Union demands apology from WestJet after Poilievre speaks on flight’s PA system

The union representing WestJet cabin crew is demanding an apology from the airline after Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre spoke on the public address system of a recent flight.

A video circulating online shows Poilievre making short remarks on a Sunday night flight that was leaving Quebec City for Calgary after the Conservative Party of Canada’s convention.

Poilievre’s campaign-style speech lasts for about 45 seconds and is met with laughter and cheers from passengers.

CUPE Alberta’s local president Alia Hussain said it’s very disappointing that the airline allowed a politician to use the PA system.

In a statement posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, Hussain said the cabin crew had no input in the decision to allow Poilievre to speak and that the airline’s rules say only crew members can use the system.

“It is doubly disappointing that WestJet is now trying to assign blame on the cabin crew for this event,” Hussein said in a statement Tuesday posted by CUPE Alberta on X.

Hussain is demanding an apology from WestJet for blaming crew members and says both the airline and Poilievre showed poor judgment.

WestJet CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech said the flight had been specifically added to assist with demand for the convention so was largely filled with their Conservative delegates.

Still, he said they’d revisit the policy.

“The leader of the party was given the opportunity to greet delegates onboard (which is not unusual), but this was not a political endorsement nor should it be interpreted as such,” von Hoensbroech wrote in his own statement on X.

“We are non-partisan by nature and will revisit our policy on this.”

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