IG News Updates,
The chair of the House of Commons transport committee on Tuesday called on Sunwing Airlines and Via Rail to publicly explain what caused the travel nightmare plaguing thousands of Canadians during the holidays.
Peter Shifke, a Liberal member of parliament, said in a tweet that he plans to convene a committee meeting and have representatives from both companies present as witnesses.
Schiffke said Canadians deserve answers for “unacceptable delays and cancellations” during the holiday season.
Transport Minister Omar Alagbara later tweeted, “This will be an important discussion.” “Canadians deserve answers.”
Hundreds of people were stranded in Mexico over the holidays after Sunwing canceled their flights, leaving passengers fuming and accusing the company of not communicating well.
Last week, the vacation destination airline announced it was canceling all flights to and from Regina and Saskatoon until early February due to extenuating circumstances.
Via Rail was also criticized after commuters were stranded for hours as a winter storm hit parts of Ontario and Quebec, including Alghabra.
Several trains scheduled to run on Christmas Eve were cancelled, and the company said that CN Rail’s derailment was the culprit for more cancellations on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
A spokeswoman for Via Rail said late Tuesday that it would respond “favorably” to a committee request to explain its position over the past month.
Air travel was the source of many complaints during 2022 as the industry experienced a broad return to both domestic and international travel after COVID-19 restrictions were lifted.
Issues at the airport, including lost luggage and long delays, have been partly blamed on staff shortages. Adding to the issues were long wait times at passport offices as Service Canada struggled to make up for a backlog of applications that had accumulated during the first two years of the pandemic.
Conservative MP Mark Strahl, a member of the transport committee, said on Tuesday his party wanted Alghabra to answer for what happened during the holiday.
“He broke his promise to fix the system, and Canadians paid the price,” he said in a tweet.
Here’s what the Speaker of the House Transportation, Infrastructure and Communities plans to do to dive into the travel crisis this holiday. No meeting has yet taken place on the notice. #cdnpoli https://t.co/qPSFZNewEp
— Rachel Aiello (@rachaiello) January 3, 2023
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on January 3,2023.