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Results: 1 - 15 of 57
View Stephen Fuhr Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Stephen Fuhr Profile
2019-06-19 15:52 [p.29399]
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 17th report of the Standing Committee on National Defence, entitled “Improving Diversity and Inclusion in the Canadian Armed Forces”.
Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response.
It was a privilege and a pleasure to serve as the committee chair in the 42nd Parliament. I would like to thank the members, the clerk, and the analysts for their great work. This is another unanimous report.
View Stephen Fuhr Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Stephen Fuhr Profile
2019-05-27 15:51 [p.28065]
Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 16th report of the Standing Committee on National Defence, entitled “Canada's Role in International Peace Operations and Conflict Resolution”. Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.
View Stephen Fuhr Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Stephen Fuhr Profile
2019-04-01 14:02 [p.26510]
Madam Speaker, the Canadian aerospace industry is an important economic driver in every region of the country.
British Columbia, for example, has the third-largest aerospace footprint, with over 200 companies directly or indirectly employing nearly 30,000 workers. In my riding of Kelowna—Lake Country, both KF Aerospace and Carson Air continue to have a growing need for experienced aircraft maintenance engineers and technicians.
In fact, Canada-wide, nearly 5,300 new aircraft technicians will be needed by 2025. As with the current pilot shortage, it is important that public and private sectors work together to engage the next generation of aircraft maintainers.
Aviation connects Canada. The health and well-being of this sector is of critical importance to our economy and deserves our utmost attention.
View Stephen Fuhr Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Stephen Fuhr Profile
2019-01-31 14:47 [p.25100]
Mr. Speaker, Canada has the most highly educated workforce among OECD countries. Last week, in my riding of Kelowna—Lake Country, I was pleased to announce nearly $16 million in infrastructure funding for the University of British Columbia-Okanagan.
Can the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development please tell the House how the government is supporting our post-secondary institutions in producing world-class students?
View Stephen Fuhr Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Stephen Fuhr Profile
2018-12-12 15:58 [p.24780]
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 14th report of the Standing Committee on National Defence, entitled “Responding to Russian Aggression Against Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia in the Black Sea Region”.
Pursuant to Standing Order 109 the committee requests that the Government of Canada table a comprehensive response to this unanimous report.
View Stephen Fuhr Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Stephen Fuhr Profile
2018-12-03 15:06 [p.24323]
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 13th report of the Standing Committee on National Defence in relation to Bill C-77, an act to amend the National Defence Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other acts. The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House with amendments.
View Stephen Fuhr Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Stephen Fuhr Profile
2018-11-21 15:15 [p.23671]
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 12th report from the Standing Committee on National Defence in relation to supplementary estimates (A), 2018-19.
View Stephen Fuhr Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Stephen Fuhr Profile
2018-11-21 18:28 [p.23699]
Mr. Speaker, the aviation sector serves a variety of crucial roles in Canada and a requisite number of trained and experienced pilots will be required to facilitate a healthy industry.
As I mentioned in my previous speech on my Motion No. 177, Canada is facing a severe pilot shortage and it has lost the ability to generate the pilots it needs today or that it will require tomorrow.
ln fact, Canada will need 7,000 to 10,000 new pilots by 2025, resulting in a projected shortage of at least 3,000 pilots, given the current rate of production. To this point, Canadian flight schools produce about 1,200 commercial pilots each year. Of these, only about 500 join the Canadian aviation industry each year due to international student pilot graduates returning home or international entities that purchase Canadian flight schools and subsequently prioritize their home markets.
Some of the biggest challenges to pilot production in Canada are the high cost of training for new commercial pilots, the low starting salaries and an industry that has evolved a non-linear career path. Those who are fortunate enough to navigate the existing barriers to becoming a pilot are almost always focused on the quickest path to a left seat at a flag carrier. The pilot shortage we face has accelerated that process, leaving the interim paths in considerable chaos.
Traditionally, pilots would spend years building flight time and experience as either a primary flight instructor, a bush pilot or as a military pilot in Canada's Royal Canadian Air Force. All three of these paths service an important purpose in our aviation ecosystem. When the industry faces a pilot shortage, they are usually the first sectors to suffer.
Pilot shortages in these sectors decrease our ability to train the next generation of pilots, reduce or remove air service to rural and remote communities and degrade our country's ability to generate air power with our Canadian Armed Forces. As the pilot shortage percolates up, both scheduled and non-scheduled commercial air service will be negatively affected, disrupting the travelling public, a position that we have already started to see occur.
A further strain that will most certainly exasperate the Canadian pilot shortage is a global one. lt is projected that the international transport industry will double the number of aircraft and the amount of passenger traffic by 2036. This will require 620,000 new pilots to fly large commercial aircraft internationally. Eighty percent of these pilots have yet to be trained and Canadian-trained pilots are an attractive offer to many overseas flight operations.
Motion No. 177 only highlights one aspect of the pilot shortage in Canada. Flight schools and pilot training are a critical component of the pilot generation machine. However, it is certainly not the only issue Canadian aviation is facing from a broader perspective.
The industry also has a growing need for experienced aircraft maintenance engineers. lt is projected the industry will need a minimum of 5,300 new aircraft mechanics by 2025 to keep up with growth and retirements. Occupations with the largest hiring needs in the industry include pilots, mechanics, avionics technicians, flight attendants, assemblers, air traffic controllers, managers, machinists and engineers.
While discussing the Canadian pilot shortage, it would be remiss of me not to mention the importance of our airports. They too play a critical roll, and I encourage the Government of Canada to continue to work with organizations like the Canadian Airports Council to ensure our airports are properly resourced.
Canada has the third-largest aerospace sector in the world, generating nearly $30 billion in annual revenue and supporting 211,000 direct and indirect jobs. Aviation connects Canada and Canadians in ways no other form of transportation does or can. Our country's economic prosperity will be highly influenced by the health and well-being of the Canadian aviation sector.
lt is my hope to receive the support of the House on my Motion No. 177, which would task to the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities to determine the most effective way to support our Canadian flight schools and pilot production in Canada.
As was mentioned earlier, there was a motion from the NDP. When I last spoke about this, I was asked to consider adding the study of the issue of noise pollution to my motion. I subsequently found out that the committee was already doing it, so although I was agreeable to it at the beginning, I will not be supporting it moving forward.
View Stephen Fuhr Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Stephen Fuhr Profile
2018-11-08 13:59 [p.23456]
Mr. Speaker, I rise to acknowledge the passing of Joe lafrancesco from Kelowna, British Columbia.
A steadfast volunteer, Joe was well known for his dedicated service to our community. Joe gave back through many of the clubs he belonged to and was actively involved over the years in Rotary, the Knights of Columbus, the Lions Club and was president of the Kelowna Canadian Italian Club. Joe also served as a member of Crime Stoppers, the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Kelowna Association and the Uptown Rutland Business Association.
To the end, Joe always put community before himself. Even in the final weeks, Joe and his wife Bianca made significant financial donations to both JoeAnna's House and the cancer care fund at the Kelowna General Hospital.
Big Joe added big value to our community, and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. He will be missed.
View Stephen Fuhr Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Stephen Fuhr Profile
2018-10-17 14:45 [p.22494]
Mr. Speaker, in my riding of Kelowna—Lake Country and across Canada, homelessness presents a real and constant challenge. Our government has made fighting poverty and homelessness a priority, as we have seen in the first-ever poverty reduction strategy, the first-ever national housing strategy and reaching home, the redesigned homelessness partnering strategy.
Could the Prime Minister please tell this House more about what the government is doing to help fight homelessness in this country?
View Stephen Fuhr Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Stephen Fuhr Profile
2018-10-15 11:03 [p.22301]
moved:
That the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities be instructed to undertake a study of flight training schools in Canada and be mandated to: (i) identify the challenges that flight schools are facing in providing trained pilots to industry, (ii) determine whether the infrastructure available to flight schools meets the needs of the schools and the communities where they are located; and that the Committee present its final report no later than seven months after the adoption of this motion.
He said: Houston, we have a problem.
Mr. Speaker, Canada is facing a severe pilot shortage, and it has lost the ability to generate the pilots it needs today or that it will require tomorrow. This problem will continue to grow unless there is significant effort put towards solving the situation.
Aviation serves a variety of crucial roles in the Canadian economy by safely and efficiently transporting people, moving cargo and supplying or acting as a vital lifeline to northern and rural communities. Canada has the third-largest aerospace sector in the world, generating $29.8 billion in annual revenue and supporting 211,000 direct and indirect jobs and 5% of jobs in the north.
Global air transport industries will double the number of aircraft and the amount of passenger traffic by 2036. This will require 620,000 new pilots to fly large commercial aircraft internationally. Eighty per cent of these pilots have yet to begin training, emphasizing the need and importance of the pilot training sector on a global scale.
To its benefit, Canada has an excellent infrastructure for flight training education, unlike many countries where air space is heavily restricted. Domestically, Canadian flight schools produce about 1,200 commercial pilots each year. Of these, only about 500 join the Canadian aviation industry each year due to international student pilot graduates returning home or to international entities that purchase Canadian flight training schools that prioritize their home markets.
Here in Canada, we will need 7,000 to 10,000 new pilots by 2025, resulting in a projected shortage of at least 3,000 pilots, given current production rates. According to a recent Canadian Council for Aviation & Aerospace 2018 labour market information report, this number will significantly increase when the new flight duty time rules are put into effect by Transport Canada in the near future.
As noted in the report, half of flight operators state that finding qualified pilots is a significant challenge, with regional airlines reporting flight cancellations due to a lack of flight crew in the busy summer months. This problem will significantly worsen in the coming years, more broadly affecting the travelling Canadian public, unless action is taken.
In terms of recruitment challenges, the report notes that over half the flight operators surveyed say that finding qualified and experienced employees is a significant challenge. One-third cite finding pilots with applicable aircraft-type ratings their biggest skills challenge.
With new carriers commencing operations and established larger airlines experiencing both growth and the retirement of senior pilots, there has been an increase in the rate of drawing pilots from regional airlines and small operators. This is affecting regional airlines particularly hard. Smaller airlines are a training ground for young pilots, who will normally try to move up to larger carriers as soon as possible. Historically, it took two to three years before pilots moved up, but this can happen now in 18 months, and in some cases six months, under current conditions. This trend is forcing some regional carriers to lower their experience levels for new hires in an effort to maintain their operations.
This hurts regional airlines financially as well. Airlines are often required to give new hires a type endorsement for the type of aircraft they will fly. These training costs have traditionally been amortized over the expected retention period of a pilot. With retention periods dropping from three years to six months, the economics change dramatically. Some regional airlines have reported cancellations of flights due to a lack of pilots and/or higher training costs.
The increasing need for more pilots is also causing faster than normal attrition rates at flying schools. New instructors who would normally work two to three years before moving on to the airlines or charter jobs are now moving up within four to six months. This is resulting in flying schools having a serious problem maintaining a sufficient number of experienced instructors to take on chief or senior flight instructor roles. This in turn further reduces the supply of new pilots.
Some of the biggest challenges in pilot production in Canada are the high cost of training for new commercial pilots, the low starting salaries, and an industry that has evolved a non-linear career path.
The traditional pathway to becoming a pilot in Canada has involved earning licenses and ratings that cost approximately $75,000 yet can climb to over $150,000, with tuition and other student costs, when combined with post-secondary education. Most student pilots acquire substantial debt to cover these expenses. It is common to see high rates of attrition in flight programs due to a lack of financing.
Canadian pilots are also recruited by airlines outside Canada, where many of these positions pay more than local airlines offer. Overseas and larger companies draw pilots away from the flying schools and smaller operators. As previously noted, this adds strain not only for sensitive northern operators but also for niche operations, such as crop-spraying and forest firefighting.
Since I tabled this motion back in April, I have heard from a number of air operators, flight schools and aviation organizations, which all indicated that they are very concerned about the pilot shortage and the future of aviation in Canada.
Ms. Heather Bell, chair of the B.C. Aviation Council, had this to say on the matter:
As the Board Chair of the British Columbia Aviation Council, I am writing this letter in support of an industrywide request for focused financial assistance for Canadians pursuing careers as aviators. It is indisputable that the industry is facing a shortage of qualified pilots at all levels; local, national and international. This shortage is seeing scheduled carriers cancelling flights as qualified pilots are being recruited “up and out” of small and regional operators into the more lucrative positions offered at a national or even international level. While this type of career progression has long been the way of the industry, we are facing a crisis as there is not the requisite level of new pilots entering the system to sustain the pilot “pipeline”. The issue is being exacerbated as we are seeing a dearth of qualified flight instructors making the training of new pilots more and more difficult. Further, the impending regulation change around Flight and Duty Time will see an increased need for pilots over and above the shortages currently forecasted.
In British Columbia, we have many remote communities that rely on air service for routine medical and food supply. Our concern, as local operators struggle with pilot resources, is that this critical access is at risk. One local operator has had to hire and train the equivalent of 100% of their pilot workforce in less than one year; a costly endeavour that also leads to a cadre of less experienced pilots. Other operators have been advertising long-term for pilots for every aircraft type in their fleet, and while they are receiving applications, they are unable to move forward as they cannot keep a training pilot on staff. Another operator that services both Northern BC and Alberta is so stymied by attempts to hire locally that they are actively recruiting internationally but are running headlong into immigration issues that make hiring from outside Canada an economic impossibility.
As an Aviation Council that is focused on ensuring the sustainability of our industry, BCAC fears this pilot shortage will have severe and critical impacts not only on our economy and operators, but on our remote and Indigenous communities. As one of the barriers to increased pilot supply is definitely the financial burden of obtaining the requisite flight time experience, we feel increased financial aid would be a strong indicator that the government is aware of the issue and supporting positive change.
Sincerely,
Heather Bell
In my riding of Kelowna—Lake Country, Carson Air, a well-respected cargo, air ambulance, flight training and aircraft maintenance company, had this to add:
The challenges faced by Flight Training Units are many and complex. The high cost of the initial training to receive a commercial pilot's license (CPL) leaves students deeply in debt. To ask CPL students to remain in training longer to receive an Instructor Rating is very challenging now. With the current state of hiring in the industry, new pilots do not need to spend the time instructing to build hours to move to commercial operators. Many operators, even including major airlines, are accepting some candidates directly out of flight school with a Commercial Pilot License and little to no actual time in the cockpit.
This obviously creates a trickle down effect where there are then less pilots to train the next generation, and the shortage then intensifies.
At Carson Air, we have a constant backlog of students due to a shortage of instructors. Less and less students are attracted to the industry due to the historically low wages, and high costs of entry and training.
Changes to infrastructure which could help the Flight Training Units would best be served in the form of additional funding available to students. Currently, the cost of a 2 year Commercial Aviation Diploma program is approximately $85,000.00. Of that, most students are eligible for only about $28,000 in student loans. The barriers are huge and many qualified candidates are simply not applying. If they do get through, working as an instructor when you can move to a Commercial flying position in some cases right away is not attractive to them, at all.
Currently we estimate that a 30% increase in training rates is needed in order to retain qualified instructors. This will simply magnify the cycle of higher costs and fewer students.
Programs which allow for streamlined or aviation specific Labour Market Impact Analysis for aviation related jobs—both pilots and Aircraft Maintenance Engineers—are also urgently needed. Collaboration between government ministries [is required] to ensure immigration can be fast tracked for pilots and AMEs with suitable qualifications. Our studies have found that suitable candidates exist world wide, and these people wish to come to Canada. However, applying the tests of LMIAs and other requirements is excessively onerous. Additionally, the current classification system puts pilots in the same category as skilled trades, requiring a potential employer to pay wages equivalent to highly paid skilled tradespeople in that province for what amounts to an entry level position. Paying high wages for starting level positions creates animosity among employees and financial difficulties for employers.
The challenges faced that I have noted above are what we are seeing in the industry currently, today. If and when the proposed Fatigue Management Regulations for pilots come into effect, we estimate that there will be up to 30% more pilots required for the work that we are doing today. This does not take into effect attrition through retirement and airline hiring in the future. This will force operators to reduce service, and potentially create safety issues for operators who have no qualified pilots.
That is Kevin Hillier, the vice-president of Carson Air.
Motion No. 177 highlights only one aspect of the pilot shortage here in Canada. Flight schools and pilot training is a critical component of the pilot-generation machine. However, it is certainly not the only issue Canadian aviation is facing from a broader perspective.
The industry also has a growing need for experienced aircraft maintenance engineers. It is projected that the industry will need a minimum of 5,300 new aircraft mechanics by 2025 to keep up with growth and retirements.
Occupations with the largest hiring needs in the industry include pilots, mechanics, avionics techs, flight attendants, assemblers, air traffic controllers, managers, machinists and engineers.
Our country's economic prosperity will be highly influenced by the health and well-being of the Canadian aviation industry. As parliamentarians, I believe it is our duty to do what is necessary to ensure that it not only survives but thrives.
I would like to thank the many flight schools and aviation organizations that took the time to correspond with me. Many of them had recommendations, which I will forward to the transport committee. I would like to thank the following people specifically: Dr. Susanne Kearns, associate professor at the University of Waterloo; Kevin Hillier, vice-president of Carson Air Ltd., Kelowna, British Columbia; Heather Bell, chair of the BC Aviation Council; the Air Transport Association of Canada; Jim Thompson; Greg McConnell of the Canadian Federal Pilots Association; the Kelowna Flying Club; the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association; and the folks at the Canadian Council for Aviation & Aerospace. Much of their work is cited directly, indirectly or verbatim in my presentation.
View Stephen Fuhr Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Stephen Fuhr Profile
2018-10-15 11:17 [p.22303]
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the amendment and would absolutely consider it. I think it sounds good. I would need to look at it a little more closely. However, I would be in favour of moving in that direction.
View Stephen Fuhr Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Stephen Fuhr Profile
2018-10-15 11:18 [p.22303]
Mr. Speaker, I am amenable to considering the amendment put forward by my colleague. It makes the motion a little broader than flight training schools, opening it up to aviation in general in Canada. As my other colleague knows, committees are masters of their own domain, so if they want to pick this up sooner rather than later, I would rather see this get sorted out before Parliament rises or dissolves for the next election. We can certainly talk about making an amendment and getting this to committee as soon as possible to make sure action is taken on this issue.
View Stephen Fuhr Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Stephen Fuhr Profile
2018-10-15 11:19 [p.22304]
Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned at the beginning of my speech, the aviation industry in Canada has a massive economic impact. With $29.8 billion in revenues, it is the third largest aerospace sector in the world, supporting 211,000 direct and indirect jobs. Canada, as we all know, is a massive country and we just cannot function without air transport getting us from one end of it to the other. Unlike many places in the world, like Europe, that have rapid trains and other things that can help compensate when they have fluctuations in their air transport industry, we simply do not have that here.
I do not think there is going to be a lot of disagreement from my colleagues that we really need to get at this. To be quite honest, we are late to the party on this. I would like to see it go to the transport committee. The reason I did not put this forward as a bill is that, as we all know, private members' business requiring fiscal support from the Crown is typically not supported; plus we do not have time. Parliament is going to be dissolved probably in a year from now for a federal election. With a private member's motion, I can raise awareness on this issue. The transport committee can certainly recommend options to the Government of Canada that would cost the Crown some money, because I think that is exactly where this is going to go as part of a package solution that we need to get on with.
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