Thoughts about First Air-Canadian North merger? Now’s the time to share them

Transport Canada will accept written comments until Jan. 12, 2019

The public can share their written input on the proposed northern airline merger until Jan. 12, 2019. (FILE PHOTO)

By Sarah Rogers

The pending merger of First Air and Canadian North remains under review by Transport Canada, but the federal department has extended a consultation period for those who could be affected.

After years of discussion, Nunavik’s Makivik Corp., which owns First Air, and the Inuvialuit Regional Corp., owner of Canadian North, signed an agreement on Sept. 28, calling it the creation of one “premier northern airline.”

As required by the Canada Transportation Act, the organizations filed a merger notification with the Minister of Transport this past October.

That triggered a public review process, which is looking at how the proposed merger would affect travellers in northern communities and the air industry.

That 150-day formal public interest review started on Nov. 13, 2018.

But that review won’t happen through in-person hearings.

“Due to time and geographic constraints, and to encourage as much participation as possible, Transport Canada made the decision to encourage comments from the public electronically,” said a department spokesperson in an email to Nunatsiaq News.

The deadline for that input was initially set at Dec. 14, but the public can still submit their comments to Transport Canada, until Jan. 12, 2019, at this email address: [email protected]

That input should be based on the consultation paper that’s embedded below.

Provincial, territorial and municipal governments, as well as Inuit organizations, have already met with transport officials.

An earlier version of this story contained an incorrect email address for sending comments to Transport Canada. The correct email address is [email protected]

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(7) Comments:

  1. Posted by Derek on

    Just worried about the potential increase in airfares n cargo rates. Also what about multiple flights into the communites? Usually when one airline dies not arrive, we have the opportunity to jump on the other airline. If the merger goes through, get rid of the Dash 8 aircrafts (slow/cramped) n keep flying the ATR’s n jets into Cambridge Bay and Kugluktuk. Also making sure the food cargo rates does not increase and making sure cargo gets moved at a better pace. What about our Aurora rewards program, please keep it going.

  2. Posted by Ryan on

    Am I missing something? Where does one submit answers to these questions?

  3. Posted by Matt on

    Did anyone else notice the irony or gravity in the fact that Transport Canada is not coming up to do consultations in person “Due to time and geographic constraints”? In other words, air travel is so expensive, time consuming and complicated in the north that they don’t even want to come here? That makes me both laugh and cry, but really it should make TC even more aware that this is an ultra-unique situation which requires a CLOSE review on how it will affect the average traveler.
    Of course, the cynic in me just sees this process as an excuse which both the airlines and TC can use in the future: “WeLl, wE dId CoNsUlTaTiOnS!”.

  4. Posted by Laughing all the way on

    Interesting a Yukon air carrier is concerned of the up-coming Transport Canada new passenger entitlements, the state funded news reported. While the wannabe merged air carriers seem to be both dancing and signing the same how wonderful kissy kissy tune.

    One is the number
    One dictates all the prices
    Laughing all the way

    Sadly Inuit Orgs have ALL been reeled into this frightening kissy kissy dance and song merger. Making them mute to ask for you, how much this merger will make tickets and freight soar?

    How much you ask?
    Care? Shhhh go back to sleep
    Laughing all the way…

  5. Posted by Conserned on

    It is not the merger that is the issue. It is the cost. Regardless of 1, 2 or 3 airlines the pricing is ridiculous. Why is a return flight over $1400 with a government discount. Ridiculous! I can fly to Australia and back for that price. Ottawa flight is 3 hours and Australia…..14 or 15. Just saying.

  6. Posted by Chreley on

    The important thing to understand is that the people or as business would have us known as the customer have a means and interest to change things when (and it happens) to reel in/reverse abuses. The best laid plans of men and mice has a way of unravelling.

  7. Posted by Big black bird on

    Benefits will come, competition still a concern, expand & increase airline destination routes including domestic & international flights if at all possible to grow to a good airline. Nothing wrong with the north’s home grown companies expanding as very few Inuit owned businesses are …

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