April 5, 2012 – Ottawa, ON

In response to the Auditor General’s Spring 2012 Report that reviewed civil aviation, Christine Collins, National President of the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees (UCTE), is deeply concerned about the safety of Canada’s airspace.

UCTE represents more than 900 Technical Inspectors at Transport Canada including aviation inspectors for airworthiness, cabin safety, and transportation of dangerous goods.

In June 2008, the Department reported it was having trouble finding qualified candidates who are willing to accept the pay rates offered by the government and needed to identify the skills and resources needed to fill 134 vacancies. Instead, Transport Canada concluded a review and appears to have eliminated the vacancies without staffing them. Now in March 2012, the Auditor General is reiterating the lack of inspectors needed to keep Canadians safe.

“Transport Canada has known for over 4 years that they do not have enough Inspectors to keep our skies safe. And despite us raising concerns, they have done very little about it … And now the department is cutting back over 10% of their personnel in accordance with the recent federal budget. How can you possibly cut back when you have evidence of insufficient skilled personnel resources today?”

“Canadians deserve a safe transportation system. Given the clear evidence as articulated in the AG’s report, now is not the time to cut back on transportation safety in Canada.” says President Collins.

Attached please find a link to the Auditor General’s report.