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Monday, May 29, 2017

Canadian flyers to get bill of rights; ban on 'bumping'



   Canada column for Sunday, May 28/17

   THE CANADIAN REPORT
   (c) By Jim Fox

   Canadian flyers will be getting their own bill of rights from the government that will end the practise of “bumping” people against their will.
   Bumping has been the subject of ugly scenes recently on several U.S. airlines and will be part of the changes expected to become law next year.
   Even before that happens, Transport Minister Marc Garneau wants the country’s airlines to live up to the spirit of its bill.
   He has called on airline executives to voluntarily stop removing passengers from full flights against their will and to ensure that children can be seated next to a parent at no extra cost.
   The bill would set minimum levels of compensation for people who voluntarily agree to be bumped.
   It would also make airlines establish clear standards of treatment and compensation for circumstances such as lost or damaged luggage, delays while sitting on the tarmac and other non-weather related issues.
   The amendments would raise the cap on foreign ownership in airlines and require railways to install voice and video recorders in locomotives.

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   The federal Conservative Party’s interim leader Rona Ambrose is quitting politics to join a Washington “think tank.”
   In seeking a “new chapter in my life,” Ambrose said she will resign her position as an Alberta Member of Parliament at the start of the summer break.
   Her announcement comes as the Conservatives are choosing a new leader this weekend.
   She will become a visiting fellow at the Canada Institute of the Wilson Center, a Washington, D.C. public policy organization.
   Among her initiatives are to bring Canadian and America officials together to explore issues relating to the North American economy.

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   News in brief:
   - Canada has announced plans to host the G7 summit next year in Charlevoix, Quebec. As the current summit of world leaders winds up in Sicily, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is looking at inclusive growth and gender equality as major themes next year. Canada has hosted the event in Montebello, Quebec in 1981; Halifax, 1995; Alberta’s Kananaskis Country, 2002; and Huntsville, Ontario in 2010.
   - The big banks are reporting huge second-quarter earnings, led by $2.81 billion in net income for the Royal Bank. Second-largest Toronto-Dominion had strong retail and investment business for $2.5 billion while the CIBC’s earnings reached $1.05 billion for the three-month period. Banks benefitted from high account balances in personal checking accounts and growth in commercial loans and deposits.

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   Facts and figures:
   Canada’s dollar has advanced to 74.27 cents U.S. as the U.S. dollar is lower at $1.346 Canadian, before exchange fees.
   The Bank of Canada’s key interest rate is steady at 0.5 percent while the prime-lending rate is 2.7 percent.
   Stock markets are mixed, with the Toronto exchange index down at 15,409 points while the TSX Venture index is up at 805 points.
   The average price for gas in Canada is higher at $1.128 a liter or $4.28 (Canadian) for a U.S. gallon.
   Lotto 6/49: (May 24) 3, 5, 9, 22, 37 and 46; bonus 10. (May 20) 5, 8, 10, 20, 33 and 34; bonus 45. Lotto Max: (May 19) 8, 11, 18, 25, 34, 35 and 38; bonus 44.

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   Regional briefs:
   - Cecile and Annette Dionne, last surviving sisters of the famous Dionne quintuplets, are marking their 83rd birthdays on Sunday. Their wishes include seeking consistent funding for their soon-to-be-relocated log cabin birthplace in North Bay, Ontario and to see Canada do more to prevent child abuse. They became a public sensation with their birth in 1934 near Corbeil, Ontario.
   - A painting by the late folk artist Maud Lewis of Nova Scotia has sold for $45,000, almost three times its estimated price. It was discovered at a New Hamburg, Ontario thrift store run by the Mennonite Central Committee. The “Portrait of Eddie Barnes and Ed Murphy, Lobster Fishermen” and was among paintings the woman sold for only several dollars from her home.

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Jim Fox can be reached at canadareport@hotmail.com

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