Air Canada seems to be manipulating the judicial process to achieve their purpose, that is to say make its decision to outsource heavy maintenance away from Montreal, Mississauga and Winnipeg irreversible. The carrier will probably appeal the decision from the court of appeals. Prolonging the agony of the 2600 former Aveos employees.
Air Canada seems to invoke its own turpitude in the public arena in order to justify its refusal to accept the judgment of the Quebec Court of Appeal. As proof of this, the President and chief executive officer of Air Canada, Calin Rovinescu stated on the occasion of their third quarter results "we cannot reinvent structures overnight. We are talking about very technical maintenance activities, both in terms of infrastructure and personnel. I see nothing imminent." Mr. Rovinescu seems to be saying that they have violated the law, but it is now too late to turn back. If this is Air Canada's strategy, we cannot accept this situation without reacting.
Air Canada, claims that it is linked to existing contracts, the expertise is not available in sufficient numbers, the machinery is not available, the locations where the operations took place are assigned to other activities or have been destroyed or sold, with these arguments Air Canada seeks to justify the irreversibility of the relocation of part of its activities and we must realize this. At this moment, everything is becoming a pretext for Air Canada to evade the law and avoid repatriating all or part of its maintenance and revision.
Meanwhile, nothing prevents Air Canada from embarking on a public relations operation with the federal government. The carrier may request the amendment of the Air Canada Public Participation Act in order to amend it in such a way that would allow it to finally free itself from its obligations to keep maintenance and overhaul activities in Montreal, Winnipeg and Mississauga in the future. This of course will require that the Trudeau government remains on its guard and it resists listening to Air Canada's siren song if the Trudeau government really wants to continue to defend the middle class in this case. For its part, the Government of Quebec is collaborating by allowing the judicial process to take its course.
What happens next? A pragmatic plan that will meet the different situations we may have to face will have to be developed. The former Aveos workers experienced unacceptable economic violence. Some have yet to recover from the announcement of the end of operations in 2012. We cannot accept half measures in this case. We must maintain pressure on Air Canada and ask for a plan on how they intend to restore activities in the three sites, a plan that is realistic and negotiated in good faith by the parties. The outcome we must work towards is that Air Canada becomes compliant under the law, and this as soon as possible.