OTTAWA, May 1 (Reuters) - Canadian legislators on Wednesday agreed to hold hearings into how major aerospace companies were granted exemptions from the country's sanctions on Russian titanium.

Reuters reported last week that Airbus, Bombardier and Safran had all been allowed to sidestep sanctions imposed on Russia's state-backed VSMPO-AVISMA.

Canada is the first Western government to ban Russian supplies of the strategic metal as part of a package to mark the second anniversary of Russia's Ukraine invasion in February.

The 12-person foreign affairs committee of the House of Commons elected chamber said it would call the country's Minister of Foreign Affairs and other unspecified witnesses, after a proposal to have representatives of Bombardier and Airbus testify failed.

The hearings are part of a study of waivers granting the use of Russian titanium in Canadian aerospace manufacturing.

"We have heard that this is particularly egregious because Ukraine has titanium that they could use and instead we have waived the sanction on Russian titanium," said opposition NDP foreign affairs critic Heather McPherson who pressed for the study.

"So I think it is very important that we understand why the government made this decision."

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly last week defended the waiver decisions and said jobs in Canada had been the decisive factor. (Reporting by David Ljunggren, Allison Lampert and Dale Smith; Editing by Sandra Maler and Josie Kao)