Bains suggests Ottawa could draw on scorned federal mortgage program for airline bailout

OTTAWA — Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains says a federal mortgage program rejected by business will probably be among the many choices Ottawa weighs because it sits down with airline executives over a authorities assist package deal.

Bains says this system, known as the Massive Employer Emergency Financing Facility, or LEEFF, might play a key function in lifting carriers out of the dire monetary straits attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This system gives loans of $60 million or extra to giant firms going through money issues, however comes with an rate of interest that jumps to eight per cent from 5 per cent after the primary yr — far above typical private-sector lending charges.

Teams starting from the federal Conservatives to Unifor, a union representing 15,000 aviation employees, have criticized this system resulting from its working restrictions and excessive rate of interest.

On Sunday, Transport Minister Marc Garneau stated federal assist to airways will hinge on their refunding passengers for cancelled flights — a long-standing demand by opposition events, passenger rights advocates and hundreds of complaints to the Canadian Transportation Company.

Garneau says talks with airline representatives are set to start this week.

This report by The Canadian Press was first printed Nov. 9, 2020.