Air Canada’s former chief operating officer Duncan Dee has placed the blame for Canada’s airport turmoil squarely on the government’s shoulders. 

In a Twitter thread on the chaotic delays plaguing Canadian airports, Dee said airports are not equipped to deal with the Liberal government’s “poor planning.” 

“Airlines are not configured to deal w/ 3-4 hr security & customs delays. That crew that was scheduled to operate your (flight)? They’re out of duty time because the (flight) they operated this morning was held off gate for 2 hrs,” wrote Dee. 

“The Gov may want to minimize the fallout from its poor planning but airlines are not configured to handle 65+ days of delays. There are simply not enough crews, staff, aircraft or empty seats to fix the Gov’s mess.” 

Travellers across Canada have had to deal with cancelled flights, delays, long security lines and airport staff shortages as a result of lingering COVID-19 restrictions.

A viral video by former Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Ryan Whitney highlighted the issues at Toronto Pearson International Airport. 

“I need to get out of this country, out of this airport. This is the worst airport on Earth. I’m telling you, there’s no other airport like this,” said Whitney. “I’m so shocked at this place, it is the biggest disgrace known to man.”

Whitney’s experience prompted a response from Toronto Mayor John Tory who called the situation “unacceptable” on Tuesday.

“The situation at the airport is not acceptable as it presently is. It’s just not acceptable,” said Tory. “This is not just a Toronto problem. (Pearson) is the gateway to all of Canada.”

Numerous air travel organizations have called on the federal government to lift all remaining pandemic related restrictions but to date the Liberals have refused to do so. 

The Canadian Airports Council was the latest organization calling for the government to end the mandates. 

“The aviation community has been a supportive partner of the federal government in facilitating the vaccine mandate for travel since October 2021,” wrote the council. “However, today, all Canadian provinces have removed vaccine restrictions, so there is now a different standard for aviation employees and transportation than for other Canadians.