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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Canadian Association Ousts President Due to Legal Row

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On the eve of its annual convention and trade show, the Helicopter Assn of Canada ousted its president and CEO.

The group’s board of directors said on March 17 that it had "serious concerns as to Mr. Brian Jenner’s ability to adequately represent" the group. The group’s members held their 12th annual gathering in Calgary, Alberta April 6-8. The board, on Jan. 31, had suspended Jenner from his posts for 45 days.

Jenner, in a prepared statement April 2, said he had been involved in a late 2006 "weekend in the bush." During that trip, he said, some members of the excursion used "a helicopter to facilitate hunting" of moose. Using a helicopter to hunt is illegal in Canada.

Two in the group were undercover game wardens, Jenner said, who subsequently ticketed several of the hunters. When they plead guilty, Jenner became a person in possession of illicit moose meat, he said, and he pled guilty to that charge.

That plea came at an awkward time for the trade group, which has been discussing with Transport Canada the possibility of taking on some responsibility for management of the aviation regulation system. Transport Canada, in 2003, shifted some management of standardization, certification and oversight of business aviation to the Canadian Business Aviation Assn as part of a broader effort to boost the efficiency of Canadian government operations. It subsequently asked the helicopter group to consider similar changes.

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