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Everything posted by Rockyc

  1. The trouble is the notice does not say whether the funding status going on the Balance Sheet is the "Solvency" basis calculation or the "Going Concern" calculation. The most recent Pension Status Report I can find is for January 1st 2005 and it is: Solvency basis deficit: $1.4 Billion Going Concern basis Deficit: $99 Million So knowing which figure gets added to the Balance Sheet might help to determine the impact. Anyone have a more recent Pension Status Update??
  2. Isn't it a question of whether the tap to the European taxpayer's cash gets turned off? Governments have been known to back a dead horse for a considerable time in the National Interest. I suppose more tax dollars will only enhance the US/Boeing position on unfair subsidies.
  3. Luggage Lighter October 12th, 2006 A passenger who packed a propane lighter in the shape of a handgun in his luggage won't likely be doing that again. Security staff at the Penticton Airport spotted the banned item yesterday during an X-ray of the man's carry-on bag. The luggage was destined for an Air Canada Jazz connector flight that was delayed by 20 minutes before departing for Vancouver. R-C-M-P officers questioned the 42-year-old Manitoba resident before allowing him to board the plane -- without the lighter. CFJC News (Good thing he didn't have toothpaste or shave cream)
  4. Perhaps Porter is going to use the "Mesa/Ryan Air" Business Model noted below!! Hawaiian Airlines is charging that startup carrier go!, a Mesa Air Group subsidiary, is trying to drive competitors out of business in the Hawaii market. Mesa counters that go!'s smaller share of the overall market in Hawaii means that its impact cannot be as consequential as Hawaiian claims. "If it wasn't clear to everyone before, it should be now that Mesa is trying to eliminate competition in Hawaii," wrote Hawaiian Airlines President and CEO Mark Dunkerley in a statement issued Sept. 22. "Evidence of Mesa's true motives was revealed in court last week, and while Mesa has done much in the news media to obscure that evidence, they didn't refute it in court." Hawaiian and Mesa are locked in a legal battle that began last February when Hawaiian filed suit claiming Mesa used proprietary information to bolster its startup proposal for go! (ATWOnline, Feb.15). Mesa filed a countersuit charging Hawaiian with violating antitrust laws. Mesa had access to confidential information when it expressed an interest in acquiring Hawaiian more than two years ago at a time when that carrier was in Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. Last week, go! inflamed matters by offering $19 fares for some of its inter-island travel, but other fares are priced as high as $79. The Mesa subsidiary operates four 50-seat CRJ200s. "How do you put someone out of business with less capacity? We can't put them out of business with only 8% of the market," Mesa CEO Jonathan Ornstein told ATWOnline. "We are trying to carve a niche. They added more capacity than we have." Ornstein said he intends to add five or six larger aircraft, either Embraer 195s or CRJ900s, to the market next year. He said the go! subsidiary is modeled after highly successful LCC Ryanair. "There is a business model that says you can give away tickets and still make money," he said. by Sandra Arnoult
  5. Yes... Terrible, isn't it. Only $188 Million operating profit in three months. And that with fuel up another $100 milion from a year ago. What a difference a quarter makes. Q1 results and nothing but doom, gloom, and sarcasm from the usual sources. Q2, hardly a peep from the chorus and certainly not a kind word of any sort. I guess things stay pretty constant around here.
  6. CNW Group Portfolio E-Mail ACE AVIATION HOLDINGS INC. Transmitted by CNW Group on : August 11, 2006 06:00 Ace Aviation Holdings Inc. reports second quarter net income of $236 million and operating income of $181 million; announces plans to surface shareholder value Second quarter overview - Net income of $236 million compared to net income of $169 million in the second quarter 2005. - Operating income of $181 million compared to operating income in the 2005 quarter of $178 million. - EBITDAR for the quarter of $434 million, an improvement of $39 million from the 2005 quarter. - Passenger revenues up $188 million or 9 per cent, driven by a 3 per cent yield improvement and 5 per cent growth in traffic. - Fuel expense increase of $101 million or 19 per cent over the prior year's quarter. MONTREAL, Aug. 11 /CNW Telbec/ - ACE Aviation Holdings Inc. (ACE) today reported net income of $236 million for the second quarter 2006 compared to net income of $169 million in the 2005 quarter. ACE reported operating income of $181 million for the quarter, despite a fuel expense increase of $101 million or 19 per cent over the second quarter of 2005. Operating income increased by $3 million compared to the second quarter of 2005. Net income includes foreign exchange gains of $107 million (2005 losses of $53 million). The 2006 quarter also includes a pre-tax gain of $100 million ($83 million after tax) on the sale of 3.25 million shares of US Airways. The non-recurring items in the 2005 quarter, principally related to the initial public offering of Aeroplan, amounted to $161 million ($143 million after tax). Passenger revenues were up $188 million or 9 per cent reflecting increases in all markets due to a 3 per cent improvement in passenger revenue per revenue passenger mile (yield) and a 5 per cent growth in passenger traffic, as measured by revenue passenger miles (RPMs), on a capacity growth of 3 percent. Unit cost, as measured by operating expense per available seat mile (ASM), rose 6 per cent from the same period in 2005. Excluding fuel expense, unit cost was up 4 per cent and included the effect of growth in non- ASM producing businesses. EBITDAR(1) for ACE amounted to $434 million, an improvement of $39 million from the second quarter 2005, reflecting improvements in all segments with the exception of ACTS. EBITDAR for Transportation Services, Aeroplan and Jazz were up $22 million, $8 million and $29 million, respectively, while ACTS showed a decrease of $20 million. "I am pleased to report a strong second quarter from both an operating and financial perspective," said Robert Milton, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, ACE Aviation Holdings Inc. "Air Canada's revenue performance remains positive with the airline reporting a $188 million or 9 per cent increase in revenues over the previous year. This growth was achieved without the benefit of domestic traffic and yield gains derived from Jetsgo's demise in March 2005, and despite the negative impact of a strong Canadian dollar on revenues in international and transborder markets. "Record fuel costs continued to impact the airline's cost performance with oil prices now hovering around US$75 a barrel on the WTI index. "Both Aeroplan and Jazz provided value to their investors during the quarter. Aeroplan reported another strong performance in the quarter with record gross billings as well as a 23 per cent increase in operating income over the previous year. ACE's loyalty marketing company recorded $44 million in distributable cash. The increase in distributions announced in May will become effective in the third quarter. "I am also pleased at the strong results achieved by Jazz since it became a publicly traded company in February. Our regional carrier reported a profit of $35.6 million for the quarter and recorded over $33 million in distributable cash to its investors. This solid performance clearly reflects the stability inherent in its Capacity Purchase Agreement with Air Canada. "ACE's wholly-owned Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) business, ACTS, reported a modest operating income in the quarter and I am encouraged by the progress being made by the new leadership team. The changes being fast tracked by the new team are starting to pay off and I remain positive on the prospects and value of this business. "ACE's investment in US Airways has proved to be highly successful and our original investment of US$75 million has tripled, yielding over US$206 million in net proceeds to date and a remaining stake valued at US$20 million," said Mr. Milton. PLANS TO SURFACE SHAREHOLDER VALUE ---------------------------------- ACE also said today that its Board of Directors has completed a review of progress on the implementation of its strategic plan. A key feature of the review is the adoption of plans to surface value for ACE shareholders over the medium and longer term by further illuminating the value of its subsidiaries. The Board has identified the following initiatives, market conditions permitting, to create further value: - Launching of an initial public offering (IPO) of a minority stake in Air Canada in late 2006; - Commencing a process in late 2006 to monetize ACTS; - Pursuing opportunities that realize the value of its investment in Aeroplan and Jazz. In connection with these plans, ACE intends, subject to shareholder and Court approval under the Canada Business Corporations Act, to enter into a plan of arrangement. The plan would provide the Board of ACE with the authority to reduce the capital of the Corporation up to an aggregate amount of approximately $2 billion over time, but without any maximum time limit. A special meeting of shareholders will be convened in October 2006 to review the proposed plan of arrangement. "The Board has reaffirmed its strategy to maximize shareholder value by surfacing the underlying value of the subsidiaries. "The IPOs of Aeroplan and Jazz in June 2005 and February 2006 were very successful. Since then, both businesses have developed well as stand-alone businesses with outside investors and have delivered strong financial results. We expect both Air Canada and ACTS to benefit in a similar way as we move ahead. "The execution of the initiatives above should facilitate unlocking the value of ACE's assets which is not being adequately recognized by the market," concluded Mr. Milton. (1) Non-GAAP Measures EBITDAR is a non-GAAP financial measure commonly used in the airline industry to assess earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and aircraft rent. EBITDAR is used to view operating results before aircraft rent and depreciation, amortization and obsolescence as these costs can vary significantly among airlines due to differences in the way airlines finance their aircraft and other assets. EBITDAR is not a recognized measure for financial statement presentation under GAAP and does not have a standardized meaning and is therefore not comparable to similar measures presented by other public companies. Readers should refer to Consolidated Highlights or ACE's Quarter 2 2006 Management's Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) for a reconciliation of EBITDAR to operating income (loss). For further information on ACE's public disclosure file, including ACE's Annual Information Form, please consult SEDAR at www.sedar.com and EDGAR at www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml
  7. Seems it's still not good enough for some people....... Air Canada under fire for Heathrow flight cuts Last Updated: Friday, July 21, 2006 | 11:09 AM NT CBC News Air Canada's decision to cut some of its flights between St. John's and London, England, is drawing heavy fire from the city's business community and a federal cabinet minister. Two months ago, Air Canada announced that in September, it would drop its daily, non-stop service between St. John's and London's Heathrow airport. However, after widespread protest — including a threat from St. John's city council to boycott the airline — Air Canada announced Thursday that it will begin offering three flights a week in April 2007, five flights a week in May 2007, and daily flights between June and September. Company spokeswoman Isabelle Arthur said the move makes economic sense for the airline. "During the summer, we can operate this route and it is viable," said Arthur. "Unfortunately, the economic conditions and market demands during the wintertime do not enable us to offer the service at that time." St. John's Board of Trade president Ray Dillon denounced Air Canada's decision to provide a reduced service. "The flight will be less frequent and the aircraft won't be large enough to handle our regular cargo needs," said Dillon. Federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Loyola Hearn, the MP for St. John's South-Mount Pearl, also criticized the airline's decision. He said the reduced service is not an adequate response to the public outcry over the initial announcement that the flights would be cancelled. "I don't see anything about what will happen between now and April," said Hearn. "Nor am I enthused with the company coming in saying, 'We'll provide the service during the peak tourism time and make money and, you know, who cares what's going to happen to the people who are interested in commuting during the rest of the year.' To me, this is not at all satisfactory." Hearn said if Air Canada is no longer interested in providing regular service, another carrier can be found.
  8. I suppose in its simplest form all business is business risk vs. reward (profits). It seems the accountants at Westjet have determined that when it comes to servicing Kamloops the risk is greater than the potential reward. The proposal is to off-load the risk onto the Kamloops taxpayers (revenue guarantee) while still collecting the reward. Perhaps Kamloops should counter by taking on some of the risk but demanding a percentage of any profits. Then we would likely see Westjet as the one saying No, No.
  9. TV7 News Headlines WestJet Proposal Shot Down July 18th, 2006 Doesn't look like WestJet will be coming to Kamloops any time soon. WestJet told the city they wanted a $150,000 a month revenue guarantee to fly here. Mayor Terry Lake says it's too rich, and the city isn't interested in pursuing that option. Lake says Air Canada isn't demanding any revenue guarantees and they've stuck by Kamloops all these years, so it doesn't make sense to abandon them. He says WestJet already gets passengers from Kamloops who drive to Kelowna, and they don't see any reason to come here at this point without the huge guarantee.
  10. Who said they have to drive the truck? I did not say In-Flight had to resolve the problem themselves, internally. I said In-Flight is responsible for the in-flight customer service product. There are many venues within in-flight for raising issues and getting them resolved. I am simply saying that if in-flight staff and management don't step up to the plate to get problems recognized and resolved, who will? I get tired of hearing: It's someone elses fault. It's someone elses problem. I'm just a worker here. There's no point is saying anything because nothing will improve. It's always been like that, so it always will be. Most of the people I know in In-flight are not afraid to raise issues and are successful with getting things fixed. Not everything, and maybe not 100% fixed, but improved ?? Absolutely.
  11. It sounds like you are saying the problem is someone else's to resolve. On-board customer service is the responsibility of In-Flight. Both In-Flight management and In-Flight staff. That includes ensuring the tools are available to provide the service. To say crew have no control is a cop-out. You are simply saying there is a problem, but you want nothing to do with resolving it. You say there is no time to check what's available and what is not. Excuse me, but I thought it was the In-Flight department who determines what needs to be done and when it needs to be done. Are you suggesting some other department is responsible? If so, what department are you thinking of? If it isn't resolved by the combined efforts of In-Flight management and staff - who do you think is going to resolve it? Accounting? In-Flight needs to take some collective responsibility for the part it plays in the organization. Not just complain and hope someone else deals with it.
  12. You speak as if there are investment options available to individuals that are different than those available to DB Pension investment boards. An individual may be able to select something with more risk - and it could just as easily become the worst mistake of their lives. A bad downturn in the markets negatively affects both entities. Many individuals with DB plans are also contributing to RRSPs and other investments as fallback/self protection. There are many costly elements of DB pensions that people may be prepared to give up or water down if the alternative is the loss of the plan altogether. Things such as early retirement provisions and some of the more elective type medical provisions. I was amazed at some of the GM provisions. But at the end of the day, when I see Government staff, politicials, Police, Teachers, Firemen etc clamouring to trade in their defined benefit plans in order to take advantage of the great DC plan alternative then I might believe you are on to something. But I won't be holding my breath.
  13. I have a lot of compassion for both the family and the dog. Like PP I will not subject our dogs to air travel if there is an alternative. We are driving from Montreal to Vancouver next month for just that reason. It will take significantly more time and cost quite a bit more but that is the way it will be. But I am really disappointed with the Halifax Airport. I am sure the local SPCA could have rounded up the dog but there is probably some rigid rule in place against letting their staff roam around. There is a lot of land besides runways around the airport and they could have come to some arrangement to have the SPCA accompanied by Airport staff for safety purposes. The Airport seems to have just abandoned the dog to its eventual fate, lost, hungry and scared. As for the groundhandling staff, the article says the dog was loose and bolted from the hold when the door was opened. I don't see what they could have done differently.
  14. “Air Canada staff and kennel service staff were on-site trying to retrieve the dog on numerous occasions,” says a safety report on the incident. “Investigation revealed that the kennel staff failed to secure the latch on the flight kennel.” Who are "Kennel service staff"? Air Canada employees or Airport employees? (Not that it matters much since Air Canada will attract all the blame, regardless).
  15. I don't quite see the necessity for an apology from AC. AC was not allowed to have the fare on the Agents's website due to specific "me too" language in the Sabre contract. Even though Sabre is not able to display all of the fare components correctly. It looks as if the contract language has been altered to remove the "me too" language so that the fare can now be legally displayed on the Agents website while not in Sabre. I think you could make a case for an apology from Sabre, given that they started the whole mess in the first place!
  16. The Jazz Management Response to staff...... Articles in the Toronto Star: Jazz responds. The Toronto Star, The Hamilton Spectator and The Record of Waterloo Region have collaborated on the publishing of a series on aviation safety, entitled “Collision Course”. As part of this series, the Toronto Star published an article yesterday – entitled “Economics trumps safety: Jazz staff” – in which four Toronto-based employees made allegations of unsafe maintenance practices at Jazz. In a Flash to Jazz employees, Bill Bredt, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer stated the following: “The allegations reported in the article are unfounded, unsubstantiated, misleading, and in no way reflect the integrity of the Jazz Maintenance Department. Jazz has an excellent safety record which we are proud to stand behind. We have a staff of dedicated and professional aircraft maintenance engineers that ensure that our fleet is safe to operate. Late yesterday, the four employees involved were suspended with pay pending an investigation to assess the allegations raised and to determine why these employees elected to take a public venue as opposed to the numerous internal reporting options available to them. Also, the incidents cited by the reporters date back to 2002 and 2003. It is important to note that these have been fully investigated by regulatory bodies and internally at Jazz, and that appropriate procedural changes were immediately implemented in order to avoid recurrence. Safety has always been and continues to be our first and foremost priority. Overall, the Toronto Star’s aviation safety series fails to provide an accurate picture of aviation in Canada. It is disappointing that the reporters chose to rely heavily on subjective opinions and CADORS reports (unsubstantiated observations made by third parties) in compiling their articles, rather than presenting a balanced synopsis of today’s aviation safety. The Canadian Civic Aviation safety standards, mandated by Transport Canada, are among the highest in the world. Air Canada Jazz not only complies with all, but in many cases exceeds, Transport Canada’s regulations.”
  17. It doesn't seem to be too big of a secret: Transport Canada Relevant text: Guidance on Developing Procedures. The following must be considered when developing safety and emergency procedures: .......... procedures shall be developed with an aim to minimize the need to open the flight deck door during flight; and procedures shall consider pilot incapacitation for the following situations: both pilots are in the flight deck and one pilot becomes incapacitated; and one pilot is out of the flight deck and the pilot remaining at the controls becomes incapacitated. For aircraft not equipped with a means to access the flight deck from the passenger compartment, such as a key pad, a third crew member must be brought into the flight deck prior to the pilot leaving in order to protect access to the flight deck.
  18. I don't think you have to actually do something physically to get arrested. There are lots of laws under the Criminal Code where conspiracy to do something is a crime. One problem (and possible reason for the Certificates) may be our somewhat troublesome deportation processes, which can be repealed and re-appealed for years. If someone is convicted of a crime it should be easier to deport. This would also make the Criminal Code process superior to the Security Certificate process. It may also be time for immigration boards populated by accredited professionals rather than political appointees. Being able to jail people without trial, when there is no evidence that will stand up in court, is a pretty slippery slope. I really think society can do better and still provide a strong degree of protection.
  19. Well I don't think you could get a much clearer definition of "Terrorist". And it looks like we have some good Criminal Code offenses defined and the ability to arrest, jail and proceed to trial. I don't know what penalty has been set for the crimes under the criminal code but hopefully this group will be off the street for a long time. (I know they have to be found guilty, but 3 tonnes of ammonium nitrate? How big could their back-gardens be?) So why the Security Certificate process for other individuals? I have no problem jailing Terrorists. It's the indefinite jailing without trial or other due process and the secret evidence that no one can see that gives me pause. Does anyone have a good link to info on the Security Certificate process that explains its purpose vs. the Criminal Code?
  20. Bit of a sad story, actually..... Airline Loan-Guarantee Deal Ends With a Profit Controversial Program Kept Some Carriers Aloft; Taxpayers Get $300 Million May 30, 2006; Page D4 When Congress offered the airline industry $10 billion in loan guarantees in 2001, lawmakers were criticized for wasting taxpayer money on sick and even dying airlines, delaying an inevitable industry restructuring. As it turns out, taxpayers made money on the deal. Lots of money. The Air Transport Stabilization Board is almost done with its work, and the airline-loan-guarantee program will end with a profit of more than $300 million, according to executive director Mark Dayton. "The taxpayer bore a real risk to earn that money," he said. One reason for the large payday is that airlines only received a fraction of that $10 billion: In the end, the program guaranteed only $1.6 billion in loans. Besides a $300 million bonus for the U.S. Treasury, consumers will continue to enjoy benefits from the ATSB. The board rescued America West Airlines and US Airways Group Inc. and helped facilitate a merger of the two. That created a big, national low-cost airline that helps keep ticket prices relatively low and increases pressure on competitors like Delta Air Lines to cut costs and restructure. While rival airlines might have preferred to see a big airline or two go out of business so they could expand and raise fares, consumers benefit from having more carriers fighting each other. "Without the ATSB loan, America West probably wouldn't have survived and without America West, US Airways probably wouldn't have survived," says US Airways Chief Executive W. Douglas Parker. "Now merged, we employ 35,000 people and we just reported a profit in the first quarter." It didn't always look like the loan program would work out so well. In late 2004, three of the six airlines that received federally guaranteed loans -- US Airways, ATA Airlines and Aloha Airlines -- filed for bankruptcy-court protection. About $1 billion in loans guaranteed by the government were at risk. All three airlines survived and the ATSB will likely escape with a loss of only $10 million to $15 million on loan guarantees to ATA. Fees and earnings from stock sales at other airlines more than compensate, giving the taxpayer a solid return on its airline investments. It's not often that investors make money in airlines, though it certainly can be done. Financier David Bonderman turned a $66 million investment in Continental Airlines in 1993 into $780 million by 1998. More recently, America West and US Airways soared from a combined market value of $150 million a year ago to $3.8 billion now. Congress was after stability not earnings when it created the ATSB on Sept. 22, 2001, 11 days after terrorist attacks. The government paid out $5 billion in cash to airlines to compensate for losses while the air-transport system was shut down. And it included the $10 billion loan program in case commercial loans weren't available. The aid sent a signal that the government wouldn't let the industry collapse. But the program was controversial from the start. The ATSB drew fire from some as being too stingy and not helping enough airlines; it was criticized by others for helping too many airlines. "The ATSB is choosing winners and losers in the industry," Michael J. Conway, chief executive of National Airlines, said the day his airline shut down after being rejected for a guaranteed loan. Jeffrey Shane, the Department of Transportation's under secretary for policy and one of three members of the ATSB, says it's not fair to criticize Congress for creating the loan program in the aftermath of 9/11, "but programs like that always end up distorting the market." Mr. Shane says that the loan program distracted airlines, diverting energy that could have been better spent addressing their financial and operational problems. Pursuit of an ATSB loan guarantee "sucked a lot of oxygen out of the executive suites of airlines," he said. "Managers might have used their time more productively had the program not existed." Healthier airlines and others charged that ATSB was merely delaying consolidation and restructuring necessary for the industry to regain financial health. "Unlike prior business cycles when the likes of Eastern and Pan Am failed, it is chiefly the ATSB loan guarantee process that has placed on hold Charles Darwin's evolutionary demise of the weakest," consultant Robert W. Mann wrote in Aviation Daily, an industry trade publication. The ATSB told airlines that to win guarantees, they had to present what the board considered to be viable business plans, and carriers had to show they didn't have access to commercial capital markets. Applications were voted on by a representative from each of the DOT, Treasury and the Federal Reserve. The board did turn out to be a tough sell, one of the major reasons it ended up with a profit. Of the $10 billion of guarantees Congress authorized, the ATSB issued only $1.6 billion of guarantees. Applications from seven airlines were rejected, including UAL Corp.'s United Airlines, which applied twice. Three carriers turned down ended up shutting down: Vanguard Airlines, Great Plains Airlines and Mr. Conway's National. Some big carriers that have faced financial troubles recently, such as Delta and Northwest Airlines, didn't apply for the loan program. The guarantees also weren't cheap. The ATSB decided that it should be compensated for the guarantees, collecting $220 million in fees from deals that were favorable to lenders because the government made them risk-free. What's more, the ATSB insisted on owning a piece of the airlines. In most cases, the board wanted a 10% ownership stake through stock warrants; in the case of America West, the government laid claim to 30% of the company's common stock because the loans weren't secured by any assets, so the risk of default was greater. Bankruptcy wiped out stock ownership in US Airways, ATA and Aloha, but the ATSB sold its America West stake for a $110 million gain and expects an additional $25 million in gains from the sale of its World Airways and Frontier Airlines stock warrants, Mr. Dayton said. After expenses and its losses on the ATA loan, the net gain for taxpayers will be about $312 million -- a 20% gain on the $1.6 billion taxpayers had at risk. Mr. Shane says the terms were purposely tough to force carriers to fix their businesses and give executives incentive to refinance sooner rather than later to get out from under the government. "That's why the ATSB should be able to close its doors as early as this summer," he said. Then, "Uncle Sam will be out of the airline-finance business -- I hope forever." Write to Scott McCartney at middleseat@wsj.com
  21. Well the article, while well written, seemed to leave out some important bits of information: Terrorists already among us, CSIS says Canadian Press Ottawa — Canada's spy agency says potential terrorists already reside in Canadian cities. The deputy director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service said Monday that there are many people currently living in Canada who fought with al-Qaeda during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. And Jack Hooper says those same people have since trained in al-Qaeda terrorist training camps. Mr. Hooper made the revelation Monday at a Senate committee studying Canada's role in Afghanistan. He pointed to several examples of people who had lived in Canada, and later took part in terrorist attacks. RCMP Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli told the committee that the Mounties and CSIS are working closely together to thwart potential homegrown terrorists threats. The Senate is holding a full day of hearings on Canada's military mission in Afghanistan, and how it relates to security at home. One obvious questions is that if CSIS knows these people are here, and so much about them, why haven't they been arrested already? So Let's see if I have this right: 1) Russia invades and occupies Afganistan 2) Many Afgans, including al-Qaeda, actively fight back against the Russians 3) To help them in their quest against Russia, they are supplied with weapons and training by the CIA, with the full support of the US Administration 4) The "good guys" win and Russia departs 5) Now everyone involved is a suspected terrorist who was trained in al-Qaeda terrorist training camps and needs to be rounded up This is better than some novels I have read. I can't wait to see what happens next. The only thing missing is a female lead in distress.
  22. You're correct. Does this, then, make the process OK? Sounds a bit like the "this can never affect me, I'm not Jewish, or I'm not a Serbian, or Croatian or whatever..." line of reasoning. Anyway, it's not the who that I take issue with, it's the process itself. How is it we can write a law that makes it illegal to belong to a criminal organization (read Hells Angles), then arrest members, try them and jail them. But we can't seem to be able to deal with terrorists, or suspected terrorists without suspension of the rule of law, imprisonment without trial and the loss of a person's right to know the evidence that supports the accusations against them? My suspicion is that there are shortcomings in the current laws available to deal with these people. Therefore, the evidence against them isn't sufficient to successfully try them and find them guilty of anything. So we've taken the short-cut route. I might be able understand this (but maybe not agree) if it was 2002 or 2003. But we are almost 5 year on from 9/11. It's about time we found a more lawful approach to the problem. IMO, anyway.
  23. GDR, Maybe I'm not understanding "police state". Under the current Security Certificate process in Canada you can be: Picked up and jailed for an indefinate period of time. There are currently people locked up for more than 4 years With no access to the Courts - no trial You will not be shown the evidence agianst you - it's secret Your Lawyer will not be shown the evidence against you - it's secret You and your Lawyer cannot develop a defence - since you don't know what you're charged with, or why In any event - what do you need a defence for - your not getting a trial - see number 3 above Now I wouldn't call this a Police State - it's some kind of Government State. And not one anyone should be proud of. If they are suspected of being a terrorist they should be picked up, and tried. Evidence should be put forward. If they are found guilty they should be deported. If they are citizens they should be jailed - forever, if that's the punishment that fits the crime. But how anyone can support the current secretive, no due process, neverland state we currently have is a puzzle.
  24. Well I just have to ask..... What are "clivefidels" anyway ???? Is it something to do with Cuba and Castro? Someone "fideling" while Rome burns? Was it supposed to read Cliveophiles??
  25. I expect the major Tour Company knows to the penny your Agency's sales for them and the sales of every other Travel Agency they do business with. (Something you don't know, and your competition is hardly likely to share with you). If the drop in sales was proportional to every other Agency, they would already know the answer to their question and wouldn't need to be asking you. However, if your Agency's sales are disproportionately lower than other comparable Agencies, perhaps they have good reason to ask the question.
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