November 27th, 2020
Liberals and Conservatives block NDP call for a public inquiry into 737 max crashes
OTTAWA - Following moving testimony from the family members of Boeing 737 crash victims, NDP critic for Communities and Infrastructure, Taylor Bachrach, called on the federal government to launch a public inquiry into Canada's aircraft certification process. Yesterday, Liberals and Conservatives at the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, ignored the families' wishes and the testimony of independent aviation experts by refusing to have a public inquiry.
"It is shameful that after hearing the heartbreaking testimony from the families, this committee couldn't find a way to act on their wish for an independent inquiry. This is not just about finding out why an aircraft with such dangerous design flaws was certified to fly in Canada, but also ensuring that this doesn't happen again," said Bachrach. "The government owes these families and all Canadians an explanation into these tragedies. It's frustrating to see the Liberals and Conservatives deny them that."
The 737 MAX 8 has been approved to resume flights in the U.S. and it is expected that similar approval in Canada is likely to occur soon. But Bachrach pointed to expert witnesses who appeared at the committee including professional aerospace engineers who expressed continued reservations about the safety of the aircraft.
Back in March, Minister Garneau admitted to the committee that he knew about an outstanding concern paper written by Transport Canada technicians correctly identifying the aircraft's design flaws. Despite the safety concerns, the certification was approved to avoid delaying Boeing's delivery of the plane to Canadian airlines.
"The Liberals say that we now have all the information we need, but there are still so many outstanding questions that Canadians deserve answers about before they are asked to board these airplanes," said Bachrach. "Safety can never be compromised for the financial interest of a private company and we have to be sure that isn't what happened here. A public inquiry would be the best venue to get to the bottom of this matter and give Canadians the confidence that these planes and our certification process are safe."