The following bulletin from Air Canada to pilots and flight crews informs them they will no longer stay in downtown Winnipeg after a security review of the area prompted concerns over their safety.
Date: September 23, 2011
Subject: Winnipeg Layover Accommodation Revision Vancouver Winnipeg Toronto Montreal
Ladies and Gentlemen, In response to several reports indicating questionable safety in the area surrounding the Radisson Hotel in downtown Winnipeg a Security Assessment was conducted, in conjunction with the Winnipeg Police Service, by Air Canada Corporate Security. Recent environmental issues have forced approximately 1,000 displaced people from rural Manitoba to numerous hotels in the downtown area. Instances of public intoxication, resulting in several downtown locations being susceptible to crimes of violence and opportunity, have been observed by local Police. Based on concern generated by Crew Reports, Corporate Security, and keeping in mind our obligation, to the extent possible, for ensuring the safety of layover locations, a decision has been made to relocate. Alternative downtown layover options were investigated, and while The Inn at the Forks is considered secure, as a boutique hotel they were not able to accommodate our crews. We considered locations available outside the downtown core and while our preference was the Clarion at Polo Park they, as well, were not interested in accommodating our crews. For now, we have arranged through API, to have Crews layover at the Sandman Hotel and Suites. Information on the Sandman Hotel and Suites is found at www.sandmanhotels.com/en/hotels/manitoba/winnipegairport.php. We will certainly revisit the downtown area once the present situation improves. Authorities anticipate displaced people to be an issue for another 12 months. Best Regards,
Captain Jeff Dennis Manager, Flying Operations