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Democracy Watch launches petition calling on Transport Minister to ban Boeing 737 Max-8 in Canada — 14,000+ have already signed

Petition also calls for full public inquiry into why 737 Max-8 was approved, not grounded after first crash, and then re-approved last December

Petition also calls for the creation of an Airline Passengers Organization (APO) to educate and represent passengers in policy-making processes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, March 10, 2021

OTTAWA – Today, two years after the second crash of a Boeing 737 Max 8 in Ethiopia killed 157 people, including 18 Canadians, Democracy Watch has launched a petition on Change.org calling on federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra to reverse the decision to approve the plane to fly again in Canada.

The petition, which more than 14,000 people have already signed, also calls on Minister Alghabra to launch a public inquiry into the government’s decisions concerning the plane, and to create an Airline Passengers Organization (APO) using an innovative method that has worked well in the U.S.

As set out in the petition, three independent experts have concluded that the 737 Max-8 is still unsafe – Gilles Primeau (see him quoted in this Dec. 17, 2020 CBC article and this Feb. 3, 2021 Radio-Canada piece); Brian A. Barsky (see his Jan. 21, 2021 opinion piece in the Globe and Mail), and; Ed Pierson (see him quoted in this Jan. 25, 2021 BBC.com article).

As well, senior Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) safety engineer Joe Jacobsen has just gone public accusing the FAA of negligence in approving the 737 Max to fly in the first place, and not requiring enough changes after the first crash. Based on his 36-year career as an aeronautics engineer, he has concluded that the FAA has still not required enough changes to the 737 Max, and that the plane is still unsafe. See his concerns set out in this March 7, 2021 Seattle Times article.

The petition also calls for a public inquiry to examine all the federal government’s decisions concerning the 737 Max given Boeing’s past fraud, deception and ongoing secrecy, and given that serious, unanswered questions remain concerning why the Canadian government approved the 737 Max to fly in Canada in the first place, and did not ground the plane after the first crash in October 2018, and re-approved the plane to fly in Canada last December.

“The 737 Max still has known major and catastrophic hazards that can contribute to a crash. The public relies on safe travel and, therefore, the new model of the 737 or 737 Max series should be evaluated as a new type of plane, which would eliminate it from Canadian skies as it cannot meet safety requirements for new planes,” said Chris Moore, whose 24-year old daughter, Danielle, died in the March 2019 crash. Canadians need to tell Transport Canada and the Prime Minister to ban this plane in Canada. This is a matter of social democracy and the public should have a say in our safety. Please sign the petition.”

In addition, the petition calls on Transport Minister Alghabra to create an Airline Passengers Organization (APO) by requiring airlines to hand a pamphlet to passengers boarding planes that invites them to join the APO, as well as include a notice about the APO in any emails they send to passengers. Given about 10 million Canadians fly each year, with only a 4 percent response rate, the APO would have about 400,000 members.

“Given Boeing’s past fraud, deception and secrecy, it’s claims should not be believed now concerning the safety of the 737 Max,” Duff Conacher, Co-founder of Democracy Watch. “Before the 737 Max kills anyone else, the plane must be banned from flying in Canada.”

“A full public inquiry is needed as the public has a right to know how all the government’s decisions were made concerning the 737 Max,” said Conacher.

“To give airline passengers a strong voice in Canada, the federal government must establish an airline passengers organization, which can be done at no cost to the government, or the airlines, using an innovating method that has worked well in the U.S.,” said Conacher.

A U.S. Senate Committee report found that Boeing representatives violated rules by coaching test pilots during the testing of what Boeing claims is the 737 Max’s repaired flight control system. Boeing admitted it committed fraud in the initial approval process for the 737 Max. It continues to hide information about the plane, and refused to testify at House Transport Committee hearings.

Because of a loophole in Canada’s lobbying law, Boeing’s lobbying concerning the approval of the 737 Max to fly in Canada initially, and re-approval last December to fly again in Canada, is not required to be disclosed to the public.

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FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:

Duff Conacher, Co-founder of Democracy Watch
Tel: 613-241-5179 Cell: 416-546-3443
Email: info@democracywatch.ca

Chris Moore
Email: et302justice@gmail.com

Democracy Watch’s Corporate Responsibility Campaign and Government Ethics Campaign