Pallister Government Stands by as NAV Canada Lays Off Manitoba Workers

February 17, 2021

Premier Fails to Sign onto Joint Letter Calling for Job Protections.

Treaty 1 Territory, Homeland of the Métis Nation, Winnipeg MB—The Pallister government has failed to stand up for Manitoba workers after refusing to join six other premiers in condemning NAV Canada job cuts. 

“Manitobans wants a Premier that stands up for them when they need help. When workers are facing job cuts, the Premier should do everything possible to fight back,” said NDP Leader Wab Kinew. “Yet Premier Pallister is doing nothing to save good jobs in rural communities. These working families deserve a Premier that fights for their jobs.”

NAV Canada has launched a review into dozens of Air Traffic Control towers and air traffic services across the country, including five sites in Manitoba, as part of a move to cut more than 700 jobs in a pandemic. Sites in Brandon, Dauphin, The Pas, Flin Flon and Churchill are all under review.

In response to the review, Premiers Scott Moe, Doug Ford, John Horgan, Jason Kenney, Sandy Silver and Francois Legault wrote a letter to the Prime Minister calling for federal intervention to save Canadian jobs. The Premiers demanded the Prime Minister act quickly to delay job cuts until COVID-19 restrictions on air travel ease and the industry can stabilize. Premier Pallister did not sign onto the letter, signaling a lack of concern for the loss of good jobs in Manitoba.

In November, NDP Leader Wab Kinew wrote a letter to Manitoba’s Minister of Economic Development and Training urging him to stop NAV Canada decision to close a flight information centre in Winnipeg’s airport and layoff workers. In December, Kinew wrote to the federal Minister of Transport asking for industry-specific funding to prevent further job losses.

“Not only do these workers keep Manitoba safe, they will play a key role in our economic recovery once pandemic restrictions can ease,” said NDP Critic for Economic Development Jamie Moses. “The loss of these jobs will hurt Manitoba’s long-term viability as an aerospace hub in Canada. The PC government needs to take responsibility for our economic recovery.”