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Everything posted by GTFA

  1. I don't know. I just don't know. I will pay my dues, speak my mind and become as involved as I can for the good of the cause, just like I always have. But how we will face the enemy again will depend on what we learned from the last catastrophy. GTFA
  2. So, in Law you can acheive either an LLB or at some schools in Canada a JD. Another year in school and you can earn a Masters at Law and get an M on your business card. If you are so inclined as to do the research and write a thesis you may be awarded a PhD. If you were a JD already, what are you now? I do believe that a College of Professional pilots would benefit the industry as a whole. The support for continuous improvement and recognition of milestones would go a long way to re-establish the professional image and behaviour of pilots in Canada. GTFA
  3. Well, isn't that interesting. Having now read the full document all I can say for now is: Well, isn't that interesting. GTFA
  4. So, is the document confidential? It would probably serve us all well to be able to consider the reasons for the ruling. GTFA
  5. Personal choices? Not always. But sometimes. And even then it can be argued that an individual was not responsible for their choice at the time it was made. If this is to be a procedure denied by a tax funded medicare program then it needs to be for a reason. Alcoholics get treatment, smokers get treatment, a$$hole drivers get treatment, even illegal immigrants with TB get treated. Why should pregnant women who choose to abort a pregnancy not be given the same consideration by the taxpayers? There are a lot of reason to do it and a lot of reasons to not do it. Dealing with morality issues is not fertile ground for responsible government. We need the government to ensure a process, not an outcome. GTFA
  6. The sound track is SO appropriate!
  7. Regarding the original post: Maybe the reaction wasn't too far off the mark. Excessive maybe, but not neccessarily ignorant. Really. After all, abortion is not about anyones vagina. I have no doubt that the body part was referred to for dramatic effect. If the reference was made in purely medical terms then there would be no issue. If you want to talk about abortion let's talk about that, without the sexual innuendo. Don't get caught up in the hype. This is a serious issue and our rights need to be protected from narrow-minded meddlers.
  8. Well, why not? It seems to be the only way to get anyone's attention anymore.
  9. The right seat of a -8 or RJ the same as the back of a '27? Are you kidding? This situation poses some significant challenges for the airline, the candidates AND the Captains they will be flying with even after line indoc. We, as an industry need to find ways to allow all parties to benefit from the upcoming pilot shortage in Canada. This looks like a progressive first step. What's next? GTFA
  10. Just for the record, Jazz was NOT the lowest bidder.
  11. I think that the system you have described is exactly what Jazz is using. Furthermore, to MCDU, this is were the ability of the pilot group to problem solve will shine through. There need be no actual loss to any pilot. As I said the transition is where the magic happens. If you have a clear picture of what your fleet will look like over the next 5-10 years you could easily create a formula to bring everyone in line with a status pay system. There was a lot of grumbling and speculation at Jazz bringing this in but the end result appears to be a success. Remember, expectations have no value. This is where the changes need to be made. Good luck to us all. GTFA
  12. Socialism? No MCDU, actually it doesn't work that way. And your years of experience do not have anything to do with your paycheque unless it's all at the same company. Is your 30 years worth more than my 30 years? Blah, blah, blah. What I am talking about is a little more professional and practical. There are many ways to slice up the pay-pie in order to recognize a person's years of service while not discriminating against pilots of equal experience and qualification based on weight and speed of his aircrat or even number of seats. You want to pay your brain surgeon more just because his OR is bigger? Do fire fighters get paid based on the size of their truck? Status pay at an airline like AC would save the company a LOT of money and the pilots a LOT of stress and heartache. It's time to look for solutions because this brick of a boat is just not going to float. GTFA
  13. It appears that what you are talking about is paying pilots for the service they provide as opposed to the revenue they produce. The importance/value of the pilots remains the same regardless of the size of aircraft or length of flight. Just ask the passengers. Certainly in this case status pay would make more sense, wouldn't it? The end result can be a benefit to both the company and the pilot's but the difficulty is in the transition. We have accomplished so much more for less in the past, so why not this now? GTFA
  14. Is it even possible to separate an AC pilot from the corporate brand merely by his not wearing a uniform? He was absolutely correct in his comment that the pilots, (among other employees) are, in fact, the brand that AC sells. GTFA
  15. Mr. O'Leary appeared quite set aback by the question Capt. Strachan put to him regarding his feelings about the offshore contracting of heavy maintenance at AC. The statements made by Capt. Strachan were not by any measure unreasonable and while I do not agree with Mr. O'Leary's methods I do respect his opinion and would like to have heard it on this topic. GTFA
  16. Well done Dagger. That is as good a comparison as I have ever seen between DB and DC. For those that are so inclined there is also a hybrid that has been tried: An employee funded DB plan. Any thoughts? GTFA
  17. Nice try Hollywud. And for the record, AC Express is not a company, it's a brand. GTFA
  18. Maybe AC has asked Jazz to wait until ACPA has spent considerable funds on the Q400 grievance before they announce that they will be operating the Q's for Pluna... Where's the language on that???
  19. The teaching of the philosophy of CRM can also be a benefit in the political world: 15 Oct 2010 National Post DAN GARDNER Dan Gardner is a columnist for the Ottawa Citizen. Evidence matters The cultural norms that keep science from veering off into bias are almost non-existent in democratic politics As campaign controversies go, it was minor stuff: Ottawa Mayor Larry O’Brien accused the government of Ontario of funding a study to examine the feasibility of safe-injection sites in the province — and of keeping the study under wraps until the Oct. 25 municipal elections were over. This was immediately denied. The province hadn’t funded the study. And the study hadn’t been released because it hadn’t been completed. Larry O’Brien O’Brien withdrew his accusation and the media mused about the damage this embarrassing performance would do to his campaign. And that was the last we heard of it. Which is unfortunate. Because this little incident was only trivial in a political sense. Seen from the perspective of how public policy is made, it is devastatingly revealing. Go back to O’Brien’s original press release. “The fact that this research is even considering drug injection sites for Ottawa,” it said, “should be of concern to every resident.” O’Brien wanted to make an issue of the study because he is opposed to the creation of an injection site. And he thought he could score votes with his opposition. It didn’t work out that way, however. Jim Watson, his main opponent, said he is also opposed to the creation of a safe-injection site. For good measure, police chief Vern White called safe-injection sites “absolutely ridiculous” and regretted that O’Brien had even mentioned the study. “I’m a little disappointed that we’re giving this any legs,” White told a reporter. So the issue was a political dud. But notice that not one of these civic leaders expressed the slightest interest in reading the study. No, their minds were closed. They already knew the truth. No need to examine evidence as it becomes available, and certainly no need to adjust opinions accordingly. This is indefensible. It is nakedly irrational. Unfortunately, it is also perfectly natural. Every brain is stuffed with certain understandings of human nature and how the world works. Whatever their origins, they shape our subsequent perceptions and thoughts, thanks to the brain’s insistence on maintaining order in its mental universe. When we encounter new information that fits with our existing beliefs, we have a natural tendency to embrace it uncritically. It’s consonant. It fits. It sits comfortably in our brains and makes us feel good. But information that contradicts existing beliefs is dissonant. It’s jarring, upsetting. And so we struggle mightily to find some excuse to reject it. Or ignore it altogether. The potency of this “confirmation bias” should not be underestimated. Brain scans show consonant and dissonant information is processed in different regions. That’s how deep the bias runs. In a sense, the whole point of science, or any rational inquiry, is to overcome this crippling tendency to make facts fit beliefs. Don’t cherry-pick evidence. Make an extra effort to find contrary evidence. And be prepared to review evidence as it becomes available and change existing beliefs if the evidence suggests they are wrong. Unfortunately, the formal rules and informal cultural norms that keep science from veering off into confirmation bias are almost non-existent in democratic politics. “When the facts change, I change my mind,” John Maynard Keynes famously said. “What do you do, sir?” For most politicians, the answer is: “I avoid facts that don’t fit what I believe. Problem solved.” Look at the Conservatives’ mandatory minimum sentences, which they say will deter crime. That’s not an unreasonable hypothesis. Any evidence? In a 2006 interview, the justice minister claimed there were lots of studies that said so. So I called his office and asked for them. They gave me five citations. Four were old and used dubious methodologies; three of those four provided only very weak support for the government’s claim, while the fourth actually contradicted the government’s position. The fifth study was the most recent and the best quality. And it concluded mandatory minimums don’t work. But more importantly, the Conservatives ignored a long list of other studies that contradicted its position. In other words, they cherry-picked. Badly. Since that time, the government has given up on evidence altogether. It simply makes assertions about the value of mandatory minimums and scoffs whenever criminologists say they’re wrong. How is that even remotely rational? In politics, this sort of thing is so common we seldom stop to think how bizarre it is. The recent ruling on the constitutionality of prostitution laws is a perfect case in point. The trial judge spent months reading studies and listening to the testimony of both sides’ experts. Much of the 132-page ruling is composed of a painstaking summary and evaluation of the voluminous evidence before the court. It’s an invaluable resource. So how many of the politicians who loudly objected to the court’s ruling read the decision before spouting off? Judging by the many comments which were belied by evidence in the decision, I suspect none did. Imagine a scientist angrily rejecting the results of another scientist’s study without bothering to even read it. That would be outrageous. Shocking. Irrational. And yet something similar happens all the time in politics. Of course it’s easy to blame this on the likes of Larry O’Brien. But it’s not his fault. The media seldom ask about evidence. And the people don’t insist that they do. Thus, in our political system, public policy is made by closed-minded politicians who play to the prejudices of an electorate in whom knowledge and certainty are inversely correlated. It’s called “democracy.” Consider if pilots and their crews made decisions and took action this way? GTFA
  20. CRM is not just for multi-pilot crews. CRM is about understanding the interaction and value of all the resources that share roles in a safe and successful flight whether a short flip around the circuit in a 152 or a 1000 mile business trip in a Biz-jet. A "crew" can be a single pilot and the resources he manages are as numerous as anyone else. That is CRM. Some circles refer to it at SRM: Single-pilot Resource Management. GTFA
  21. Any background story to that video?
  22. And a more practical analysis: National Post/14 Oct 2010 DAVID FRUM ©David Frum dfrum@frumforum.com Stuffing the UN’s ballot box The real reason Canada lost? The EU votes in its own Canada’s non-election to the UN Security Council is a disappointment to Canadians and a real loss to the UN system. But the greatest disappointment of all has been the exploitation of the disappointment by partisan groups advancing narrow agendas. The Sierra Club suggested that Canada lost because Canada has withdrawn from the Kyoto accord on climate change. Anti-Israel voices inside the Canadian civil service have murmured to friendly journalists that Canada was punished for Prime Minister Harper’s staunch support for the Middle East democracy. Personally, I’m waiting for somebody to suggest that Canada lost because Maclean’s magazine’s coverage of corruption in Quebec offended La Francophonie. These statements are self-interested and polemical — and also reveal a weak understanding of the workings of the United Nations. The Security Council has 10 temporary members, each serving a two-year term. Theoretically, those 10 temporary members are elected by the General Assembly by secret ballot. In the first round of balloting on Oct. 12, Canada received 114 votes, 13 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to win. And yes, in that balloting, it’s very possible that the Islamic bloc at the UN voted for Portugal over Canada. But it’s not the voting that matters at the UN. It’s the nominations. The temporary Security Council seats are assigned to regional blocs. Five seats become available Jan. 1, 2011. One of those seats is assigned to the African bloc. One is assigned to the Asian and Arab bloc, one to the Latin American and Caribbean bloc, and two to the bloc to which Canada belongs: Western Europe and Others. Each of those regional blocs caucuses separately to determine whom it will nominate to fill its assigned seat. The Africans nominated one candidate, South Africa, and it was duly elected. The Asians nominated one candidate, India, which was likewise duly elected. The Latin American and Caribbean group nominated one candidate, Colombia, again duly elected. Noticing a pattern? But the Western European and others group nominated not the requisite two candidates, but instead three: Germany and Portugal, as well as Canada. By nominating three, the Western European and Others bloc forfeited its right of decision. That looks like an unwise act. Why did it happen? The answer has nothing to do with Kyoto or Israel, and everything to do with the internal politics of the European Union. It’s the European Union countries that dominate the Western bloc. Increasingly, the EU countries have been negotiating these UN nominations among themselves first. They decide that they want Germany and Portugal — and then they muscle their way through the rest of the bloc onto the UN floor. This phenomenon creates two serious structural problems: European Union bloc voting gives the EU unintended clout within the Security Council. Remember, Eastern Europe is also a bloc, and it gets one seat on the Security Council, currently held by Bosnia-Herzegovina. Bosnia-Herzegovina is not yet a EU member, but it would dearly like to be, and so would other members of the Eastern European group. The EU can pressure EU applicants into complying with EU wishes, even against a supposed EU ally like Canada. Bloc voting by the EU within the Western bloc seriously disadvantages the “others”: Canada, Australia and New Zealand. (Israel is an affiliate member of the Western group, and also, by the way, one of two countries in the UN ineligible for Security Council membership. The other is Kiribati, but Kiribati’s exclusion is almost certainly only temporary: It only joined the UN in 1999, after all.) One logical answer to the EU bloc voting problem is to transform France’s permanent seat on the Security Council into an EU seat. That would appropriately recognize the EU’s power and importance: Only permanent members of the Security Council have a veto, after all. Then the Western Europe and Others bloc could agree that one of the two Western bloc seats should always go to one of the “others” — including, yes, Israel, which should be accepted as a full member of the bloc, with full member rights. Short of that elegant solution, a good stopgap would be for Canadians to quit blaming themselves when they are maltreated by others. Under the Stephen Harper government, Canada has compiled an outstanding foreign-policy record of support form human rights and democracy worldwide. That’s something to be proud of. This week’s rejection of Canada at the UN is genuinely something to be ashamed of — but in Brussels, not in Ottawa.
  23. Some sober second thoughts: National Post Editorial Oct. 14 An indictment of the UN, not of Canada Getting rejected by this lot is no embarrassment. Indeed, it arguably should be treated as a source of pride From page A1 Canada was expected to win a temporary seat on the United Nations Security Council this week. Instead, the seat went to Portugal, a lovely little country that also happens to be dead broke. In coming months, the international community may have to save Portugal’s floundering economy with a bailout. Maybe Greece and Iceland should get UN Security Council seats, too. According to various media reports, we lost because Ottawa refused to sell off bits of its principles to satisfy the UN’s various special-interest blocs. The best way for Canada to have guaranteed itself a Security Council seat, diplomatic insiders say, would have been to bash Israel, align more closely with China, sign on to fashionable climatechange initiatives and spread aid money thinner in order to bribe the largest possible number of countries. “The Harper government’s shift toward support for Israel compared to positions held by previous Liberal governments had not gone down well with members of the 57-member Organization of Islamic Conference,” Postmedia reporter Steven Edwards wrote. “One senior Islamic official also signaled that OIC members felt snubbed after Canada did not follow Portugal’s example of addressing the increasingly influential bloc as a group — even though Canadian officials say there were ministerial and other meetings with many individual Islamic states.” That Canada refused to ingratiate itself to the OIC — a club of dictators and theocrats who treat the UN as a non-stop sounding board for Zionist conspiracy theories — is commendable. Getting rejected by this lot is no embarrassment. Indeed, it arguably should be treated as a source of pride. As David Frum argues elsewhere on this page, this week’s events illustrate the deeply cynical manner in which the UN works. Security Council membership is based almost entirely on the horsetrading conducted within arbitrarily designated blocs; and since Canada’s bloc happens to be dominated by EU nations, we’ve become the odd country out. The mystery remains why the Conservatives took interest (albeit belated interest) in the council in the first place. Given the obsessively antiIsrael bias that pervades the UN, and the OIC’s de facto ability to veto applicants, campaigning for a seat on the Security Council has become the diplomatic equivalent of applying for membership at a club that bans Jews. In fact, as Mr. Frum notes, the Jewish state is the one nation on the face of the planet that is permanently barred from Security Council membership. If there were a country club in your neighbourhood that followed similarly bigoted policies, would you want to join? One of the more unappetizing aspects of this whole spectacle has been the grubby manner in which the Liberals have delighted at the prospect of Canadian failure. “I know how important it is for Canada to get a seat on the Security Council,” Michael Ignatieff declared last month. “But Canadians have to ask a tough question: Has this government earned that place? We’re not convinced it has.” The statement suggests that the Liberal leader would have happily made the moral concessions necessary for membership — including more kisses on China’s giant signet ring. Indeed, the Liberal leader has often advocated cozier relations with China, which is in a snit at the moment because the Nobel committee handed a prize to one of the political prisoners it has thrown in jail. On op-ed pages around the nation, former diplomats and other global stage-strutting grandees are bemoaning Canada’s “black eye” at the UN. All of the usual clichés are coming out — from the claim that we no longer “punch above our weight,” to the alleged need to reclaim our role as an “honest broker” that “speaks truth to power” in the face of American unilateralism. But for the average Canadian, the question is this: What specific, practical interest would have been served by our membership in that tarnished talk shop — aside from the purely ornamental spectacle of a Canada placard sitting among those of Russia, India, France, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Gabon and Lebanon? Can anyone name a single benefit? We didn’t think so.
  24. "Jazz' rates are sky high, however at least the pilots there make a fair wage (B757 excluded)" The rates that Jazz is being paid by AC reflect the level of service provided. Who can compete with that? The "pilots" at Jazz are being paid industry standard rates. Ask Jazz, ask TC. This fact has been clearly explained and understood by the open-minded. GTFA
  25. It is no accident: ALGAL biomass Take a look at the sponsors of this organization.
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