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441-01729 (Transportation)

Paper petition

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the House of Commons

We, the undersigned citizens and residents of Canada, draw the attention of the House of Commons to the following:

Whereas, students studying for a commercial pilot's license are currently waiting to be licensed and are unable to finish their training;

Whereas, for months, Transport Canada offices have been closed, which has prevented students from being able to take their exams and receive certification;

Whereas, across Canada, schools and other buildings have been opened and are operating with relevant precautions; and;

Whereas, Transport Canada hasn't put forward a solution so that these students can complete their written exams.

Therefore we, the undersigned citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to:

1. Safely open the Transport Canada offices, or create some other facility or mechanism, so that students can write their exams and be able to receive their commercial pilot's licence.

Response by the Minister of Transport

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez

Transport Canada acknowledges the challenges faced by students studying for a commercial pilot license over the last few years. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the in-person examination offices had to temporarily pause examination invigilation, along with many public services which created a backlog.

During the pandemic, Transport Canada adopted several temporary measures through exemptions to address medical renewals, extend licence privileges, and respond to the need for written examination for licences, instrument ratings, and flight instructor ratings. To familiarize themselves with these exemptions and other COVID-19 information, pilots and other aviation parties were advised to refer to the Transport Canada website where exemptions were published. For example, a temporary exemption was issued to allow candidates that have not yet written the requisite written examination for a commercial pilot licence, an instrument rating, or any of the flight instructor ratings, to be accepted to attempt the flight test required for the issuance of an instrument rating, any of the flight instructor ratings until August 31, 2022.

Another temporary measure allowed all licensing applicants who have applied for a permit, licence, or rating after March 11, 2020, but no later than February 29, 2024, and who have successfully-completed the knowledge requirement, to extend the knowledge requirements by 10 months.

Between July 2020 and December 2020, Transport Canada’s National Service Teams resumed examination invigilation in their offices. The resumption of examination invigilation aligned with the regional COVID-19 rules in place during that time. Transport Canada delivered examination on paper and sometimes used different facilities to accommodate a larger number of candidates while maintaining COVID-19 safety protocols, including social distancing. Many mass examination invigilation sessions were also organized, both on and off Transport Canada premises to address backlogs.

In addition, Transport Canada expanded the Authorized Exam Invigilator program to include the addition of commercial pilot aeroplane examinations. This expansion was done to swiftly address examination backlog caused by the pandemic. It was implemented with schools that have an established Integrated Training Program as per the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CAR) 406.75 or, in certain geographical locations, have a Transport Canada accepted Quality Assurance System as per CAR 406.14. It should be noted that further expansion is currently on hold while mitigation efforts are implemented to ensure the security and validity of professional flight crew examinations.

All Transport Canada Centres across Canada are currently scheduling examination invigilation by appointment only. Several examination sessions are being held per day/week to accommodate pilots, and there are ample openings in the current booking schedule to meet demand.

Transport Canada acknowledges the challenges faced by students throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to work with industry partners to facilitate the undertaking of written examinations by students.


Presented to the House of Commons
Arnold Viersen (Peace River—Westlock)
October 4, 2023 (Petition No. 441-01729)
Government response tabled
November 20, 2023
Photo - Arnold Viersen
Peace River—Westlock
Conservative Caucus

28 signatures

Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.