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  1. . Air Canada, WestJet raising checked luggage fees Airlines increase fees to $30 for 1st checked bag, $50 for 2nd checked item Mon Aug 27, 2018 - CBC News Air Canada and WestJet Airlines Ltd. are raising fees for passengers to check their bags. The country's two largest airlines are raising the fee for the first checked bag to $30 from $25. They will also raise the price of checking a second piece of luggage to $50 from $30. Air Canada and WestJet say the increases follow similar fee bumps by major U.S. airline JetBlue Airways Corp., as well as rising fuel prices and other costs. For years, the airlines checked the first bag for free, a policy that largely ended across the industry by 2014. The increases were put in place this week for domestic flight bookings, and with WestJet are effective for international flights booked starting Tuesday. The fees apply to the lowest fare classes at both airlines. .
  2. Lakelad

    ID Check

    . Natives not the only folk beating on a drum..... Ministry contacting WestJet over outing of transgender passenger 'All passengers must feel safe to be themselves,' says Ministry of Transport spokeperson Thu Aug 16, 2018 - CBC News by Sarah Rieger Transportation Minister Marc Garneau has instructed his staff to contact WestJet after a passenger said one of the airline's gate agents outed her as a transgender woman to other passengers on her flight. "When the incident was first reported, the Minister instructed his office to get in contact with WestJet so that measures are taken to prevent this type of incident from reoccurring," said spokesperson Delphine Denis, in an emailed statement. Lenore Herrem was flying from Calgary to Saskatoon last week when she says the gate agent expressed confusion while checking her ID and boarding pass. Herrem's gender presentation is female, but her gender on her Quebec health-care card is marked as male. The accompanying five-year-old photo on the ID card also presents as male. But the name on both her ID and boarding pass matched. One of the agents was confused over the male ID, but Herrem said she quietly explained that she was transgender, hence the discrepancy. "My face is the same and my ID matches the name on my boarding pass," Herrem said. She boarded the plane, but shortly both gate agents boarded and the agent who had been confused again demanded her ID. "She said something like, 'Oh, that's not the name I remember seeing on the computer when I looked at it,' and she started spouting off different, other women's names that were not mine," Herrem recalled. "She rolled her eyes at me and said, 'Are you sure it wasn't your girl name that was on the computer?' … She outed me in front of the whole airplane." Company has apologized WestJet has since apologized to Herrem. The company is investigating and also provided her with a credit for her flight. Outing a transgender person against their will can put them in a dangerous or threatening situation and can have significant impacts on their mental health, according to the Egale Canada Human Rights Trust website, a non-profit group that works to improve the lives of LGBT people. "Canadians are proud of our country's diversity and inclusion. Minister [Marc] Garneau strongly believes that all passengers must feel safe to be themselves when travelling and is very upset about this incident," Denis said. .
  3. All oil refined in Ontario is sourced from North America with an approx 75/25 Canada/US split.
  4. Lakelad

    AC To Buy Back Aeroplan?

    . How Air Canada’s approach failed to land Aeroplan Fri August 3, 2018 - The Globe and Mail by Tim Kiladze After a week spent swapping counteroffers, it came down to an ultimatum. When the markets closed on Thursday afternoon, officials at Aimia Inc. were nowhere close to accepting an offer for their Aeroplan loyalty program from a group that included Air Canada, two major banks and one credit-card firm. The group, which launched a $250-million bid for the Aeroplan business on July 25, had agreed to increase the price to $325-million and change some other terms. At a meeting late Thursday in a Bay Street office tower, Air Canada and its partners decided to turn up the pressure, according to a source familiar with the talks. You’ve got 32 minutes to give us a ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ the group said to Aimia representatives – and no more negotiating fine details. A half-hour later, Aimia walked away, leaving the fate of one of Canada’s most popular loyalty plans up in the air. Air Canada and its partners – Toronto-Dominion Bank, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Visa Canada Corp. – have not indicated what their next move will be. Aimia took the highly unusual step of disclosing that it had asked for $450-million during the negotiations. In the meantime, it is pressing forward with its own restructuring plan, which includes trying to find new partners. Earlier in the week, the company confirmed that it is in talks with the Oneworld airline alliance, whose members include British Airways, American Airlines and Cathay Pacific, and on Friday it announced a deal with Porter Airlines Inc. The arrangement will allow those flying Porter to collect Aeroplan points and Aeroplan members to use their points to book tickets on the airline, beginning in July, 2020. While Porter is small relative to Air Canada, it flies on crucial routes along the eastern corridor – particularly between Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal – that are attractive to business travelers and are dominated by Air Canada flights. Aimia shares jumped another 8 per cent on Friday, bringing their total rise to 50 per cent since the Air Canada group’s bid. In its battle against the unsolicited offer, Aimia is fighting against a rich history. Air Canada built Aeroplan as its in-house loyalty program in 1984, then spun it out in a 2005 initial public offering. Aimia grew as an independent company – but then suffered a devastating blow last year when Air Canada said it would pull out of the companies’ partnership in 2020. For Aeroplan members, the ability to redeem points for Air Canada flights is by far the most important reason to belong to the loyalty program. The playing field in this takeover battle appears lopsided. Air Canada has teamed up with two of Canada’s largest lenders and also brought along the country’s largest credit card company. The four titans hold immense power, and they have huge balance sheets, which they argued could easily absorb Aimia’s $2-billion redemption liability – the estimated future cost of flights and other rewards for the billions of Aeroplan points that exist. Aimia, meanwhile, had been struggling to figure out its future. The Aeroplan business has always been heavily dependent on Air Canada, and the relationship matters so much to Aimia that when the airline announced that it would let their contract expire, Aimia’s stock fell 63 per cent in a single day. Amid the resulting turmoil, Aimia is on its third chief executive in 13 months. While it now has stable leadership in Jeremy Rabe, who started in May, the new CEO was just starting to turn the loyalty program away from Air Canada when the bid was made public. To win investors over, Aimia has used the consortium’s hardball tactics against it. By revealing that it brought its asking price for Aeroplan to $450-million, it made it clear that Aimia really was trying to make a deal happen. “We have a number of shareholders who are frankly upset that we offered a number that low,” Mr. Rabe said on a conference call Friday morning. “We think that was a very reasonable number – perhaps too reasonable.” Meanwhile, an Aimia shareholder expressed exasperation at Air Canada’s final bid. “We’re scratching our heads as to why the offer is so low." With the Porter announcement, Aimia has also demonstrated that it is not necessarily doomed without its current Air Canada contract. The company also confirmed that the revamped Aeroplan will allow members to book seats on any airline, which some members prefer, and is dangling the potential for still more new partnerships. Those developments put the $2-billion redemption liability in a new light. While Air Canada and its partners want investors to believe it will sink Aimia, which currently has about $530-million in cash to cover it, the liability is troubling only if Aeroplan members rush to cash in their miles before the Air Canada contract expires. After Aimia reported quarterly earnings Friday morning, RBC Dominion Securities analyst Drew McReynolds noted the latest numbers suggest there are “no signs of meaningful changes to member behaviour at Aeroplan.” Now Air Canada must play defence. On Bay Street, there are questions swirling as to why the airline apparently reversed course on building its own in-house loyalty program and sought to reacquire Aeroplan instead. It is possible that building from scratch is harder than Air Canada anticipated. Banking sources have noted that most potential financial partners are already tied to an existing travel rewards plan, which could affect a potential credit card deal for Air Canada. In an e-mailed statement, Air Canada rejected these theories. “The reality is that Aimia’s business plans are precarious at best, given their liquidity outlook,” said a spokesperson for the airline, adding that “there remains significant interest from numerous [credit card] partners.” TD and CIBC declined to comment for this story. Visa could not be reached for comment. While talks have broken off, Aimia’s CEO stressed on Friday that it would come back to the table and have a “constructive dialogue.” Whether that ever happens remains to be seen. If it doesn’t, everyone involved will have to find a way to get along: Air Canada remains an Aeroplan partner for two more years, while TD and CIBC, which issue Aeroplan credit cards, are tied to the program until 2024. .
  5. . Irregular migrants acting as 'anchor relatives' to help get family into the country: CBSA Thu Aug 02, 2018 - CBC News by Kathleen Harris Canadian border officers are reporting on what they call a "phenomenon" on the migrant front: irregular border crossers acting as "anchor relatives" for those making refugee claims at official points of entry. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) says people who have entered the country through irregular migration can make use of an exception in the law facilitate the entry of family members — even when their own claims haven't been adjudicated. "Recently, CBSA officers are noticing another phenomenon: claimants who have recently arrived in Canada as irregular migrants and have refugee claims in process are acting as an anchor relative for other qualifying family members," says an information package provided to the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) by the CBSA. "This means that these family members can present themselves at a port of entry and not be considered as irregular migrants. Also, they can't be refused entry under the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA)." The STCA is a Canada-U.S. treaty meant to manage the flow of refugee claimants across the shared border. It states that most people seeking refugee status in either country must make their claim in the first 'safe' country they arrive in —? either Canada or the United States. A spokesperson for Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale's office told CBC News the data shows no evidence "that there is a trend of increased 'anchor relatives' being used to get around the Safe Third Country Agreement." Scott Bardsley cited figures showing the number of asylum claimants who were able to take advantage of an exception in the STCA — either because of the presence in Canada of 'anchor relatives' or because of some other exception to the treaty — dropped from an average of 531 per month in 2017 to an average of 318 per month in 2018. 'Loophole in a loophole' Conservative immigration critic Michelle Rempel tweeted about the issue late Wednesday, called it a "loophole in a loophole" and asking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau how many might use it to claim asylum in Canada in the coming years. In an interview, Rempel said the Liberal government needs to explain whether the provision is fair, given restrictions on sponsorship for other immigration and refugee claimants. "Essentially what would happen here is that if you've illegally entered the country and claimed asylum after being in the U.S., if you have family members in the U.S. or can make it there, even if you don't have permanent residency status they could still claim asylum through the exception in the Safe Third Country Agreement," she said. "I do think this is something the government should be alerted to and concerned about." The Conservatives have been calling on the government to apply the Safe Third Country Agreement to the entire border, eliminating an exception for those entering the country outside of official border crossing points. 'Grandparents, siblings, nephews allowed' .
  6. . Air passengers still slowing down emergency evacuations by grabbing carry-ons, says TSB But airlines still aren't being required to warn passengers of the danger Tue Jul 31, 2018 - CBC News by Dean Beeby Canada's air safety agency says passengers continue to slow down emergency aircraft evacuations by stopping to grab their personal belongings, despite the warnings it has issued since 2007 about the dangers. But Transport Canada is resisting a longstanding recommendation that flight safety briefings for passengers include mandatory warnings against collecting carry-on bags and electronic devices in the event of an emergency. The grab-and-go hazard was cited earlier this month by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) in its report on a Jan. 5, 2018 fire aboard a WestJet plane on the tarmac at Toronto's Pearson International Airport. "During the evacuation, the FAs [flight attendants] issued instructions ... telling the passengers to leave all their carry-on baggage behind," says the report. "Despite these instructions, numerous passengers brought carry-on baggage with them, which slowed down the evacuation process." The incident is at least the third in Canada since 2005 which led the agency to warn of the dangers of airline passengers collecting their possessions before moving toward the exits. In August, 2005, passengers on a jet that overshot the runway at Pearson grabbed their carry-ons, ignoring the flight attendants' contrary instructions. The same thing happened after an Air Canada crash at Halifax airport in March 2015, the agency said, calling the practice "widespread" around the globe. Since 2007, the Transportation Safety Board has pressed Transport Canada to require airlines to specifically warn passengers about the dangers of grab-and-go — in pre-flight safety briefings or pre-landing briefings, in safety cards or during emergencies themselves. Transport Canada has declined to do so. Instead, it has issued notices encouraging airlines to voluntarily alert passengers to the dangers. The TSB now officially lists its recommendation as "dormant" because of Transport Canada's reticence. "It's a very selfish mode that people go into, to get our little gizmos and bags out of the overhead bins." .
  7. . 'Vaping' pilot caused Air China plane to plunge 6,500m Fri 13 July, 2018 - BBC News A co-pilot smoking an e-cigarette on an Air China flight caused the plane to start a rapid emergency descent, investigators have said. They say he tried to hide the fact that he was smoking but accidentally shut off the air-conditioning, causing oxygen levels to fall. The crew on Tuesday's flight from Hong Kong to the city of Dalian released oxygen masks and brought the plane more than 6,500m (21,000ft) lower. It later returned to cruising altitude. An initial probe by China's Civil Aviation Administration in China has shown that the co-pilot tried to turn off a fan to stop smoke reaching the passenger cabin without telling the captain, but turned off the air-conditioning unit instead. Passengers say they were told to fasten their seat belts as the plane had to descend. The regulator's safety officer Qiao Yibin said the crew had to perform emergency measures, dropping oxygen masks until they could figure out the problem. If a plane loses cabin pressure, the pilot has to bring the aircraft to a lower altitude to keep crew and passengers safe. Once they saw that the air conditioning had been turned off, they reactivated it and brought the flight back to its normal altitude. Authorities are reportedly investigating the cause "in greater detail", examining both the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder to determine precisely what caused the incident. The airline promised a "zero-tolerance" approach to crew misbehaviour on Chinese social media site Weibo. Chinese flight regulations prohibit all flight crew from smoking, and banned passengers from using e-cigarettes on board in 2006. But there have been accusations of pilots smoking on board other Chinese flights, including in 2015 when the state-run radio spoke to passengers on a Hong Kong-Beijing flight who claimed to smell strong smoke coming from the cockpit. .
  8. . Ontario scraps rebates for buyers of electric vehicles Thu July 12, 2018 - The Globe & Mail by Greg Keenan The Ontario government is eliminating rebates given to buyers of electric and hydrogen-fuelled vehicles, a move that will delay the adoption of zero-emission vehicles that are considered a crucial part of the longer-term effort to fight climate change. The Progressive Conservative government of Premier Doug Ford said it made the move after cancelling the previous Liberal government’s cap-and-trade program, revenues from which financed incentives to purchasers of vehicles ranging from Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz Smart mini-car to Fiat Chrysler’s Pacifica minivan. While battery-electric and plug-in hybrid sales now represent a fraction of the market, they are seen as the eventual replacement for the internal-combustion engine (ICE) in the 2030s and beyond as other governments around the world restrict the use of gasoline-powered vehicles or ban sales of them altogether. The end of the rebate system for vehicles and electric-vehicle (EV) chargers is the first of two Ontario government moves that will likely hurt EV sales. Mr. Ford has said he will reduce gasoline taxes by as much as 10 cents a litre. Lower gas prices have tended to discourage sales of fuel-efficient vehicles and encourage consumers to buy larger cars and trucks. “If experience has shown us anything, it is that EVs and fuel-cell-vehicle sales tail off dramatically without incentives to decrease the price differential between ICE vehicles and advanced propulsion technology vehicles,” said David Adams, president of the Global Automakers of Canada, which represents the Canadian units of Asia and Europe-based car manufacturers. “This change in Ontario policy will be a setback for us, but will not stop the worldwide shift to EVs that is taking place,” Cara Clairman, founder and chief executive officer of Plug’n Drive, a Toronto-based electric-vehicle advocacy group, said of the change in Ontario’s rebate policy. The change will also complicate the federal government’s efforts to craft a strategy for zero-emission vehicles that would have been built on rebate programs offered in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia, three of the four largest vehicle markets in the country. Quebec and British Columbia will be the only provinces offering rebates to consumers with the end of the Ontario program. The federal government is examining ways to increase the penetration of electric vehicles to 30 per cent of the national market by 2030 with a national recharging network also in place. The impact of rebates is evident from sales figures for the first quarter of 2018 compiled by consulting firm FleetCarma. Drivers bought just 116 of the vehicles in Alberta, compared with purchases of 1,400 electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in British Columbia, even though the overall vehicle markets in the two provinces are about the same size. .
  9. . Man's gotta do what he was elected to do..... Doug Ford aims to lower gas prices by ending Ontario’s cap-and-trade of carbon dioxide emissions Tues., July 3, 2018 - Toronto Star By Robert Benzie - Queen's Park Bureau Chief Premier Doug Ford is abandoning Ontario’s greenhouse-gas-reduction measures in favour of cheaper gasoline. Ford announced Tuesday that his newly elected Progressive Conservative government has revoked the regulation that adds 4.3 cents a litre to gas prices as part of Ontario’s cap-and-trade alliance with Quebec and California. “Every cent spent from the cap-and-trade slush fund is money that has been taken out of the pockets of Ontario families and businesses,” the premier said in a statement. “We believe that this money belongs back in the pockets of people. Cancelling the cap-and-trade carbon tax will result in lower prices at the gas pump, on your home heating bills and on virtually every other product that you buy,” he said. The move is the first step toward reducing gas prices by 10 cents per litre, which was a key Tory campaign pledge in the June 7 election. “I promised that the party with taxpayers’ dollars was over and that this would include scrapping the cap-and-trade carbon tax slush fund. Today, we are keeping that promise,” said the rookie premier, whose government will unveil its throne speech a week from Thursday. “Cap-and-trade and carbon tax schemes are no more than government cash grabs that do nothing for the environment, while hitting people in the wallet in order to fund big government programs.” Ford said the government “will immediately begin an orderly wind-down of all programs funded out of cap-and-trade carbon tax revenues.” That means an end to $1.9 billion in annual programs bankrolled by cap-and-trade revenues, including subsidies for retrofitting windows and energy-efficient insulation to help consumers reduce hydro and natural gas bills. But the new government has left open the possibility of future environmental initiatives for consumers, which will “made on a case-by-case basis” and “paid for out of the tax base.” “We are getting Ontario out of the carbon-tax business,” said Ford. “Our focus will be to give people lower gas prices, lower energy bills and a real break in their wallets in order to get our economy going and create jobs. Help is here.” But the new premier may find extricating Ontario from former Liberal premier Kathleen Wynne’s 2016 cap-and-trade accord with Quebec and California may be more complicated than issuing a simple cabinet edict. Under cap-and-trade, businesses have greenhouse-gas-emission limits, or caps, and those who pollute less can sell, or trade, credits for these. Over time, an industry’s cap will be lowered to cut pollution. This is designed to create an economic incentive to curb emissions that change the world’s climate. So far, Ontario businesses have purchased $2.9 billion in credits and it is unclear whether the Ford government will have to compensate them for those. Leaving cap-and-trade will expose Queen’s Park to being forced into Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s federal carbon-pricing scheme. That’s because under the cap-and-trade system, the province was exempted from the new national measure. Ford has earmarked $30 million to fight Ottawa’s climate plan in court. NDP Leader Andrea Horwath has warned the new Tory government is embarking upon a boondoggle that could cost Ontarians billions. .
  10. Lakelad

    Degrees True vs Magnetic

    lol, you must be a stringer for CNN.... Harley-Davidson sales decline continues Tue Jan 30, 2018 - MarketWatch By Andrew Tangel Harley-Davidson Inc. on Tuesday reported its fourth straight year of declining sales as the Milwaukee motorcycle maker struggles to get more riders on Hogs. Harley's motorcycle-related revenue fell 6.8% in 2017 to $4.92 billion, as retail sales continued to suffer in the U.S. and around the globe. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected revenue of $4.88 billion. Shares of the company fell 4.7% in premarket trading to $52.70. Harley-Davidson said its global retail motorcycle sales fell 6.7% in 2017, compared with the prior year, with U.S. sales down 8.5% and international sales declining 3.9%. Harley said it shipped 144,893 motorcycles in the U.S. in 2017, a drop of 10% from the year before. Harley-Davidson said it would close its assembly plant in Kansas City and merge its operations into its plant in York, Pa. The company expects to incur restructuring costs of $170 million to $200 million and expects to spend about $75 million in related capital investments over the next two years. After 2020, the company expects the moves to save about $65 million to $75 million of cash annually. For its fourth quarter, Harley earned $8.3 million, or 5 cents a share, down from $47.2 million, or 27 cents a share, for the same quarter of the prior year. Results were hurt by a $53.1 million charge related to new tax law and a $29.4 million charge related to a product recall. Motorcycle revenue in the fourth quarter grew 12% to $1.05 billion. Harley said it shipped 241,498 motorcycles globally, at the lower end of its guidance of 241,000 to 246,000 motorcycles it had expected. For 2018, Harley-Davidson expects to ship about 231,000 to 236,000 motorcycles globally. Harley has said it aims to add two million new riders in the U.S. over the coming decade and boost its international business to 50% of its total annual volume from around 38%. The company also is working to expand its appeal to women, minorities, young adults and city dwellers. As part of that effort, Harley-Davidson said it is on target to launch its first electric motorcycle within 18 months. Tuesday, the company said it would invest more aggressively in developing electric-biking technology.
  11. . We're finally told what Trudeau's carbon tax will cost us. Are you sitting down? Households in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia will be hit with more than $1,000 of carbon tax per year, while those in British Columbia, Quebec and Manitoba will pay around $650 Wed Jun 27, 2018 - Financial Post by Kenneth Green It took some poking and prodding and (finally) committee testimony, but now we know what the bill will be for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax. In a report to the Senate Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources, University of Calgary economics professor Jennifer Winter revealed the bottom line of the Trudeau Carbon Price. Using energy-consumption data from Statistics Canada, and imputing prices from average household expenditure on transportation fuels and provincial gasoline prices, Winter calculated the impact of the carbon tax on a typical Canadian household across different provinces. Far from being painless as advertised, the costs to households will be significant. Three provinces — Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia — will be hit with more than $1,000 of carbon tax per year to comply with the $50-per-tonne carbon tax Ottawa has mandated for 2022. Nova Scotia ($1,120) and Alberta ($1,111) will have the highest bills, followed by Saskatchewan ($1,032), New Brunswick ($963), Newfoundland ($859) and Prince Edward Island ($788). The average household in Ontario will pay $707 a year to comply with the carbon tax once its fully implemented. Who gets the lowest bill? British Columbia ($603 per year), Quebec ($662) and Manitoba ($683). Simply put, households in provinces with the lowest bills will pay just a bit more than half compared to households in the hardest-hit provinces. But it gets worse, since most experts say carbon prices must continue to increase sharply to effectively lower emissions. At $100 a tonne, for example, households in Alberta will pony up $2,223, in Saskatchewan they’ll pay $2,065 and in Nova Scotia, $2,240. In fact, at $100 a tonne, the average price for households in all provinces is well north of $1,000 per year. Already across Canada, particularly in the Maritimes, a significant number of households fit the definition of “energy poverty” — that is, 10 per cent or more of household expenditures are spent simply procuring the energy needed to live (to power the home and transportation). In 2016, the Fraser Institute measured energy poverty in Canada and found that when you add up the costs to power the home and cars, 19.4 per cent of Canadian households devoted at least 10 per cent or more of their expenditures to energy. Alberta had the lowest incidence of energy poverty in 2013 at 12.8 per cent. But this predates, and thus does not include, Trudeau’s carbon tax, which can only exacerbate energy poverty nationwide. This is unconscionable in a country with the world’s third-largest proven oil reserves and is the fourth-largest generator of hydropower. Simply put, carbon taxes were enacted on a false premise: That economists can design carbon taxes that lower emissions at the least possible cost while shielding the economy from the drag of an added tax. And they surely can — on a blackboard. One could design a carbon tax that’s revenue neutral, that supplants carbon-limiting regulations, that starts at the social cost of carbon, properly deflated for the cost of raising funds and the discount of the future value of funds. That model is well established, but that’s not how we implement carbon taxes in Canada. Here, carbon taxes have become simply a tax-and-spend model that lets governments spend ever more trying to pick winners and losers in the energy sector. That’s one reason why Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Alberta UCP Leader Jason Kenney, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and others have called for ending carbon tax mandates in Canada, and for repealing current carbon-pricing systems in Ontario and Alberta. Now it’s time for the Trudeau government to admit that its proposed carbon tax will significantly burden families across Canada today for a climate benefit too small to measure by 2100. It’s time to unwind carbon pricing and focus instead on where we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by, for example, facilitating natural gas production and transport and by investing in fundamental research and development to find lower-emission ways to generate energy that are less expensive than affordable alternatives such as natural gas, oil and coal. .
  12. . Start of the wave of 'partition movements' in North America? California to vote on splitting into 3 states Initiative received more than 400,000 valid signatures, enough to get it on the ballot Wed Jun 13, 2018 - CBC News Californians will vote in November on whether or not to split the state into three separate states. California Secretary of State Alex Padilla filed a memo Tuesday saying that initiative #1814 had received more than 402,468 valid signatures — more than the 365,880 needed to qualify to get on the ballot — across the state's 58 counties. The latest proposal for splitting up the Golden State is backed by Silicon Valley venture capitalist Timothy Draper. Cal 3, as this campaign is called, would create the states of Northern California, Southern California and a narrow central coast strip retaining the name California, as described on the website. Padilla said he would certify the initiative on June 28 unless it is withdrawn by Draper. That means it will be on the Nov. 6 general election ballot. If a majority of voters support the initiative, an actual split would still require the approval of the state legislature and the U.S. Congress. Partitioning California into three states would increase the size of the U.S. Senate from 100 to 104 members, and the state's 55 electoral points would be divided among the three, according to Ballotpedia. It's not the first attempt to split up California. In 1859, the state legislature consented separate areas south of the Tehachapi Mountains (including Los Angeles and San Diego) into a separate territory or state, but Congress never acted on it. Draper originally floated the idea of dividing California into six states. That initiative didn't get the required number of signatures to appear on the 2016 ballot. Should this latest proposal become a reality, it would be the first division of a state since West Virginia split off from Virginia in 1863. This is how California would be split into three states if the Cal 3 initiative becomes reality. .
  13. Lakelad

    Westjet pilots strike vote

    . WestJet respects the binding interim order in relation to Swoop CALGARY, June 7, 2018 /CNW/ - Today, the arbitrator presiding over the arbitration between WestJet, an Alberta Partnership ("WestJet") and Swoop Inc. ("Swoop") and the Air Line Pilot Association, International ("ALPA") issued a binding interim order regarding Swoop. The binding interim order, issued June 7, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. directs, among other things, that existing Swoop pilots will remain in their current positions until directed otherwise by the arbitrator, and that WestJet pilots can now fly Swoop aircraft at Swoop terms and conditions. The interim order further directs that ALPA, WestJet and Swoop will make a joint application to the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) requesting the Board to amend ALPA's bargaining certificate to recognize ALPA as the bargaining agent for pilots of Swoop in addition to the pilots of WestJet by September 1, 2018. The arbitrator has further directed that additional hearing dates are required through the summer and into September to properly address all outstanding issues. "We recognize and respect the interim order which is in line with the WestJet Group's original direction that WestJet pilots should have the ability to operate Swoop aircraft," said Ed Sims, President and CEO of the WestJet Group of Companies. Steven Greenway, Swoop President commented, "The order allows us to redouble our efforts and focus our attention on the rapidly approaching launch of Swoop on June 20, 2018 from Hamilton." . .
  14. Lakelad

    Westjet pilots strike vote

    . Shut down WestJet? An inside look at the airline's negotiations with pilots New details emerge as unionized pilots try to secure their first contract Tue May 29, 2018 - CBC News by Kyle Bakx Negotiations between WestJet and unionized pilots neared crisis last week as negotiators for the airline threatened to lock out pilots and shut down the company. That's when the chief federal mediator and the federal labour minister boarded planes to intervene as heated contract talks reached a boiling point. Those are just some of the details CBC News has learned from internal documents and interviews about the tense negotiations that — if they'd fallen apart — could have grounded flights and stranded passengers. CBC News has also learned what issues remain unresolved and about the potential impact that the first union contract is expected to have on the airline. Lockout threat The two sides had held talks for nine months, but negotiations picked up in recent weeks after 150 pilots held a demonstration at WestJet's Calgary headquarters during the company's annual meeting. Two days later, pilots voted overwhelmingly to give their union, the Air Line Pilots Association, a strike mandate. According to an internal union document obtained by CBC News, WestJet negotiators suggested the airline could lay off a large number of pilots and lock out the remaining unionized pilots. Avoiding job action Labour Minister Patty Hajdu arrived in Calgary on Thursday to meet with company and union officials. Her involvement, along with that of a federal negotiator, seemed to work. The two sides signed off on an agreement process on Friday evening — thereby avoiding any work stoppage. "After four weeks of operating under a strike threat that has been very damaging both financially and to our reputation, I could not sit back, stand by and watch the organization be effectively slow-baked into this position, so we were coming very close to our form of action," WestJet CEO Ed Sims told reporters on Friday night. The lockout threat could have been more of a tactic than an actual possibility, similar to the union's strike mandate. But actual job action by the airline could have hurt its public support. "That kind of talk on each side of the table as you get close to a potential impasse [is normal]. Each party will describe to the other what a worst-case scenario could be for the other party," said labour relations consultant George Smith, a fellow at Queen's University's public policy school. "I would think this is something the company might have wanted to remain in the four walls of the negotiation," said Smith, who is also former director of employee relations at Air Canada. Ground the company The same union document says WestJet negotiators went one step further and threatened to "shut down the whole airline." The warning could have been a negotiating ploy, but Sims had seen an airline shut down before. In an email that Sims sent to WestJet employees earlier in the month, he highlighted his experience working at Ansett Australia, where a union leader reportedly preferred the airline go bankrupt than accept job losses. "The union had put their arms so tightly around us, we fell into the abyss together. Two weeks later, just after the unforeseeable events of 9/11, Ansett went under after 66 years of flying. Everyone lost their jobs," Sims wrote in the email. "I am surprised by that," said Smith, calling it "extreme" considering the company's financial success. "In the heat of battle at the bargaining table, a threat might be made just to try to adjust the expectations of the pilots and make them realize how important cost control is from the perspective of the company," Smith said. In emailed responses to CBC News, WestJet did not confirm nor deny that its negotiators threatened to shut down the company. "There were options on the table and a lockout was one of them," spokesperson Lauren Stewart said. The union declined to comment on the threat of a company shutdown. A representative referred to a Facebook post published Friday that referred to the "very real threat" of a lockout. What's left to do? The pilots and the carrier have tentatively agreed on many items of the agreement such as medical examinations, training, and discipline. The most significant unresolved issue could be seniority, an especially crucial item for pilots. "Most pilots work for the same airline for their whole career because seniority is so important to them. Even though their skills are transferable, their paycheque depends on the equipment they are flying, how far they are flying and all of those things are tied to seniority," said Smith. One item no longer on the table is whether unionized pilots will fly for WestJet's new discount airline, Swoop. Sources inside the union had told CBC News that issue was a major sticking point and likely significant enough to motivate pilots to strike when Swoop launches on June 20. In the end, the two sides agreed Swoop's pilots will be part of the union. Their compensation and other details are still being negotiated. Lingering financial impact WestJet is suffering a temporary financial hit in the "tens of millions of dollars," according to Sims, as wary travellers booked elsewhere to avoid a potential job action. Analysts are watching the pilot negotiations closely to determine the lasting fiscal impact. The air carrier has a 13-year streak of quarterly profits, but expenses could escalate. "Our concerns continue to remain how these negotiations impact the company's long-term cost profile as well as other employee groups, which are being approached to organize formally," AltaCorp Capital analyst Chris Murray said in an investor note on Monday. Other employees are watching the negotiations with pilots closely. Clive Beddoe, the airline's co-founder, warned in a 2013 video to employees about how pilots set the tone for the industry. "Everybody in the industry has taken leadership from the pilots, so what will happen if we continue to pay pilots excess of market [value]? Why wouldn't we pay everybody else excess of market [value]? It's quite logical, quite reasonable. "Well, I'll tell you, we will not survive. We will not survive that," he said. .
  15. . Globe sees Air Canada kowtow to Beijing over Taiwan Wed May 16, 2018 - Stockwatch News The The Globe and Mail reports in its Wednesday edition that Air Canada has joined the growing list of air carriers bowing to Beijing's pressure campaign to designate the self-ruled island of Taiwan as part of China. The Globe's Steven Chase and Robert Fife write that customers now wishing to purchase a flight to or from airports in Taiwan's capital, Taipei, are now informed these facilities are located in China. The abbreviation CN, standing for China, has been added to their location description. The democratically elected government of Taiwan is calling on the Canadian carrier to reverse course, issuing a statement requesting "that this be corrected immediately." China, in recent months, had threatened dozens of international carriers with retribution if they did not begin toeing Beijing's line on Taiwan. Until recently, international airlines tended to list Taiwan only as Taiwan with no reference to China. Beijing has grown increasingly aggressive under President Xi Jinping about using its economic power to coerce foreign companies to change the way they refer to China. This includes Taiwan, which the Communist Party-run People's Republic of China considers a wayward province. .