Air Canada Pilots Launch Court Challenge of Federal Legislation

TORONTO – Air Canada pilots are asking the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to rule that federal legislation passed last week, forcing them to fly and accept a contract imposed through arbitration, contravenes the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“Our pilots are professionals with the freedom to associate and bargain collectively under the Canada Labour Code,” said Captain Paul Strachan, President of the Air Canada Pilots Association (ACPA). “The Harper government’s bill clearly violates their rights and should be struck down by the courts.”

The pilots also argue in their application to the court that the legislation forcing them to fly conflicts with their legal obligations under the Canadian Aviation Regulations, which prohibit pilots from flying if they have any reason to believe they are unfit to properly perform their duties.

“All professional pilots have a moral, legal and ethical responsibility to assess their own fitness for duty before taking control of an airplane containing hundreds of passengers, all depending upon the pilots for their safety,” Captain Strachan said. “The legislation attempts to override that responsibility and compel pilots to fly by threatening them with fines of up to $1,000 if they do not report for duty. This is not only a legal issue, but also a public safety issue that should concern all passengers.”

The pilots ask the court to declare the legislation unconstitutional and order that any contract imposed under arbitration is null and void. The complete application to the court is available at .

“We are confident that the rights afforded to all Canadians under the Charter will be upheld and the court will restore fundamental justice,” Captain Strachan said.

The Air Canada Pilots Association is the largest professional pilot group in Canada, representing the 3,000 pilots who operate Air Canada’s mainline fleet.



Paul Howard
Director of Communications
Air Canada Pilots Association
905-678-9008 ext. 4011


Notice of Application re Bill C-33

Published on:Publié :
Mar 20, 201220 Mar 2012

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