A group of Manitoba First Nation leaders are calling for an investigation into what they say is a monopoly over air service in Island Lakes.
On Wednesday, Grand Chief Scott Harper and the Chiefs of Anisininew Nation held a news conference to urge Transport Canada to investigate Perimeter Aviation’s “structured monopoly” of the air services for Island Lake’s 15,000 members.
The chiefs said the airline is not meeting the community’s needs, noting there are continued flight delays and cancellations. They said these airline issues are creating hardships and inconveniences, including members missing medical appointments in Winnipeg.
“There are so many stories that we hear, so many posts even on social media, pictures of the airline, what [the members] have to go through. That really does something to the people,” Harper said.
The First Nation leaders said that Perimeter recently increased rates for travel and baggage without consulting or giving notice them.
They added that they feel the agreement between the Anisininew Nation and Perimeter’s parent company favours the airline and is a monopoly agreement.
The chiefs are now concerned that Perimeter is taking advantage of Island Lake’s dependence on air travel, saying that the agreement enriches the airline but does not improve the quality of life for the members of Island Lakes.
“All these changes that have happened without any consultation, I would say, lack of consultation or even letting the communities know adequately,” Harper said.
CTV News Winnipeg has reached out to Transport Canada and Perimeter for comment.
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