Tim Houston and Cape Breton PC MLAs wrote to new Minister of Transportation.
PC MLAs are reaching out to Ottawa pledging to work together to save the Sydney Airport. The airport currently has no flights coming in or out, resulting in layoffs and struggles for Cape Breton rotational workers trying to return home.
In a letter sent to the new Minister of Transportation Hon. Omar Alghabra, PC MLAs and PC Leader Tim Houston highlighted the importance of a link between Cape Breton and the rest of the country. The letter was congratulatory and focused on solutions, with the PC MLAs pledging to work with the federal government to ensure routes resume.
“Getting Cape Breton’s economy back to full strength after COVID-19 means getting the Sydney Airport up and running,” says Murray Ryan, MLA Northside-Westmount. “Nova Scotians need assurances that after doing their part to stay home, there isn’t a penalty.”
Ryan along with caucus colleagues Keith Bain, MLA Victoria - The Lakes, Brian Comer, MLA Sydney River - Mira - Louisbourg, and Allan MacMaster, MLA, Inverness called for assurances that if any bailouts happen, routes and jobs would be protected.
On January 11, 2021, Air Canada indefinitely suspended its operations at the J.A. Douglas McCurdy Sydney Airport. This was the final nail in the coffin of this facility, which had struggled mightily during COVID-19 restrictions and suspended its flight from Sydney to Halifax this past fall.
Air Canada cut 1,900 jobs across the country yesterday.
“We need to ensure that if airlines receive compensation, it results in good jobs returning and the resumption of routes that Cape Bretoners need to get home,” said Comer.
Houston called for governments to be solutions-focused in navigating the pandemic, and renewed his calls for a commitment to testing in airports. He also wished the new Minister well in his challenging role and says Nova Scotians want to see elected officials work together and listen.
“We’ve always said that we want our federal government to succeed because that’s what it takes for Canadians and Nova Scotians to succeed,” says Houston. “In this case, we can’t afford to lose the Sydney airport. It’s far too important to our economy.”