North Bay mayor says Air Canada pullout is 'devastating' for city
North Bay Mayor Al McDonald says news this week that Air Canada is ending service between North Bay and Toronto is terrible news for the community. (File)
NORTH BAY -- The Mayor of North Bay says news this week that Air Canada is ending service between North Bay and Toronto is terrible news for the community.
To make matters worse, Al McDonald said the city had no idea the devastating news was coming.
"This was very sad news for us," McDonald said. "It was devastating for us and I can tell you the business community is going to be reaching out to us, our MPP and MP to say how important that airport is."
McDonald said not only will travellers heading out on trips be impacted by the news, but so will hundreds of businesses and business professionals.
"That airport and that airline was critical to them being here in our community and that really showed, you know, three and a half months ago when council said we will fund the airport," he said
McDonald said city council passed a motion earlier this spring to provide Jack Garland Airport with some financial relief -- up to $200,000 per month -- to cover expenses during the pandemic.
"There’s no question that it will be a topic on the future agenda," he said. "I am supportive of keeping the airport open because of all the jobs that are in that sector."
There was hope flights would resume in the fall. However, the airline announced Tuesday it’s suspending services on 30 domestic regional routes and closing eight stations at regional airports in Canada, citing "weak demand for business and leisure travel and government imposed travel restrictions."
CTV News reached out to Air Canada for comment, but in an email, a representative said “we issued a very clear media release explaining our actions and at this point we have nothing further to add.”