Jump to content

Deregulation ?

Recommended Posts

The following excerpts are from a CBC News article after the train derailment in Quebec.


Is this where the aviation industry is heading ??


"I think most Canadians would be surprised to hear that rail companies are left to inspect themselves and Transport Canada goes over the paperwork," says Olivia Chow, NDP transportation critic.

"Shouldn't there be spot-checks by the government to see whether what is on paper is actually what's happening in the field?"

According to E. Wayne Benedict, a labour lawyer and a former locomotive engineer who spent 15 years working for CP Rail and B.C. Rail, attempts at reducing enforcement costs has resulted in alarming deregulation in the industry.

"When I first started in the late '80s, there was active enforcement by Transport Canada. You never knew when they were going to show up, they'd be climbing all over the trains," says Benedict.

"By the time I left the railway industry in 2003, you could practically see tumbleweeds blowing across the tracks. You almost never saw the regulators."

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For the most part, the general public doesn't care about stuf like 'active Transport Canada enforcement' or quality of transportation services. If they did, they wouldn't be scrambling all over themselves when discount (or even regular) airlines pop up with cheap flights. Why pay more when you can fly out of Bellingham (instead of YVR) for a $100 or more cheaper? Screw quality, screw maintenance, screw well paid/trained/experienced pilots... Until people realize (or care) that saving a few hundred bucks on things like air travel means skimping on other things like quality of maintenance and pilots and what that means for their safety (and ultimately their lives), then little will change.


Wide scale active enforcement by Transport would require a huge number of inspectors on the ground. Who's gonna want to pay for that with increased taxes, bureaucracy, and government bungling? Anyone?


Nothing fundamentally happens or changes without the voting public making their government do it, or the market demand for better quality of transportation services.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We pay for an enormous amount of redundancy in the gov't now.


If we continue to think as the above statements appear we do, and I agree with the above statements, though with zero emotion as we are where we are and it's not our fault (because the world was shaped for a long time with traditional voting and family politics), then change will come, is coming, and even though, after the whole global financial crisis, and other parallel breakdowns in our society, it can't be stopped.


Change will come and at some point there will be a well voiced and moral individual(s) who can and will influence all of us to back them up, vote for them, speak to them from our industry.


It has to happen, it is inevitable that the next cycle is either to roll over and watch things get much worse, or to continue to push with our collective opinions on safety.


Safety will come first, for two reasons, probably more, but I'll mention two.


1. We are one of the better examples of flight safety, in Canada. Where is there more freedom of expression, where is there more experience? I think accident investigations lean to the favor of industry, they like to look for employee error, but the press and the people of our industry get a better review of 'What Happened', when there is bad news, than most countries.


Most people who put their time in here, I think, are settled in their mind as to the sacrifice required and given to succeed in this industry. We understand the costs, and the real costs, both personally and professionally, both on the part of the individual employee, and the management or ownership. No one is without stress.


That said, no one enjoys suffering some fool as their Minister of Transportation or 'equivalent to the standard of the type' who surround themselves with a group of lobbying, single-minded profit driven business people as their advisory staff who haven't an iota of real experience, sacrifice, training, or understanding at the heart of it, and have only budget cuts to safety (on behalf of their wealthy handlers) well disguised as progressive ideas to compete in this industry,


2. We love this industry. We love the basic essence of the job, we love the country, and the idea of real progress, and want a real regulatory body, one that does what now only poses to do, with the power to reduce the corruption that is frustrates nearly every topic on this site, and every aspect of our industry. I would like to see some real change starting with stamping out alternative industries avoiding taxes by purchasing new aircraft and flooding our market with a plan to lose money, having a long term goal closer to that of Wal-Mart. Drive out the good, bring in the cheap.


I had a wealthy friend from Toronto approach me about purchasing an aircraft as he makes so much money that his accountant recommended he purchase an aircraft with some of his disposable income to show a loss that would return his income tax back to his pocket.


As I understand now, tax laws are undergoing a rapid and merciless change. IF you work overseas, goodbye tax breaks. You are, in 3 years, though you sacrifice your time abroad, going to pay the same taxes as if you spend all of your time at home.


So why are these laws prevalent now, and who does one vote for? It doesn't seem to matter to me who I vote for, they are all the same, so am looking closely for someone who I can believe in.


Please excuse my meandering blathering.





  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some interesting opinions in here.

Firstly, speaking to the original post.. that's nice that Ms. Chow thinks that "most Canadians would be surprised to hear..." She is the Transportation Critic - the shadow cabinet equivalent of the Minister of Transportation, and her job is to be all over the Minister like a basketball blocker. We shouldn't be "surprised to hear" anything.. it's the job of her office to tell us if there's a potential threat to our safety. Personally, I've heard very little in the mainstream news about this "threat". This "deregulation" (which BTW is the wrong term, Mr. Benedict - it's self regulation) is not specific to the rail industry. It has, in fact, been instituted by every CAR 704 and 705 operator with a valid OC. It goes by the name 'SMS'. Created, and accepted internationally as a prosperous business model, it is a method by which to manage any corporation which is exposed to risk. As a valid business model, it certainly has its uses. Rammed down the throat of a General Aviation company by regulators who have only a rudimentary understanding of the concepts, it will backfire. This has been recognized, and it is my belief that we will never see SMS fully implemented in our little corner of the aviation industry. This is probably a good thing - most small companies simply do not have the resources required to properly institute and maintain such a program. The huge problem which we are facing currently, is just as the original post alluded to - we are still doing business the same way, but our regulators are mandated to watch over us in the new-school way, which is checking our self-audit records for anomalies. I don't think we need to do a gap analysis to see the problem here...


Secondly - be the change that you want to see. Voting is not going to help anything. Ministers are appointed to the Cabinet, not elected. Plus, anyone who knows enough about the transportation industry to run the show on a national level isn't going to be nailing an election sign to your front yard.


Where does that leave us worker bees? stuck with the burden of making sure that we do our jobs safely, I guess. Realize, for example, that TCCA isn't gonna come and ramp the machines anytime soon... so maybe we should do it ourselves.

I know far too many people who have traded their integrity for a sense of entitlement.


Safety, as that runaway train so brutally illustrated, actually is everyone's responsibility.



  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Excellent post mjm


The first heli operator to have an approved and complete SMS in Canada was Graydon Kowal of Guardian Helicopters.


The SMS is a well disguised cut to safety, if you are clever, as many operators are, and without scruples, or ethics, the SMS can be a wonderful and marvelous tool.


If you use it the way it was intended, you can have a wonderful and marvelous tool.


It's as good as the corporate culture that implements it. If you take over a ship riddled with potential AOG snags, and there is no deferred defect list, or the logbook is bereft of entries, but you have an SMS, you're probably working at the wrong place.


Which sucks if you have few hours and are trying to be professional, but are just getting wise in your secondary education of flight. What to do next, make the entry, get busy fixing the problem.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since the introduction of SMS and all the safety seminars the accident rate in the helicopter industry is going up. Where did common sense go? I started my career in aviation in 1964 first fixed wing then helicopter and have managed 48 years without incident and not because of SMS. The road that aviation is going down has become tiring and extremely stressful and most of us older pilots finding very hard to deal with. Lets go back to basics A-N-C


Transport Canada needs an overhaul and maybe they should pull there head out of there *** and bring in some people from our industry and not the military. Paper work and SMS isn't what keeps the rotors out of the trees COMMON SENSE DOES

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's as good as the corporate culture that implements it.


That goes for any quality or safety system. These elements are more states of mind than processes. If the people at the top aren't encouraging and living safety and quality themselves, then the workers aren't carrying it out. Management won't hire quality people. Management leads by example, and that example trickles down and creates the safety and quality culture of the company, for better or for worse.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...