RISKY: Trudeau Government Cutting Federal Pilot Evaluators

Some say the move will add to the burden on airlines to evaluate those who check pilots, potentially posing an increased risk.

For a government that seems to spend money like there’s no tomorrow, the Trudeau government picks some very strange things to cut back on.

As reported by the Canadian Press, “Transport Canada is planning to stop evaluating pilots who perform checks on their counterparts at the country’s largest airlines and will instead give the responsibility to the operators, a change critics say erodes oversight and public safety.”

The move flies in the face of what is done in almost every other country in the world, raising questions as to why the government is making the move.

A government risk assessment tried to downplay those concerns, “It could be argued that Canada’s experience and relative maturity with systems-based surveillance will adequately complement this shift of responsibilities … and therefore mitigate any concerns other states or trade associations may have with response to such a departure from globally accepted practices.”

However, the move by the Trudeau government seemingly contradicts Canada’s commitment – along with 190 other countries – to test pilots twice a year.

The head of the Federal Pilots Association raised significant concerns.

“I think it’s very, very important that people understand we are getting closer to self-regulation all the time.” said Greg McConnell. “It’s just more cutting, more dismantling of the safety net.”

Increased risk, or increased prices?

These changes by the Trudeau government make no sense. While increased regulation in many industries does more harm than good – the energy industry for example – people don’t want to see weaker oversight of airlines. After all, the cost of a mistake in the air can mean death for hundreds of people.

While there may be an increased risk, it is also possible that prices will go up, as airlines take on the cost of checking those who evaluate pilots. This move is a big loss for Canadian consumers.

For a government that spends so much money, to try and save a few bucks on pilot oversight is crazy, and demonstrates the repeated pattern from the Trudeau government where they cut spending in the places they shouldn’t, while refusing to spend in the places they should.

Spencer Fernando

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