Page 9 - Interpilot Issue 1 2016
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Effective Strategies for Advocacy

by Al Ogilvie, Legal and Government Affairs Representative ALPA Canada

s ALPA Canada’s Legal and Government Affairs Representative,
Amy day-to-day work consists of advocating on behalf of ALPA’s
membership. Advocacy is the speaking, pleading or arguing in favour of Al Ogilvie is ALPA Canada’s Legal and Government Affairs
a cause, idea or policy; to publically support or recommend a particular Representative in Ottawa, Canada. Mr. Ogilvie liaise with various
cause or action. For individuals to carry on advocacy work for their pilot government ministries and departments concerning policy and
group, there are three main traits that are required: Patience, Persistence legislative aspects of safety, security, economic and labour issues,
and Professionalism. particularly in regard to activities of the House of Commons,
These traits will be of great assistance for advocacy work. To serve as Senate and departments and agencies including Transport,
an example, the ALPA Canada files regarding proposal Flight and Duty Finance, Labour, and Employment and Social Development
Time Regulation Amendments to the Canadian regulations will be used Canada.
to demonstrate the importance of these three traits.
pATieNce too patient because persistence too has its virtues. However, remember
As a pilot you are used to completing your task in a timely manner. You that while you are patiently and persistently advocating a matter, there
check-in, complete the flight, and check-out later. Your passengers have probably is another party or parties who are working to oppose your
been safely and expeditiously carried to their destinations. You have a position. In the case of ALPA Canada, the NPA of September 2014 was
sense of accomplishment for finishing a task. But results and rewards are derailed. By January 2015, the Industry pressure caused Transport
not so readily apparent in advocacy. Canada to create a “focus group” to revisit the issues. A revised NPA was
As an example, in Canada, a Working Group for flight and duty time then created with the intention that it would take its first step towards
amendments was formed in August 2010 and met over an 18-month becoming law-publication in the Canada Gazette in June 2015.
period closing in December 2011. The draft report was completed in However, the NPA did not survive the legislative vetting process in
August 2012. In November 2012, the Report was sent to the Canadian time. It was replaced by what we call a Notice of Intent. It is merely a
Aviation Regulation Advisory Council (CARAC) Technical Committee nonbinding statement that the government intends to amend the flight
which unanimously agreed to send it to the Civil Aviation Regulatory and duty regulations sometime in the future. That Notice of Intent was
Committee (CARC), the senior management layer in Transport Canada. published in June 2015, but a federal election was called in August. The
The Report remained in the Director General’s inbox for two years – former government that had issued the Notice of Intention was defeated.
untouched. Canada has a new government as of November 4 .
There is an old expression, something to the effect that “patience is a The Notice is not binding upon this new government, and ALPA
virtue”. It may be a virtue but it is also a necessity for advocacy. Your work Canada is not certain if a change in flight and duty time regulations is
may remain unnoticed for months or sometimes even years. Although even on this new government’s radar. As a result, five years later, we have
patience is a virtue, it does have its limit, which brings to the next to restart again - same file, same objectives but new people to educate
important trait: Persistence. regarding the merits of amended flight and duty times.

peRSiSTeNce pRofeSSioNALiSM
Over the months, ALPA Canada enquired as to the status of the report, As airline pilots you are already consummate professionals. You
asking why it was going nowhere, and who was blocking its path. command large transport category aircraft all over the world with great
Convinced that the Report was not getting any attention, we took the skills, ability and confidence. However, acting as an advocate requires a
political route and reached out to the Minister of Transport. different set of qualities.
She eventually moved the file forward. In September 2014, the Report When advocating, you will probably argue to change a policy or a
became a Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA), the first step in procedure, whether it is to improve an existing one or perhaps to
making proposals into law. That being said, if the method you are trying eliminate the one that is out-of-date. You will notice that most people do
is not working, try an alternate route. The lesson here is this: do not be not like being presented with a problem. It means that they will have to

InterPilot | The Safety and Technical Journal of IFALPA ISSue 1 | 2016
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