From a recent update in the Toronto Sun, by Joe Warmington (full article link, below):
Members of a flight crew, which stepped up to stop drugs from being smuggled in to Canada, have marked their sixth month in detention in the Dominican Republic. On April 5, “five members of a Canadian air crew were arbitrarily detained in the Dominican Republic for reporting a crime,” said Pivot Airlines CEO Eric Edmondson. That crime was noticing a warning light was on in their aircraft’s computer bay. An inspection uncovered eight bags of cocaine with a street value of $20 million. About to take off for Toronto, the crew called local law enforcement and the RCMP. Authorities in the Dominican swiftly took them to prison, where they spent nine days before being released under effective house arrest. They’re under threat of being returned to lockup at any time. It has been a nightmare.
This story is, sadly, largely unknown. For acting in good conscience, innocents remain detained, not in any way 'free to fly'. I spent some time with the Pivot Airlines CEO last week. He is working tirelessly to secure their release, with far less assistance from the Canadian government or public than one would hope. After hearing more about the events that transpired and a subsequent investigation, I'm convinced of the crew's innocence, along with the sad inaction by those in authority.
As Joe Warmington describes "[the crew] are fearing a court could send them back to jail Oct. 20. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, meanwhile, seems to be in the news for everything from a two-week vacation in Costa Rica and caucus and cabinet retreats in five-star hotels to singing at the Queen’s funeral and going bungee jumping. While he’s having fun, these people are stuck in an awful mess."
Steps you can take to turn that around, right now:
If booking a vacation this winter, avoid the Dominican Republic (DR), or cancel a current booking. Let your travel agent or agency know, in writing, exactly why.
Email the DR Ministry of Tourism, and let them know why you won't be vacationing there until the Pivot crew are safely home in Canada:
Email your own MP and all of the following politicians demanding they immediately exert real political pressure (on both sides of the aisle). There have been opportunities squandered in this regard already:
Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister: email@example.com
Melanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs: firstname.lastname@example.org
Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport: email@example.com
Pierre Poilievre, Conservative Leader: firstname.lastname@example.org
Melissa Lantsman, Deputy Conservative Leader: email@example.com
Mark Strahl, Shadow Minister for Transport: firstname.lastname@example.org