On a wing and a prayer

Although this is a constituency week with the House of Commons recessed, much attention remains on Parliament Hill for a few important reasons.

Public safety was a primary concern, as Transport Minister Marc Garneau made the decision to ground the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft in Canada.

This decision is following the recent tragic crash of a similar 737 Max 8 aircraft flown by Ethiopian Airlines that resulted in the devastating loss of all passengers and crew on board, including 18 Canadians, with several from B.C.

There is no schedule on when this order will be lifted.

Air Canada, WestJet and Sun Wing Vacations are all working to resolve the many impacts on Canadian travelers who will be affected by this order.

While on the topic of airlines, recently I met with Air Canada over the potential loss of flights at the Penticton airport.

Although Penticton is no longer in my riding, many citizens in communities that I do represent will be adversely affected by this proposed new schedule as Penticton is their closest regional airport.

Air Canada is aware of the concerns and has made a commitment to look at how potential scheduling changes could be incorporated to help mitigate this situation.

Currently, the last flight in to Penticton results in the aircraft and crew staying in overnight before becoming the first flight out in the morning.

Any potential solution must bear this in mind as the new schedule no longer has the aircraft and crew overnighting in Penticton, which complicates the ability to schedule early morning flights.

We will look forward to what Air Canada comes up with in response to the concerns that were raised.

The other issue in Ottawa this week was the surprise move by the Liberals on the Justice Committee to use their majority to adjourn the meeting before any debate or discussions could occur over recalling former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould.

This discussion arises from recent statements provided to the Justice Committee by the Prime Minister's former Principal Secretary, Gerald Butts, and the Clerk of the Privy Council, Michael Wernick.

These statements, that the Liberals also blocked from being given under oath, had some inconsistencies with the previous testimony from Wilson-Raybould.

Both opposition parties agree that in order to clarify these inconsistencies, Wilson-Raybould should be given the opportunity to respond.

To date, the Liberals have used their majority to block this from happening.

This action by the Liberals is leading some, including the opposition, to raise concerns over a possible cover-up.

My question this week:

  • Do you believe that Jody Wilson-Raybould should have the opportunity to appear before the Justice Committee for a second time to respond to these recent statements?


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About the Author

Dan Albas, Conservative member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, is the shadow minister of innovation, science, economic development and internal trade, and sits on the standing committee on finance.

Before entering public life, Dan was the owner of Kick City Martial Arts, responsible for training hundreds of men, women and youth to bring out their best.

In British Columbia, Dan has been consistently one of the lowest spending MPs on office and administration related costs despite operating two offices to better serve local constituents.

Dan is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 most active members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

He can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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