FORMER PILOT SUES WESTJET Claims airline fingered him as suspect for bomb threats

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FORMER PILOT SUES WESTJET Claims airline fingered him as suspect for bomb threats

WestJet was the recipient of five bomb threats between June 27 and July 2, 2015 and now a former pilot of the airline says he was arrested by the OPP as a suspect for making those calls. Keith Kippen is suing WestJet for wrongful dismissal and defamation.

WestJet says Kippen was called to a "mandatory" meeting to discuss allegations of fraud by a member of the public. There were also claims by three fellow pilots who are said to have lost thousands of dollars after loaning money to Kippen. He was allegedly told to show up or he would be abandoning his employment. 

Kippen claims he was fired on June 26, 2015, for "insubordination" after missing a meeting due to a mental health crisis. “He had been on disability leave for depression for three years,” said his lawyer Howard Smith. 

The next day the airline received the first bomb threat.

In a civil claim the former WestJet employee alleges that the airline" maliciously communicated" that he was "the caller who had made the bomb threats."

WestJet denies this charge and say that investigators obtained a production order for Kippen's employment records in relation to the bomb threats. 

"Communications made to the police concerning the bomb threats were made without malice and in good faith for an honest and well-motivated reason," WestJet's response says. 

"WestJet was under a legal, social and/or moral duty to provide information to the police to assist with the bomb threat investigation." 

Kippen was arrested in Ontario, questioned by OPP officers, and had his home searched, where he was eventually released with no charges. 

A spokesperson for the OPP says there have been no criminal charges in connection with the investigation. 

Kippen’s claim as well as WestJet’s response were filed in Chilliwack Supreme Court last week in spite of some of the events occurring in Ontario. He is a resident of Surrey BC. 

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

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