A transit bus driver in Calgary is being fired after he said he had to cut back his hours to pay for buses.
Transport Canada says in a letter to the bus driver that the driver, who was working at the time of the alleged incident, made an improper payment for bus maintenance.
It says he also cut back on other shifts and did not return for overtime payments.CBC News obtained a copy of the letter, which says the driver was suspended with pay after his employer “believed that he acted in good faith in a non-competitive position.”
Transport Minister Denis Lebel says the incident was a reminder that “it’s important that we treat our employees fairly.”
“Transport is the backbone of Canada, but the truth is that we have a transportation department that has lost sight of what’s really important,” Lebel said.
“We’ve been saying this for some time, but we’re not going to accept it anymore.”
A spokesperson for the Calgary Transit Authority says it’s been in discussions with the transit company and the driver.
Transportation Minister Denis Lee says the bus company will take the issue to court, but that it’s not the only case where the transit system has had problems.
“We know that a lot of our services are impacted by what happens in the transportation sector,” Lee said.
“So if it were to happen to us, we would look into it, and we’d certainly work with the company that owns the buses to try to resolve the issue.”
Transportation Canada said in a statement it was aware of the incident and has launched an investigation.
“It was a non competitive position with an inappropriate pay and benefit arrangement,” the statement says.
“The employee is not employed by any of the transit companies and has been terminated.”
The transit system says it is “taking appropriate action” with the driver and is in the process of hiring another transit driver.