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Nothing!

 

Here is copy of the legal letter sent to OMNR-- its public record so there is no problem with the posting.

 

December 21, 2007

Via Registerd mail

Government of Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Aviation and Forest Fire Management Branch 475 Airport Road, RR#1, Box 2 Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 5K6

Attention: Mr. Bob Crowell Operations Manager

Dear Mr. Crowell:

Re: MNR Reference Number: P2007-00003 Captain XXXXX

Helicopter Pilot, CHXXXXXX

 

Robson Court, 1000-840 Howe Street Vancouver, BC, Canada V6Z 2M1 T: 604.687.2242 F: 604.643.1200 www.millerthomson.com

A. Paul Devine

Direct Line: 604.643.1227 Direct Fax: 604.643.1200 [email protected]

File: 087913.0001

 

We act for Capt. XXXX with respect to his engagement as a helicopter pilot in Ontario. Capt. XXXX is an extensively qualified helicopter pilot who resides in the Province of British Columbia. As you may recall, there was an “incident” involving Capt. XXXX at the end of the forest fire season in the third week of September 2006. At the time of the “incident”, Capt. XXXX was flying for Campbell Helicopters Ltd., a B.C. Company based at Abbottsford Airport. Campbell Helicopters Ltd. had a contract with the Ministry to provide pilots and equipment for fire suppression in the Province of Ontario. Capt. XXXX was one of the helicopter pilots working on this contract. He had just concluded his flying activities for the 2006 fire season.

 

Capt. XXXX was flying in helicopter C-GPET on an approach into the airport at Dryden. As a result of other inbound traffic, he modified his approach, and over flew part of the visitor and staff parking lot. Capt. XXXX maintains, and the fact is, there was nothing in what he did that constituted a contravention of Civil Aviation Regulations. Nor did anything from this “incident” result in a Transport Canada investigation. Nevertheless, he was verbally upbraided by the Duty Officer at Dryden. This action itself may have been a breach of the Civil Aviation Regulations given that it interfered with a pilot in command who was scheduled to fly back to Vancouver later that day.

 

Vancouver Whitehorse Toronto Calgary Edmonton London Kitchener-Waterloo Guelph Markham Montréal Affiliations Worldwide

MILLER THOMSON LLP Page 2

 

Our client subsequently raised an issue with you as to whether he had been blackballed as a pilot in Ontario. He received assurances from you in a letter in February 2007 that this was not the case. You said that he would simply be spoken to the next he returned to fly in Ontario. This is also consistent with a note you received from Bill Wiedenhoeft of the Ministry, who stated that in his discussion with Laura Siemen of Campbell Helicopters Ltd that “We simply passed on the facts of what occurred this day and as well expressed our concern over this type of performance relative to safety.”

 

Our freedom of information requests, however, paint a much different picture about this discussion. We have been provided a memorandum from Ms. Siemen of Campbell Helicopters Ltd. dated September 27, 2006. This recorded her discussion about the “incident” concerning our client’s actions when flying into the Dryden base. Ms. Siemen records that she was told was told specifically by Mr. Wiedenhoeft and Mr. Maxwell of the Ministry that if Capt. XXXX was on one of the Company’s aircraft in 2007, it might inhibit the ability of the Ministry to hire Campbell Helicopters Ltd. Further, in subsequent response to our client’s concerns, there is an email from Mr. Maxwell entitled “Baad Pilot Reminder” dated March 6, 2007. This was an email that was sent to Mr. Maxwell after your letter of assurance to our client. It advises that: “here is a reminder about [name redacted] having to speak with you prior to any flying for MNR. There are also a couple others that are on the @#$% list”. It goes on to say: “XXXX- XXXX was flying for Campbell – no longer is (unacceptable flying).”

 

This note was followed later by a letter from Mr. Maxwell dated March 30, 2007 wherein he wrote to the Operations Manager at Campbell Helicopters Ltd. for an Occurrence Report, which was to include details of the cause of the “incident”, and an outline of the actions taken by Campbell Helicopters Ltd. to prevent a recurrence in future. The response back was that the pilot had been terminated. It will be interesting to have Mr. Maxwell explain how he knew of the actions taken against Mr. XXXX on March 6, 2007 weeks before the wrote to Campbell Helicopters Ltd. Nor did the response from Campbell Helicopters Ltd. evoke a letter from the Ministry stating that such action was not necessary, or that our client could be engaged again to fly in Ontario. The effect of Mr. Maxwell’s letter was to obtain exactly what he wanted. He wanted Capt. XXXX terminated from his employment, and he used the vehicle of the incident report to obtain this result.

 

The fact that our client “no longer is” flying in Ontario is due directly to actions taken by the above-named employees of the Ministry. The effect of Mr. Maxwell’s letter was to obtain exactly what he wanted. He wanted Capt. XXXX terminated, and used the vehicle of the incident report to obtain the result. It is clear that Campbell Helicopters Ltd. was told to get rid of Mr. XXXX as a pilot or else the Company would not receive a contract in future. This has caused and continues to cause our client to suffer significant direct and indirect damages. These consist of a direct loss of income by inducing a breach of his contract of employment with Campbell Helicopters Ltd., and indirect damages due to his loss of reputation as a pilot. His previously unblemished record as a pilot has been irrevocably besmirched over this incident. He has effectively been blacklisted for flying in Ontario for the Government ofOntario despite assurances to the contrary. At a minimum, he lost $100,000 flying this past fire season, as well as general damages for damage to his reputation. We have been instructed to commence an action on behalf of our client claiming that the actions of the Ontario Government induced a breach of his contract with Campbell Helicopters Ltd. We will seek special, general, and punitive damages against the Ministry on behalf of our client.

 

This letter is to give you notice of our instructions to commence litigation. Please notify us as to your counsel for the purpose of serving our Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim. We also put you on litigation notice that any and all records, correspondence, emails, and other evidence relating to this incident be preserved pending the initiation of our action on behalf of our client.

 

Yours truly, MILLER THOMSON LLP Per:

A. Paul Devine APD/jt

c: Client

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Does that mean that OMNR has gone into CYA and there will be many years of study a discussion before we get an upfront answer and the OMNR person is held accountable for their action.

 

Rocksteady ,,,I assume you work for BCFS,,,this comment is not aimed at you personally but at the forestry agency's in general. We all know there is a blacklist cant be easily proven but we know it is undeniably there (some times warranted but many times not ) Any issue should be brought up FIRST with the offending pilot and if there is not a satisfactory conclusion to the issue then go forward to the said pilots company. If the issue brought up with OMNR as stated previously can be used as an example what right does OMNR have to dictate to an operator who they can or can not hire with fear of the whole fleet been banned ??

Forestry as a whole is a very demanding customer at times I feel too much so. They play a game with the operators that is made effective by the assumption of the fear of not been hired. I understand that the latest craze the fire centers have come up with is to meddle in the standard of training the companies do for pilots. (I believe its a deal been struck between HAC and CIFFC)(I will admit here that I do not know all the inner workings of this upcoming issue) Online tests to be done before a pilot is accepted as been able to work for Any fire agency..?? I believe its in place in Quebec and soon to spread to the rest of Canada.

 

I could ramble on with my thoughts of forestry but I wont. Individually there may be a modest level of professional respect, but in general forestry does not respect us as professional pilots.

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Time to stir?? Sorry, just can't resist!

 

... but in general forestry does not respect us as professional pilots.

 

Especially if they read this forum... :shock:

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Does that mean that OMNR has gone into CYA and there will be many years of study a discussion before we get an upfront answer and the OMNR person is held accountable for their action.

 

Rocksteady ,,,I assume you work for BCFS,,,this comment is not aimed at you personally but at the forestry agency's in general. We all know there is a blacklist cant be easily proven but we know it is undeniably there (some times warranted but many times not ) Any issue should be brought up FIRST with the offending pilot and if there is not a satisfactory conclusion to the issue then go forward to the said pilots company. If the issue brought up with OMNR as stated previously can be used as an example what right does OMNR have to dictate to an operator who they can or can not hire with fear of the whole fleet been banned ??

Forestry as a whole is a very demanding customer at times I feel too much so. They play a game with the operators that is made effective by the assumption of the fear of not been hired. I understand that the latest craze the fire centers have come up with is to meddle in the standard of training the companies do for pilots. (I believe its a deal been struck between HAC and CIFFC)(I will admit here that I do not know all the inner workings of this upcoming issue) Online tests to be done before a pilot is accepted as been able to work for Any fire agency..?? I believe its in place in Quebec and soon to spread to the rest of Canada.

 

I could ramble on with my thoughts of forestry but I wont. Individually there may be a modest level of professional respect, but in general forestry does not respect us as professional pilots.

 

All true, I wouldn't be so kind!

 

 

Ya know! I wish there could have been a simple solution, but as I have mentioned many times on this forum and in person. The mentality of these provincial employees is what dictates on how we are treated. In this particular case the cost to litigate against the Ontario Government is around +100K. Litigation is not cheap nor have the attorneys bills been cheap either to date. But its the only recourse a pilot has if you want to defend your professional reputation. All the more reason why HEPAC or some other mechanism is needed to avoid such disturbances. Now just imagine if I was a lower time pilot just getting a start and didn't have the resources or connections to fix such a problem. Career Over!!

 

It will interesting to see what happens when I land in Ontario in the years to come... and what their reaction is .. Will they still be found as liars??? Given their past behavior i imaging breaking the trend will be difficult for this lot of absolute twits.

 

No surrender!!!!

 

IMHO

 

P5

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