Some of this Week’s Other Highlights in Brief

Photo credit: Ukrainian Presidential Press Service
  • An Ontario Superior Court of Justice judge has ruled Ukrainian International Airlines liable for the shooting down of its flight PS752 by Iran in 2020. In her 78-page decision, Justice Jasmine Akbarali wrote, “UIA had failed to satisfy its unique burden under the Montreal Convention to prove that it was not negligent in allowing Flight PS752 to depart from Tehran in the early hours of January 8, 2020. As such, UIA has unlimited liability to the estates and family members of the deceased passengers for their compensable damages.” There are 101 individual lawsuits and one class action lawsuit pending.
  • WestJet AMEs refused to ratify the tentative agreement between their employer and their union, the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA). The agreement was negotiated on May 5. “The failed ratification of the tentative agreement by our AMEs and other Tech ops employees under the bargaining unit is deeply concerning after what was a lengthy and challenging negotiation process with the union,” said WestJet Airlines president Diederik Pen. Current operations are not impacted.
  • Meanwhile, the collective agreement between WestJet and their Encore pilots’ union Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) was ratified by the union’s members on Friday (June 14). ALPA has been representing WestJet Encore pilots since 2017.
Members of the Give Hope Wings 2023 expedition during a stopover in Prince George, B.C.
  • The Give Hope Wings 2024 Western Expedition takes off today (Saturday) for a one-week tour of British Columbia to raise awareness of, and funds for, Hope Air, the national charity that provides travel arrangements free of charge to those facing financial challenges and needing to travel to a distant location to receive medical care. Monday, June 17 has been proclaimed Hope Air Day in B.C. Canadian Aviator’s publisher Steve Drinkwater is leading the expedition.
  • Border service workers at CBSA have reached a tentative agreement with the federal government that has averted any strike action for now, according to their union, the Public Service Alliance of Canada. In a work-to-rule action earlier this week, local CBSA workers in Gander, Newfoundland refused to clear the more than 260 passengers of a United Airlines flight that had diverted to that airport due to technical issues, forcing them to remain overnight for 12 hours in the terminal.
  • Defence headquarters has announced the launching by the Canadian Military Colleges Review Board (CMCRB) of an online public consultation portal allowing Canadians to provide input on the continuation of the country’s two remaining military colleges, the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario and the RMC Saint-Jean in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. The CMCRB was created in response to recommendations contained in former Supreme Court Justice Louise Arbour’s May 30, 2022 report, which were accepted by then-Defence minister Anita Anand.

The CMCRB is mandated to:

    • Review the benefits, costs and advantages to both to the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and the nation, of continuing to educate Regular Officer Training Plan (ROTP) naval/officer cadets at the Canadian Military Colleges (CMCs);
    • Assess the comparative quality of education, socialization and military leadership training in the CMCs’ environments;
    • Assess the potential of different models for delivering university-level education and military leadership training to naval/officer cadets;
    • Assess whether the Cadet Wing responsibility and authority command structure should remain in place, be modified or discontinued as a leadership development practice; and
    • Recommend whether the CMCs should continue in their current or an altered capacity as undergraduate degree-granting institutions.