Air Canada summoned by federal government to address incidents involving passengers with disabilities

The federal government has summoned Air Canada to Ottawa to address issues with its handling of passengers with disabilities.

Transportation Minister Pablo Rodriguez says he has summoned Air Canada to come meet him and his colleague, Kamal Khera, the minister of diversity, inclusion and persons with disabilities, next week.

This comes after multiple incidents involving the airline have made headlines recently.

One of these incidents involved Rodney Hodgins, a B.C. resident with spastic cerebral palsy, who said he was forced to drag himself off an Air Canada flight in Las Vegas because the airline’s third-party ground assistance personnel were not available to help him.

“I don’t want anybody else to have to go through that,” he said in a phone interview with The Canadian Press. “I would like a change within their policies or how they do things. Air Canada needs to step up.”

The airline was also called out by Canada’s Chief Accessibility Officer, who says the airline left her wheelchair behind on a flight from Toronto in October.

“I’m now without my essential equipment. Independence taken away. I’m furious. Unacceptable,” she posted on X, formerly Twitter.

Rodriguez says Air Canada must present a plan in their meeting to address the problem, adding that all Canadians must be treated with dignity and respect.

-With files from The Canadian Press, Emma Crawford, and Raynaldo Suarez

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