Skip to content

Transport committee launches probe into accessibility at Canadian airlines

A parliamentary committee is launching an investigation into accessibility at Canadian airlines, with the focus on the country's two largest carriers in particular. NDP Transport Critic Taylor Bachrach speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill, Monday, April 24, 2023 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA — A parliamentary committee is launching an investigation into accessibility at Canadian airlines, with a focus on the country's two largest carriers.

Following a motion put forward on Monday by NDP lawmaker Taylor Bachrach, the federal transport committee voted to undertake a study on the state of accessible transportation for Canadians living with disabilities as well as the regulatory regime surrounding it.

The committee cited recent news reports of air travellers "facing discrimination and unacceptable treatment" on board, and invited the CEOs of Air Canada and WestJet to testify along with Transport Minister Pablo Rodriguez, Auditor General Karen Hogan and other experts and industry players.

The motion further calls on the government to table a response to a committee report slated to be presented to the House of Commons.

Earlier this month, Air Canada CEO Michael Rousseau apologized for the airline's accessibility shortfalls and announced new measures to improve the travel experience for hundreds of thousands of passengers living with a disability.

The move followed a number of reports of passenger mistreatment, including an incident in August where a man with spastic cerebral palsy was forced to drag himself off of an Air Canada plane in Las Vegas due to a lack of assistance.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 20, 2023.

Companies in this story: (TSX:AC)

The Canadian Press

Looking for National News? viewed on a mobile phone

Check out Village Report - the news that matters most to Canada, updated throughout the day.  Or, subscribe to Village Report's free daily newsletter: a compilation of the news you need to know, sent to your inbox at 6AM.