A Manitoba MP is crying discrimination after two aboriginal women were not allowed to board a plane with her, even though they had tickets.
Niki Ashton, who represents the Churchill riding for the NDP, said Gail and Joyce Nepinak were scheduled to fly to Ottawa from Winnipeg with her on Sunday evening.
MP Niki Ashton said the Nepinaks were embarrassed when they were not allowed to board the plane. (CBC)
The Nepinaks had been invited by the House of Commons to speak at the special committee on missing and murdered indigenous women on Monday.
If an MP (with ID) cannot vouch for a passenger, then the whole point of security is exposed for what it is. It’s not to ensure that the people boarding are who they say they are (or who a trustworthy public figure says), it’s to demand red-tape obedience from lowly people not afforded the human dignity to travel freely. It exposes the system’s racism.
Manitoba to Ottawa is an in-Canada flight. There should be no requirement to have photo ID to travel freely within Canada (especially at the request of Parliament).
Ashton asked to speak to an Air Canada manager but one never showed up.
She said that in many ways this situation is symbolic of the systemic discrimination aboriginal people face in so many areas of their daily lives.
This doesn’t just show Air Canada’s horrible customer service, it shows our airline industry and culture around airport travel is very sick and inhuman.