I just want to thank all of my colleagues for making me feel so welcome. It's the first time in my parliamentary career that I've been to the committee on transport, and it's a pleasure to be here.
I'm here today on behalf of a number of my constituents and drivers of airport limousines at Pearson International Airport who live not only in my riding of Brampton—Springdale but also in many other ridings in the surrounding GTA area. These drivers of airport limousines at Pearson Airport have been locked out by their employer, the McIntosh Group of Companies. There are two subsidiary companies to that: Air Cab Limousine and Aaroport Limousine.
Since December 1, 2010, their situation has been very unfortunate. They have been locked out as a result of some alleged unfair business practices. The allegations that have been put forward by the drivers include the mandatory purchasing of the actual vehicle itself from the employer, the mandatory transfer of ownership to the employer without any confirmation of paperwork, the mandatory purchase of insurance from the employer itself. They also include payment of grossly inflated sums of money, for both the permit and the dispatch fees. When you take a look at all of the allegations, it is very clear and evident that these drivers, who are very hard working and who are trying to put food on the table for their families, are clearly being exploited.
They have been protesting out in the freezing cold. I actually had a chance to go and visit them. I've been on the phone with them continuously. It's really kind of a heart-wrenching situation. There have been attempts to resolve the situation for these 200 drivers, but unfortunately there has not been much success. I really strongly feel, as I'm sure many of you will agree, that in light of the circumstances surrounding the lockout, in light of the terms and conditions that are being imposed by the employer who has received the licences from the GTAA, that we as parliamentarians, and especially the transport committee, have a responsibility to study exactly what's going on, just to basically be able to shed some light, and hopefully the result will be a positive outcome.
There is the issue of the drivers themselves and their families and livelihoods that are being affected. As I said, they have been in lockout since December 1, which is a substantial amount of time, and that also included the busy season over the holidays. In addition, I think it's also causing a grave inconvenience to many passengers at Pearson who are having to wait hours to be able to get some sort of transport to get to where they're going. I would hope that we would find support from all members of this committee to be able to study this in this one particular meeting, which would be held, as my colleague John McCallum, said, on Wednesday, March 23, from 11 o'clock to 1 o'clock, and at which we would be able to hear first-hand from the drivers, from the owners, and from the GTAA themselves. So I would ask for your support in this motion.