Union not surprised at TC inspector shortage
Nov. 29, 2012, Ottawa - Transport Canada's admission to the civil aviation inspector shortage is no surprise. Testifying before the House of Commons public accounts committee, Transport Canada acknowledged that it was not in compliance with the recommendations set out in the Auditor General's Spring 2012 report.
"Our inspectors tell us that they do not have the time and resources necessary to do the job that needs to be done in aviation safety today. They say that the regulatory oversight role is often compromised in favour of checking off company safety management system plans," said Christine Collins, National President of the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees (UCTE). "Add to this the difficulties to have training approved, a salary that is up to $25,000 less than those they have to supervise and the impact of the recent budget cuts and it is no wonder that morale is low in the workplace."
Of interest to note is Transport Canada's unwillingness to provide information in answer to direct questions on the number of companies deemed "high risk" and its failure to provide the specific number of inspectors and engineers since 2008.
"The department has had four years to improve its situation and has failed to do so," said Collins. "What will it take for them to do the right thing?"