District Bulletin #37 with (ACPPA) Court Ruling


Dear Brothers and Sisters:

The Ontario Superior Court has now released its decision on the Air Canada Public Participation Act (ACPPA).

The decision is deeply disappointing. On the central question of whether Air Canada is in compliance with its obligation “to maintain operational and overhaul centres in the City of Winnipeg, the City of Mississauga and the Montreal Urban Community, the Court found that ACPPA’s requirement “was vague and no doubt purposely so”.

Mr. Justice Newbould concluded that “Air Canada does maintain operational and overhaul centres […] by maintaining overhaul operations under its contracts with Aveos and by itself maintaining certain overhaul functions through its line maintenance operations”.

The decision does not deal with the extensive legislative debates in Parliament put before the Court by Union counsel. During these debates, Air Canada’s own CEO and legislators had described the Act as obliging Air Canada to maintain “overhaul centres” and defined overhaul centres as centres capable of carrying out C and D checks on aircraft.

Instead, the Court held that “the natural meaning of the words overhaul centre must be that it is a place or centre in which overhaul work is performed”, and accepted Air Canada’s statements that it “performs some overhaul tasks in its line maintenance group” as sufficient to meet the statutory requirement.

The Court did make reference to some Parliamentary debates showing legislators’ concern with ensuring that jobs remain in the named cities, but only in support of its finding that Air Canada can meet the requirements of the legislation by having the work carried out on contract with Aveos in those cities.

In favour of Aveos and Air Canada, the Court also based its decision on a number of legal arguments the companies made to the effect that the Union and General Vice President Ritchie had no standing to bring forward this application.

The Court’s decision is included on the following pages. As the hearings were held in English, this official court document was only released in English.

As a result of this decision, the collective bargaining process will be suspended indefinitely while we consider our options for moving forward. More information will be provided as soon as it becomes available.

In solidarity,

Chuck Atkinson
President and Directing General Chairperson


BULLETIN NO. 037 – ISSUED MAY 26, 2011

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