Kiiwetinoong MPP calling on federal government to address critical air service disruptions in Northern communities
Tim Brody - Editor
Kiiwetinoong MPP Sol Mamakwa is expressing deep disappointment in what he says is Transport Canada’s failure to address regulatory challenges severely impacting northern First Nations across the riding, resulting in reduced flights impacting essential services.
Mamakwa shared in a June 2 statement that new flight duty time regulations implemented by Transport Canada have reduced air services in the north, hindering access to medical aid and increasing the burden on First Nations populations to access the services they need.
Mamakwa says urgent action is needed from the federal Minister of Transport to rectify the ongoing crisis.
“In a crisis, the Federal Minister of Transportation should be working with us to strengthen vital air service to northern and fly-in communities. These regulations are causing great harm to communities across the north, resulting in reduced access to essential services, and potential evacuation delays in the forest fire season.
“Airports are lifelines to fly-in First Nations. Air carriers, service providers and First Nations wouldn’t be in this position had they been consulted on these regulations in the first place. Instead, Transport Canada attempted to find a quick fix and gave air carriers and the communities depending on these flights a uniform solution that did not align with the community’s needs.
“The Coalition of Northern Air Services and Nishnawbe Aski Nation have already issued letters to the Minister urging immediate action but have yet to receive a response. It is time for Transport Canada to listen and take action before the situation escalates further.”