holiday season, were many difficult situations because there is not enough passenger protection and that has to change.

Durante las vacaciones, cientos de personas quedaron varadas en México cuando Sunwing canceló vuelos, y la aerolínea dejó de volar desde Saskatchewan por completo hasta el próximo mes.

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