Companies Involved in Travel Woes Should Testify at Committee, Says Liberal MP Chair

Companies Involved in Travel Woes Should Testify at Committee, Says Liberal MP Chair
A Sunwing aircraft is parked at Montreal Trudeau airport in Montreal on March 2, 2022. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)
Noé Chartier

Companies involved in the travel chaos over the holiday season will be invited to testify before MPs, the chair of the Commons’ transport committee said on Jan. 3.

“I will be convening a meeting of the Transport Committee and will be calling on VIA Rail and Sunwing to appear,” tweeted Liberal MP Peter Schiefke.

“Canadians deserve answers for the unacceptable delays and cancellations seen over the holiday season.”

Some Twitter users responded by thanking Schiefke while others pointed out issues with different companies or asked if the transport minister would also appear.

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra manifested his support for Schiefke’s announcement by retweeting the post.

“It will be an important discussion. Canadians deserve answers!” he wrote.

Meanwhile Sunwing said on Jan. 3 it had completed its recovery operation of stranded passengers.

News reports over recent days indicated Sunwing customers stuck in Cuba or Mexico made their way back to Canada, but sometimes not at their original point of departure.

“We can confirm that all scheduled recovery flights are complete, and any remaining passengers [at] destination are those who are rescheduling previously missed return flights, or enjoying longer vacations of a two to three-week duration and are scheduled to return at a later date based on their originally scheduled departure date,” said Sunwing in a statement.

Sunwing said its teams “worked around the clock” to deal with the issue and had supported impacted passengers with lodging and food.

Travellers by rail also experienced extended delays in recent days with trains immobilized for hours due to weather events and a derailment.

Via Rail did not immediately respond to a request for comment.