The article on castanet.net titled "WestJet Skids Into Confusion" quotes a passenger who is quoting, or at least paraphrasing, a WestJet call-centre representative saying "this is a weather related incident beyond our control
and we’re not responsible for anything".
I think it's extremely irresponsible of WestJet to blame that incident on the weather.
I don't know anything about the specifics of the related rules and regulations, and how those rules and regulations should be interpreted in this incident, however it would seem to be common sense to me that the incident was entirely due to the the actions and/or inactions of WestJet and their employees.
If they had cancelled the flight due to the inclement weather then they could fairly blame the weather and be absolved of any responsibility for not flying.
However they didn't cancel the flight. They chose to try to get the plane onto the runway and to take off, so they must have judged the weather and apron and runway conditions to be acceptable for flying at that time.
The fact that then for whatever reason they were unable to safely get the plane onto the runway and to take off shows that they mis-judged the weather conditions, and/or the capabilities of their equipment and personnel in those
They tried too hard to beat the weather and they should accept their own direct responsibility for failure instead of trying to pretend that it was in any way the responsibility of the weather conditions -- i.e. something outside
their control. They had full control over their decision to try to beat the weather, and they had full knowledge of the weather conditions at the time they made their decision to fly, and thus they are fully responsible for
risking that plane and the passengers and crew on board.
Greg A. Woods