Air Canada Pilots Welcome Changes to Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Air Canada Pilots Welcome Changes to Temporary Foreign WorkerProgram


April 30, 2013


TORONTO – The Air Canada Pilots Association (ACPA) today welcomed the federal government’s reform of theTemporary Foreign Worker Program, which the Association has been advocating for several years.


ACPA President Captain Craig Blandford applauded the changes in a letter to Prime Minister StephenHarper:


“While we understand that this program may have been useful in other sectors of the Canadian economy,there is no doubt that it has been abused in the aviation industry. In our highly competitive globalbusiness, which has been subject to dramatic economic swings and nearly constant restructuring, many highlyqualified and licensed Canadian pilots have become unemployed or been forced to leave the country to findwork. This has resulted in the de-capitalization of Canadian aviation, through the loss of this investment intheir many years of training and experience.


“The Temporary Foreign Worker Program cannot and should not be used by airlines as an ongoing subsidy fromgovernment used to gain a commercial advantage over their competitors through the avoidance of trainingcosts. These operators must be required to make more extensive efforts to hire Canadians before they bring inforeign-licensed pilots.


“It is essential that Canadian companies be required to invest more in the skills and training ofCanadian pilots. Type-rating training costs should not be used as an excuse to exclude otherwise qualifiedCanadian pilots. Air Canada constantly invests in the skills of its pilots as they advance through theircareers and operate increasingly larger and more complex aircraft. This investment not only creates atalented professional workforce able to meet the challenge of global competition, but also make our airlineone of the safest operations in the world.”


Captain Blandford also suggested that Canada should explore the creation of a reciprocal program with amajor trading partner to allow better labour market mobility for professional airline pilots. He offeredACPA’s support for such an effort and committed to participating in the consultation process announced by thegovernment.


Air Canada Pilots Association (ACPA) is the largest professional pilot group in Canada,representing the more than 3,000 pilots who operate Air Canada’s mainline fleet.




Contact: Paul Howard, Director of Communications 905-678-9008 ext. 4011



Submitted by ACPA on April 30, 2013


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Apr 30, 201330 Apr 2013

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