A visit to the coffin costly to go to the Îles-de-la-Madeleine

Un détour de cercueil coûteux pour se rendre aux Îles-de-la-Madeleine

January 7, 2020 17h54

Updated at 19h16


A visit to the coffin costly to go to the Îles-de-la-Madeleine

Un détour de cercueil coûteux pour se rendre aux Îles-de-la-Madeleine

Gilles Gagné

The Sun


A family of Gaspé having lived through several events in a situation of mourning with Air Canada and Transport Canada, calls for the intervention of the governments of quebec and canada to implement “real solutions and tailored” so that Gaspesians and magdalen Islanders have access to an air service decent.

Already hit by the loss of her mother, Marie-Claire Arseneau on December 12, Yvette Thériault has had many difficulties to run just one of the wishes of the deceased, is buried in the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, where she was born. Ms. Arseneau was submitted to a protocol of end-of-life five days ago.

Yvette Thériault, and five other members of his family before travelling to the Islands first had a hard to find plane tickets, then they were looking for, a little before the death, to book seats to travel at the same time as the draft.

“No one has had any contact with Air Canada. I have never been able to speak to a person, and I have not been able to leave a message on a voice mailbox. It fell only on computer messages”, she says.

Other nasty surprises were waiting for the families Arseneau, Thériault and Pouliot. “We knew by the funeral home that it was necessary that the body goes through Quebec,” says Ms. Thériault.

It is only in the last three years, the remains to be transported by plane must be embalmed by a funeral home certified by Transport Canada. In the circumstances, the funeral director certified the closest was Quebec.

This detour has led costs a little more than $ 2000 to the family of the deceased, including a ticket of about $ 800 for the return of the coffin between Quebec and the Islands, with a stop at the point of origin, Gaspé!

In addition to get no commitment of Air Canada to be able to travel together, coffin included, the entourage of Yvette Thériault has discovered another bad surprise, the price of plane tickets for a round-trip between Gaspé and the Islands, a trip of 300 miles, or 480 kilometers.

“It was more than 1000 $ per person with taxes for a round-trip of 45 minutes,” says dr. Thériault, recalling that one end of the race, the six members of her family had need of flights spread over two days, 14 and 15 December, to get to the Islands.

“In an ideal situation, we would have liked to be reassured, to have someone with the body. My niece, who was taking the plane in Quebec city, has succeeded in seeing the coffin be embedded in the plane. Pay the big price, it is a thing. Not be enough priority to take the plane together, this is something! There remains a number as long as they do not speak to someone. In the years 70, we would not have experienced this in the air transport, with limited means, because our family was not rich, and with the technological means that are much lower. It could be simple; it was only going to the Islands from the Gaspé,” said Ms. Theriault.

His uncle, Michel Pouliot, aged 88, is one of the pioneers of aviation in the Gaspé peninsula. The airport of Gaspé bears his name. For 25 years, until 1974, his company, Air Gaspé, has transported hundreds of thousands of people in the East-du-Québec, Côte-Nord included. It has trained 250 pilots during his career. It borst sharply Air Canada.

“It is necessary that the governments intervene to improve air services in the regions. It is necessary to put Air Canada out”, deals with the octogenarian, recalling the aid granted by the quebec government to increase the use of the plane, capped at $ 500 per year per person, will not change the habits, since this aid is swallowed in a single trip, considering the price of the tickets.

“You need to put money into a regional carrier, to companies that belong to the people in the regions. We (the carriers of his generation) has made our lives as in the world, with reasonable incomes. This is not because it is aviation that we need to give millions $ to the officers of Air Canada. They buy officials with points, at the expense of public money”, critical of Mr. Pouliot.

It happened to him to carry the spoils, “sometimes for free, because the families had not the means to pay.”

Air Canada has not responded to the Sun on Tuesday, other than specifying in writing that she would be in contact within a period of 24 hours.

On the side of Transport Canada states in writing that the coffins are subject to canada’s regulations on aviation security since 2016. This is to secure the cargo for transportation by air to board a flight carrying both passengers and cargo. Some funeral homes have chosen to subscribe to the Program for air cargo security, Transport Canada, and to participate to facilitate the transport of dead bodies to board aircraft”.

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