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  1. AirCanada tells it's passengers exactly what they will do (allowing changes with no cost etc) and provides a rebooking tool on their website. WestJet tells their guests ( We're here to help you, so we've implemented flexible change and cancel rules.) but does not tell them what they are and asks that guests call for that information. AirTransat provides a webpage that tells their passengers what options are available. Sunwing tells their passengers that "Flexible policies are in place for customers " but does not provide a contact number or any other information regarding the options. If I was a passenger, I would not be exactly happy with the lack of information from some of our Airlines, you have to wonder why they are not more forthcoming.
  2. Strong EarthQuake Near MEX

    For those who are interested:
  3. WestJet facing more union drives as CUPE, ALPA target airline's regional carrier Share on Facebook By: Staff The Canadian Press Published on Tue Sep 19 2017 04:07:34 CALGARY — WestJet is facing more pressure from organized labour as two unions have turned their sights to the airline's regional Encore operation. The Canadian Union of Public Employees said Tuesday that it and the Air Line Pilots Association, International have simultaneously launched their drives to unionize Encore cabin crew and pilots. The efforts at Encore come after WestJet's 1,400 pilots voted by 62 per cent to have ALPA represent them in a union in May. The successful unionization of pilots led CUPE, Unifor, the United Steelworkers, and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers to also start union drives at the main WestJet operation this summer. The grassroots WestJet Professional Flight Attendants Association, which has for years been campaigning to unionize flight attendants, said in early September that it was ending its efforts with the increasing pressure from CUPE's drive. WestJet spokeswoman Lauren Stewart said the airline is working to inform employees of the facts around unions, and continues to believe employees and leadership work best together using the company's existing model. It would be interesting to see copies of that correspondence.
  4. According to latest reports, the airport is closed. Breaking Buildings on fire, people trapped in Mexico City following earthquake Buildings collapsed in capital, 120 km from epicentre The Associated PressPosted: Sep 19, 2017 3:01 PM ET Last Updated: Sep 19, 2017 3:54 PM ET People remove debris from a damaged building after a quake rattled Mexico City on Tuesday while an earthquake drill was being held in the capital. (Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images) Related Stories Death toll from southern Mexico's earthquake rises to 96 A magnitude 7.1 earthquake jolted central Mexico on Tuesday, collapsing some buildings, cracking the facades of others and scattering rubble on streets on the anniversary of a devastating 1985 quake. People were trapped inside various buildings that caught fire in Mexico City, a civil protection official told local TV. The quake caused buildings to sway sickeningly in Mexico City and sent panicked office workers streaming into the streets, but the full extent of the damage is not yet clear. Mexican media broadcast images of several collapsed buildings in heavily populated parts of the city. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was centred near the Puebla state town of Raboso, about 123 kilometres southeast of Mexico City. Puebla Gov. Tony Galil tweeted that buildings had been damaged in the city of Cholula, including collapsed church steeples. In Mexico City, thousands of people fled office buildings and hugged to calm each other along the central Reforma Avenue as alarms blared, and traffic stopped around the Angel of Independence monument. In the Roma neighbourhood, which was struck hard by the 1985 quake, piles of stucco and brick fallen from building facades littered the streets. At least one large parking structure collapsed. Two men calmed a woman seated on a stool in the street, blood trickling from a small wound on her knee. People react as a real quake rattles Mexico City on Sept. 19 as an earthquake drill was being held in the capital. (Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images) At a nearby market, a worker in a hard hat walked around the outside warning people not to smoke as the smell of gas filled the air. Market stall vendor Edith Lopez, 25, said she was in a taxi a few blocks away when the quake struck. She said she saw glass bursting out of the windows of some buildings. She was anxiously trying to locate her children, whom she had left in the care of her disabled mother. Pictures fell from office building walls, objects were shaken off of flat surfaces and computer monitors toppled over. Some people dove for cover under desks. Local media broadcast video of whitecap waves churning the city's normally placid canals of Xochimilco as boats bobbed up and down. Reuters reports that the Mexico City airport and the stock exchange suspended operations after the quake. Earlier in the day, workplaces across the city held preparation drills on the anniversary of the 1985 quake, a magnitude 8.1 temblor, which killed at least 5,000 people and devastated large parts of Mexico City. Twelve days ago, shortly before midnight on Sept. 7, an 8.1 magnitude earthquake hit Mexico, killing almost 100 people. Mexico earthquake death toll rises to 96 Much of Mexico City is built on a former lake bed, and the soil is known to amplify the effects of earthquakes even hundreds of kilometres away.
  5. Global warming speeds up due to Pacific 'flip' Pacific Decadal Oscillation entered its positive phase amid shattered global heat records Thomson ReutersPosted: Sep 18, 2017 1:06 PM ET Last Updated: Sep 19, 2017 8:16 AM ET Among this year's extreme weather events were wildfires that scorched Europe and North America, including the La Tuna Canyon fire over Burbank, Calif., seen on Sept. 2, 2017. (Kyle Grillot/Reuters) Climate change threatens largest coffee-producing region in the world, researchers say Global warming 'hiatus' never happened, say climate scientists 'We will go down,' Pope Francis warns about not taking climate change seriously External Links UK Met Office news release Why the 1.5C warming limit is not yet a geophysical impossibility Nature Geoscience paper (Note: CBC does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of external links.) After slightly slowing for the past 15 years, global warming is once again rising more quickly due to a decade-long weather pattern that warms and cools the Pacific, Britain's meteorological office said Monday. The Met Office said the rate of global warming slowed between 1999 and 2014, but has now picked up due to a "flip" in the Pacific weather pattern. "The end of the recent slowdown in global warming is due to a flip in Pacific sea-surface temperatures," said Adam Scaife, head of climate predictions at the Met Office. 'Global warming has now returned to the level seen in the second half of the 20th century.'- Adam Scaife, UK Met Office "This was due to a change in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, which entered its positive phase, warming the tropics, the west coast of North America and the globe overall," he said. World temperatures hit a record high for the third year in a row in 2016, scientists said in January. Temperatures, lifted mainly by emissions of man-made greenhouse gases and partly by a natural El Nino weather event that released heat from the Pacific Ocean, beat the previous record in 2015. That peak had, in turn, eclipsed 2014. "After a period during the early 2000s when the rise in global mean temperature slowed, the values in 2015 and 2016 broke records and passed 1 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels," said Stephen Belcher, chief scientist at the Met. "Data from the Met Office shows that … global warming has now returned to the level seen in the second half of the 20th century," he said. 1.5 C target At a conference in Paris in late 2015, governments agreed a plan to phase out fossil fuels this century and shift to renewable energies such as wind and solar power. At a conference in Paris in late 2015, governments agreed a plan to phase out fossil fuels this century and shift to renewable energies such as wind and solar power. (CBC) They agreed to limit warming to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times, while pursuing efforts for a 1.5 Celsius limit. But with global temperatures in 2015 and 2016 already warmed by more than 1 C, and an uptick in extreme weather underway, the Met said there was increasing pressure to meet the 1.5 Celsius threshold. A study published Monday in Nature Geoscience suggests that in order to meet the 1.5 C target, global emissions after 2015 must be limited to 240 billion tonnes of carbon. That would require serious emissions reductions, but the good news is that it's a much bigger limit than the IPCC's estimated limit of 70 billion tonnes. Among this year's extreme weather events were wildfires that scorched Europe and North America, floods that submerged South Asia and hurricanes that swept through the United States and the Caribbean.
  6. Here is an boarding announcement that could speed things up. We are now boarding Zone X, if you attempt to board in this zone and are not entitled to do so, we will remove you from the flight. Your carry on items must be stowed in the overhead bin directly above your seat or under the seat in front of you, if you attempt to put your carryon baggage in another location, you will be removed from the flight along with your baggage.
  7. Will Boeing Give a Damn?

    I wonder if he even know that the RCAF does business with Boeing and I doubt that will cease. Royal Canadian Air Force Acquires Boeing Technology to Boost C-17 Performance Central Maintenance Computers use C-17 aircraft data to enhance maintenance and maximize availability OTTAWA, Ontario, June 13, 2016 - Boeing [NYSE: BA] innovation using data analytics will enable the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) to enhance the readiness of its five-aircraft C-17 Globemaster III fleet while also reducing maintenance expenses. The technology, known as Central Maintenance Computers (CMCs), enables collection, monitoring and in-depth analysis of C-17 performance data. “Data analytics is the heart of CMC,” said Brian Hansen, Boeing CMC program manager. “With this information, the RCAF can minimize unscheduled maintenance and off-station repairs, reducing overall lifecycle costs while maximizing the value they get from the fleet.” Boeing will examine trends and conduct diagnostic evaluations based on information from the CMCs, providing recommendations to the RCAF when preventive work and repairs are advised. RCAF pilots, engineers and maintenance crew will be able to access the same data – including mission playbacks – for their own analysis and training purposes. “429 Squadron looks forward to the benefits CMCs should be able to provide in regards to preventive aircraft maintenance,” commented Major Michael Wells 429 Squadron Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Officer for the Royal Canadian Air Force. “We expect CMCs to minimize unscheduled maintenance actions and thereby increase mission effectiveness.” CMCs are currently installed on C-17 fleets in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Boeing provides after-delivery support of the worldwide C-17 fleet as part of the C-17 Program’s Globemaster III Integrated Sustainment Program (GISP) Performance-Based Logistics agreement. The GISP "virtual fleet" arrangement provides the highest airlift mission-capable rate at one of the lowest costs per flying hour. Canada has been a Boeing customer, supplier and partner since 1919. Today the company employs approximately 2,000 highly skilled Canadian workers at facilities across the country, contributing $1.3 billion to Canada’s economy in 2015 alone. Canada is home to one of the largest international supplier bases for Boeing – including more than 560 suppliers spanning every region of the country, and has worked with Canadian companies under the government’s Industrial and Regional Benefits, and its Industrial and Technological Benefits program to perform business worth more than $6.7 billion in Canada, with another $2.9 billion in high-value programs currently under way. In 2016 Boeing celebrates 100 years of pioneering aviation accomplishments and launches its second century as an innovative, customer-focused aerospace technology and capabilities provider, community partner and preferred employer. Through its Defense, Space & Security unit, Boeing is a global leader in this marketplace and is the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Defense, Space & Security is a $30 billion business with about 50,000 employees worldwide. Follow us on Twitter: @BoeingDefense.
  8. Strong words but will Boeing even care if they lose our business? I guess in return they could close their Canadian Operations. BOEING IN CANADA BOEING WINNIPEG Boeing Winnipeg is one of the largest aerospace composite manufacturers in Canada. The company employs over 1,400 people in 800,000 square feet of space in two locations in the city. BOEING VANCOUVER AVIALL JEPPESEN BACKGROUNDER HISTORY EXECUTIVES ENVIRONMENT Canada won't do business with Boeing while it's 'busy trying to sue us': PM CTV News Channel: Boeing's actions 'harmful' PM Trudeau and British PM Theresa May say they will defend Canadian company Bombardier and the jobs it creates for both countries. The Canadian Press Published Monday, September 18, 2017 1:39PM EDT Last Updated Monday, September 18, 2017 2:41PM EDT OTTAWA -- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is dropping the gloves in his fight with Boeing, saying his government won't do business with a company that he's accusing of attacking Canadian industry and trying to put aerospace employees out of work. The comments represent the strongest yet against the U.S. aerospace giant since Boeing launched a trade dispute with Montreal-based rival Bombardier earlier this year. And they leave little doubt Trudeau's Liberal government is serious about walking away from a controversial plan to purchase 18 interim Super Hornet fighter jets from Boeing if the company doesn't stand down. Related Stories British PM, Trudeau say Canada-EU trade deal a 'basis' for new bilateral talks U.K. gov't backs Bombardier in fight with Boeing View taken of the Boeing logo on the fuselage of a Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner test plane presented on the Tarmac of Le Bourget on June 18, 2017 on the eve of the opening of the International Paris Air Show. (ERIC PIERMONT / AFP) "We have obviously been looking at the Super Hornet aircraft from Boeing as a potential significant procurement of our new fighter jets," Trudeau said. "But we won't do business with a company that's busy trying to sue us and trying to put our aerospace workers out of business." Beyond the interim plans, the prime minister also appears to have left open the door to excluding Super Hornets entirely from any future competition to replace more broadly Canada's aging fleet of CF-18 jets. Trudeau made the comments during an appearance with British Prime Minister Theresa May, who says Canada and the U.K. will work together to defend Bombardier, which has a factory in Northern Ireland. Boeing has accused of Bombardier of selling its CSeries passenger jets to a U.S. airline at an unfairly low price with help from government subsidies, and says the case affects its long-term economic health. "We will continue to stand up for jobs and stand up for the excellent airplane that is the Bombardier CSeries aircraft," Trudeau said. "The action that Boeing has taken is very much in their narrow economic interests, to harm a potential competitor, and quite frankly is not in keeping with the kind of openness to trade that we know benefits citizens in all countries around the world." The U.S. Commerce Department is currently investigating the complaint, and is expected to release its preliminary findings next week. May said she has already made her feelings clear in a phone call with U.S. President Donald Trump, someone Trudeau also said would be hearing from Canada on the matter of Boeing vs. Bombardier. "I will raise the issue of Bombardier when I meet with him again later this week," said May. "I will be impressing upon him the importance of Bombardier to the United Kingdom., and particularly, obviously, to jobs in Northern Ireland." In a statement released Monday, Boeing accused Bombardier of a "classic case of dumping" by offering the CSeries for sale in the U.S. "at absurdly low prices" after it "sold poorly in the marketplace." "No one is saying Bombardier cannot sell its aircraft anywhere in the world. But sales must be according to globally accepted trade law, not violating those rules seeking to boost flatlining business artificially," the statement said. "We all have a shared interest in a level playing field. That is what this dispute is about."
  9. New Zealand jet fuel shortage leaves passengers stranded 2 hours ago Read more about sharing. These are external links and will open in a new window Thousands of airline passengers are stranded in Auckland after a burst pipeline cut fuel supplies to New Zealand's largest airport. The pipeline is Auckland Airport's only source of jet fuel. Local media said it was damaged by a digger on a rural property, causing a leak and the pipeline to be closed. Fuel supplies have been rationed and airlines are looking to refuel in Australia and elsewhere to keep long-haul services running. About 2,000 passengers were affected by cancellations on Monday, according to Air New Zealand. The disruption is expected to last at least a week as repair work continues, the pipeline's operator said. Government 'not responsible' The New Zealand Herald said the damage to the pipeline is believed to have occurred months ago, near Ruakaka, about 130km (80 miles) south of the city. But it was reported to have burst on Thursday. Air New Zealand said fuel supplies at the airport were down to 30% of normal capacity, forcing some long-haul flights to make additional refuelling stops at airports in Australia and the Pacific. "Aviation is a critical transport industry and the lifeblood for tourism. We are naturally extremely disappointed with this infrastructure failure," it said. Qantas, Cathay Pacific and Emirates also said that some flights had been affected by the fuel shortage. At least 27 international and domestic flights were cancelled over the weekend. Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett denied the government was responsible for the failure. "It's a private company that owns it and you would expect them to have better contingency plans," she told Radio New Zealand. The pipeline is operated by Refining NZ, which said "a 30-strong team has been working on a 24-hour basis over the last four days" to repair the damage. Environmental concerns The Green Party and environmental advocacy group Greenpeace were among those that expressed concern about potential contamination of the surrounding land. Refining NZ said in a statement that "most of the jet fuel has now been recovered from the leak site". Chief executive Sjoerd Posts said the area would need to be decontaminated. The building of a new section of pipe has been complicated by heavy rains and safety concerns. A spokesperson involved in the repairs told Radio New Zealand that any spark from welding gear could cause an explosion. The pipeline should return to service between 24 and 26 September, Refining NZ said. Although it also supplies petrol and diesel to drivers in Auckland, it is unlikely that motorists will face fuel shortages, energy minister Judith Collins said, noting that fuel was being trucked in from the refinery.
  10. According to this opinion, Boeing has absolutely no case. Opinion: Why Boeing’s Charge of Bombardier ‘Dumping’ Doesn’t Add Up Why Boeing’s attack on Bombardier smacks of politics May 5, 2017Anthony L Velocci, Jr. | Aviation Week & Space Technology If there were a poster child for the Trump administration’s nationalist economic agenda, it probably would be Boeing. In fact, Boeing as much as created such a poster when it recently placed a full-page advertisement in three prominent newspapers. The ad pictures the president speaking from a lectern strategically positioned in front of a Boeing 787 during a February visit to the company’s 787-10 assembly plant in Charleston, South Carolina, “to celebrate jobs.” Just 48 hr. before the ad appeared, Boeing formally asked the U.S. Commerce Department to protest what it alleged is “dumping” of Bombardier aircraft in the U.S. Third-party observers will be forgiven if they sense more than a hint of political opportunism here. As one of the most prominent subject experts in the commercial aerospace industry put it: “This is a company that ought to win the brown-nose-of-the-year award.” But that’s not the worst of it. Let’s start by examining Boeing’s dumping charge. A fundamental reality is that every airframe manufacturer sells new aircraft at a loss to gain market acceptance. Boeing’s multibillion-dollar sale of 787s to Air Canada is a case in point. The company lost huge sums of money on each of the first 393 787s it built—many of which were sold to customers outside the U.S.—including the first 16 aircraft it sold to Air Canada, according to Boeing financial records. In fact, an argument could be made that Air Canada’s 787s were bought not just below the cost to build them but also below market value. The airline sold two and then leased them back, resulting in a $19 million profit on each sale. All told, Boeing lost $305.23 million on the 16 aircraft delivered to Air Canada, although deferred production losses on the program as a whole are much greater, peaking at nearly $29 billion in the first quarter of 2016. Only recently did the program turn profitable on a recurring basis, according to Boeing financial data. For its part, Boeing stands by its charge that Bombardier is selling into the U.S. market at a price millions lower than what it is charging in the Canadian market. “Boeing doesn’t do that,” a company official said. “There’s a difference between offering discounts and selling at a loss.” Boeing also points out that it incurred substantial unforeseen expenses during the development and early production phases of the 787 program but was confident of turning the corner to profitability. Then there is the countervailing duty Boeing wants the Commerce Department to impose because it argues that C Series jets “compete directly with American-made B737-700 and 737 MAX 7 jets.” This, too, is as disingenuous as Boeing’s complaint that Delta Air Linesbought jets below Bombardier’s cost of production. In fact, the model that Bombardier sold to Delta was the CS100, which competes with exactly nothing that Boeing builds—and which contains very substantial U.S. content. The C Series program was rescued by a $1 billion investment from the Quebec government. Still, the notion that Bombardier is the only beneficiary of various forms of government support is ludicrous. Mindful of the importance of aerospace as a strategic industry due to its contribution to job creation and innovation in general, governments around the world have long provided either direct or indirect support for leading aerospace companies. In Boeing’s case, the World Trade Organization in 2011 established that the company received $3-4 billion in local, state and federal aid in support of every one of its current commercial programs. Boeing’s position: “As an unsubsidized commercial enterprise, Boeing has a business plan for all of our airplane programs that anticipates and fully expects a profit.” The reaction to Boeing’s petition against Bombardier across much of the aerospace industry has been sharply negative. While company executives may dismiss such criticism, the bigger issue is the possible cost of picking this particular fight, which seems to make no sense whatsoever. For example, Delta is preparing to issue a request for proposals for a large order for Airbus 320neo and Boeing 737MAX models. Some industry observers believe Boeing’s petition may diminish its bargaining leverage. And what of the appearance of such blatant hypocrisy that could tarnish Boeing’s otherwise sterling reputation? Given the rancid political environment in the U.S., it is possible that Boeing’s claims might actually find a receptive audience, at least preliminarily. Regardless of the U.S. International Trade Commission’s final ruling, however, there is a pervasive sense—and deservedly so—that Boeing has made a tactical if not a strategic blunder. Being a tough, tenacious competitor is admirable. Sadly, what is happening here does not rise to that level. Anthony L. Velocci, Jr., was editor-in-chief of Aviation Week & Space Technology from 2004-12. The views expressed are not necessarily those of Aviation Week.
  11. Post Election Topics / Tactics

    Debate may be limited by the new age government. September 17, 2017 2:38 pm Updated: September 17, 2017 2:50 pm Trudeau government looks to limit debate on big priorities as Parliament returns By Joanna Smith The Canadian Press OTTAWA – The Liberal government is heading into the second half of its mandate with a number of big legislative priorities they are eager to move through Parliament. And they are ready to curtail debate if they think the opposition parties are dragging their feet – especially since the will of the increasingly independent Senate is becoming harder to predict. READ MORE: Trudeau’s tax reforms: Here’s how the loopholes work “We know that there’s going to be vigorous debate and there is going to be partisanship and politics on many ideas,” said Cameron Ahmad, a spokesman for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “It’s how our system works, but at the same time I don’t think it’s necessary for every single issue to be framed around partisanship.” WATCH: Should the Liberals postpone the pot legalization start date? This spring, the Liberal government backed down on part of its plan to alter the ins and outs of parliamentary procedure, abandoning some of the more controversial reforms that the Conservatives and New Democrats had been battling for weeks. Still, House leader Bardish Chagger warned at the time this would come with a cost, telling her political rivals that since they could not agree on other ways to speed things along, the Liberals would be ready to impose time allocation – a heavy-handed tactic that limits debate. That remains the case as MPs return to Ottawa this week, especially since the Liberals want to act quickly on priorities such as the legalization of marijuana, a tougher law on impaired driving and the new National Security Act. READ MORE: Liberals’ small business tax changes have Canadians wondering about their motives: Ipsos poll Other big goals for the fall include political financing reforms and an air passengers bill of rights “In our current system, in the interest of fulfilling the ambitious mandate that we committed to fulfilling, at times, time allocation might be necessary,” Ahmad said. NDP House Leader Murray Rankin said he was disappointed with the approach, especially since the Liberals had joined the NDP in criticizing the previous Conservative government of prime minister Stephen Harper for imposing time allocation so often. WATCH: Conservative leader Andrew Scheer continues to take aim at Liberals over Omar Khadr payout “The real reason they are doing it is because their legislative output, as compared to just about any recent Canadian government, has been limited,” he said. “So it’s not a surprise they feel they’re compelled to use the strong-armed, anti-democratic techniques that both the Liberals and the NDP opposed when Harper was in power.” The Conservatives, meanwhile, are planning to focus a lot of their energy on stirring up more opposition to the Liberal government’s proposed tax changes for small businesses, a topic that is expected to dominate question period in the House of Commons this week. “The Conservative caucus will begin deploying every parliamentary tool possible to fight this,” said Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre, who is framing it as a tax increase on small businesses and family farmers. READ MORE: Improving economy won’t knock Liberals from deficit path: Bill Morneau Poilievre said he is planning to introduce a motion at the House of Commons finance committee Tuesday, asking that all other work be set aside so the MPs can study the Liberal government’s plan to end tax provisions used by a growing number of small businesses. The proposed changes have sparked a revolt by doctors, lawyers, farmers, financial planners, home builders, shop owners and other incorporated small business owners – as well as Liberal backbenchers, who have been getting an earful from constituents throughout the summer. WATCH: Ottawa won’t be ‘heavy-handed’ in Muskrat Falls hydro project dispute Finance Bill Morneau released the controversial, three-pronged plan in mid-July, which includes restricting the ability of business owners to lower their tax rate by sprinkling income to family members in lower tax brackets, even if those family members do no work for the business. READ MORE: Ottawa fends off criticism over Irma disaster response He also proposed limiting tech use of private corporations to make passive investments in things like stocks or real estate and limiting the ability to convert the regular income of a corporation into capital gains, which are typically taxed at a lower rate. Poilievre said he wants the committee to study the changes before the consultation period ends Oct. 2. Ahmad noted the Morneau said he wants to gather a variety of opinions on the changes, but does not plan to alter his overall approach. “We fundamentally believe that they system needs to be made more fair and one way to do that is to ensure that certain people don’t get advantages that others don’t, just because of their income,” he said.
  12. Neologism

    and more:
  13. Rodent meat – a sustainable way to feed the world? And Down Under Bigger appetite for kangaroo meat needed to rein in booming roo numbers, ecologist says
  14. Post Election Topics / Tactics

    Their summer vacation is over and now back to business (so to speak). Legislation worth watching WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN THE HOUSE AND SENATE RESUME SITTING Calgary Herald 16 Sep 2017 MARIE- DANIELLE SMITHADRIAN WYLD / THE CANADIAN PRESS What should you watch for this fall as the Trudeau government hits its busy midterm? Both the House of Commons and Senate will start sitting again this week. For the first time during Trudeau’s mandate, he will face permanent opposition leaders: Conservative Andrew Scheer, and whomever New Democrats elect in October. We will find out if this fact, or the government’s handling of key files this fall, will extend or disrupt the honeymoon Liberals have enjoyed. Here’s a list of some legislation worth watching: MAJOR BILLS Legal pot and drug- impaired driving (C-45 and C-46): The bill setting a legal framework around a recreational marijuana market was being studied in marathon committee hearings this week. Debate will continue in the House of Commons around federal rules covering the production and sale of weed, but also in provincial jurisdictions, where age limits, points of sale and more are being decided — like Ontario’s plan to give government storefronts a monopoly on cannabis sales. A subsequent bill introduces new criminal offences for drug-impaired driving and, controversially, gives cops the ability to compel alcohol breathalyzer tests without cause. National security (C-59): The Liberals’ answer to the Conservative anti-terrorism law, remembered as Bill C- 51, beefs up oversight on security agencies, revamps the role of the Communications Security Establishment and tightens and specifically prescribes the powers of CSIS. Changes are extensive, so expect a serious debate. Transport modernization (C- 49): Sweeping changes to air and rail transportation were being discussed in committee this week. The bill includes a “passenger bill of rights” and an extensive list of changes to how railway companies should operate. Access to information (C-58): A new law amending access-to-information rules is less than what the Liberals promised during their election campaign, which has elicited criticism and will continue to be brought up. ON THE DOCKET IN THE SENATE Sex- based inequities in the Indian Act ( S-3): A bill to remove sex-based inequities in the registration of Indigen- ous people as “status” Indians under the Indian Act has faced considerable backlash in the Senate for, senators and advocates believe, not going far enough to remove discrimination from the system. The Liberals have now had to seek two different court extensions on a decision that initially prompted the bill. The government rejected Senate amendments on the final day of Commons sittings this spring. Senators appear prepared to battle the government indefinitely, so watch for a fiery standoff. National anthem ( C- 210): A private member’s bill to change a few words in the national anthem continues to stall at third reading in the Senate after Conservative senators successfully delayed its passage. The bill changes “in all thy sons command” to “in all of us command” so lyrics are more gender-neutral. Sexual assault training for judges ( C- 337): A private member’s bill from former interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose passed unanimously in the Commons and currently sits at second reading in the Senate. It would require federal judges to receive training on sexual assault offences. SENATE BILLS IN THE HOUSE Plain packaging for tobacco (S-5): After it got through the Senate this spring, the government won’t have trouble passing a bill governing new rules for tobacco packaging, and introducing the first-ever regulations around vaping. But it will still hear criticism from the tobacco industry, which says the bill will give organized crime a leg up by making it easier to produce counterfeit products. STILL TO COME Tax reform: Bill’s bills are coming. Arguably the summer’s biggest talker were new tax reforms suggested by Finance Minister Bill Morneau. Draft legislation is on the table for two out of three proposals that seek to increase fairness in the tax system and, per Morneau, close loopholes that allowed the wealthy to lessen their tax burdens. Formal legislation won’t be introduced until after a cross- country consultation is over. It could happen this fall. Tories will put up as big a fight as they can muster. Elections reform: Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould told the National Post a new elections bill could come as early as fall. It could include time limits on election campaigns and restrict how third- party advocacy organizations participate in elections. Andrew Coyne: Dangerous days lie ahead for symbol over substance Liberals ‎Yesterday, ‎September ‎15, ‎2017, ‏‎6:21:22 PM | Andrew Coyne Viewed from one direction the Liberals can take some satisfaction, as Parliament resumes Monday, from their current standing in the polls. With a lead of roughly 10 points over the Conservatives, they would win another comfortable majority were an election to be held today. Viewed in another way they may be inclined to some unease. Only 10 points? Down from the 20-point lead they enjoyed not a year ago? With unemployment at a nine-year low and neither of the main opposition parties, until recently, in possession of a permanent leader? There may come a time when the Trudeau government, now halfway through its expected life, looks back on the last two years as halcyon days. It was all so easy then: a decapitated opposition, a complacent public, a fawning media. The Liberals may have won election on a false premise — the stagnation in middle class incomes, disproved yet again by this week’s census data, not to mention the “recession” that never was — but of what importance was that, after they’d won? Less easily dismissed, they ran on a platform that was largely divided between promises they had no intention of keeping — balancing the budget by their fourth year, say, or reforming the electoral system — and promises they hadn’t the first clue how to achieve. This is a government, and a prime minister, much given to the grand gesture, the sweeping statement, with the details left to be filled in later. And it is those “details” that may pose the greater threat. Nobody minds a broken promise half so much as a cocked-up one. It was one thing to adopt the same stance on transfers to the provinces as the Harper government, having campaigned on a promise to increase them, or the same targets for carbon emissions they had earlier attacked as inadequate. Andrew Coyne: Scheer's 'positive message' lost in all the negativity Trudeau peppered on issues likely to plague him when Parliament resumes Small businesses, Trudeau government headed for autumn tax showdown People have been educated to expect no more of incoming governments. The promise to end the combat mission against ISIL was likewise easily fudged, transformed into a “non-combat” mission that involves firing on the enemy in a war zone. No body bags, no pictures; no pictures, no story. But the revolt of small business over a package of proposed tax changes will not so readily be set to one side. No doubt the closing of a few tax preferences, of benefit mostly to the well-to-do, was intended to fit with the Liberals’ preferred image as defenders of the middle class against the predatory rich. But the effect, with the Tories’ encouragement, has been to offend a great many not-so-rich small business owners — even those unaffected by the changes. The immediate damage is probably containable, with a few tweaks. But the longer-term impact may be to add to the picture the Tories are trying to paint of an entitled prime minister with no feeling for the struggles of the average person — one who vacations on the Aga Khan’s private island and dines with Chinese billionaires at private fundraisers. The Aboriginal file is potentially even more dangerous. The contrast, between the Liberal leader who in opposition endorsed all 94 recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on the day its report was released, and the prime minister who has yet to deliver on such basics as clean drinking water for reserves, is pure Trudeau: big on symbolism, not so big on substance. On some files, the two are not merely contrasted, but in conflict. Witness the increasingly surreal demands the Liberals have been making at the NAFTA negotiating table: a gender chapter, a climate change chapter, even the wholesale abolition of “right-to-work” laws in the 28 states that have them, as if the Trump White House either would or could demand they must. The long-running farce over the CF-18 replacement continues, meanwhile. Boeing having calmly ignored the government’s daft threat to cancel the super-urgent “interim” Super Hornet contract if it did not drop its trade remedy suit against Bombardier, the Liberals have been reduced to inquiring whether they could buy second-hand fighter jets from Australia. The flood of asylum-seekers on the Quebec border, likewise, though it has receded from its peak, could well resume at any time: it is the government that will wear any resulting disorder, not least after Trudeau’s — again, the grand gesture — seemingly open invitation for them to come. Bill C-45, legalizing marijuana, may pass soon enough, but provinces and police forces are complaining the arbitrary July 2018 deadline for implementation is unattainable; here as well the blame, if anything goes wrong, will attach itself to the Liberals. These are matters less of ideology than of competence. And yet Liberals must be mindful of how exposed their position may soon become on either flank, as the new leaders of the Conservatives and, next month, the NDP begin to find their voice. They tilted quite a long way to the left, while the NDP was otherwise distracted. But if they try to tilt back to the right, for example by forcing through the Trans Mountain pipeline project — the last of three proposals for shipping Alberta crude to overseas markets and the basis, in combination with a national carbon tax, of the Liberals’ claim to the middle ground on the energy/climate issue — they risk losing votes to their left. No one can predict what the next two years will bring. Short of a recession, it is still hard to see how the Grits could lose in 2019. But for the first time, it is not inconceivable. The smirks have not been wiped entirely from Liberal faces, but they look a little more forced.