< Browse more articles

Focusing on the Problem, First

At the same time, the government says it is focused on our HR problems it has launched - or it is preparing to launch regulatory initiatives that will aggravate or shortage of skilled labour. If it isn’t new Flight & Duty Time Regulations, or amendments to the Canada Labour Code, or changes to the definition of “Flight Time” for helicopters that will raise the cost of flight training - the Feds seem to give with one hand - and take away with the other.  Even the funding that has recently been made available for the purpose of mitigating the shortage of flight crews has been focused on one school in one industry segment, and on one under-represented demographic segment of the pilot community. Our problems in the helicopter industry cannot be addressed through the application of programs that only address under-represented segments of the population in our industry. 

Without minimizing those issues, they are problems that are complicated - often cultural - that will require time and sensitivity to address in a meaningful way.  Solutions that only scratch the surface of the problem - or even worse - amount to window dressing, are counterproductive because they divert funding and the attention of the public to “shiny object” solutions that do not begin to address the underlying problems.

To be clear, HAC applauds efforts to increase representation from women and indigenous people in aviation – but it needs to be part of a larger Labour Market Strategy that contributes in a meaningful way to our industry’s labour shortage in the near term. Simply put - the Canadian aviation industry can’t wait years to resolve this issue and the government needs to start listening to the industry segments that need the help, first, and work with them to develop a national labour market strategy that will balance those identified needs.