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Covid-Bucks flying offshore, as Canadian taxpayers borrow to bail out foreign airlines

Feds give some of the 55.42 billion COVID-Bucks to foreign companies, including three Chinese state-owned airlines – like Cathay Pacific who had closed operations in Canada

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Liberals have been giving Canadians’ hard-earned tax dollars to foreign airlines during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been devasting to domestic carriers.

A dozen foreign airlines, including three Chinese state-owned carriers, have received payments under the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program – notwithstanding that many of those same companies concurrently received bailout packages from their own governments.

The CEWS searchable database is operated by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). A search of the CEWS database by Globe and Mail found 12 foreign airlines have received COVID-Bucks through the program.

These included Cathay Pacific, United Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Royal Jordanian, Lufthansa, KLM, El Al, Ethiopian Airlines and IndiGo Airlines – and three Chinese state-owned airlines; China Southern, Beijing Capital and Hainan.

To date the CEWS program has processed 1,969,530 claims and paid out approximately $55.42 billion tax dollars.

The Western Standard reported a related story on December 22 showing the Bank of China – with over US$3 trillion in assets as of 2019 – while being supported by Canadian taxpayers.

Many of the beneficiary airlines have also received generous financial aid from their own governments – such as Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific, and United Airlines, which landed $5-billion in bailouts, reported the Globe.

Even more puzzling, Cathay Pacific closed its Vancouver office in March just before the pandemic lockdowns began – so it is unclear how it qualified for the wage subsidy.

“This is unbelievable,” Unifor president Jerry Dias told the Globe.

“You have Canada creating an even bigger economic disadvantage for Canadian airlines by subsidizing their workers in Canada when their parent companies are also giving them billions of dollars.”

WestJet president and chief executive officer Ed Sims said: “Our government is putting out a welcome mat for international airlines while punishing Canadian airlines and their workers,”

In addition to wage subsidies, Canada has offered airlines and other large employers loans at commercial rates. The aviation industry has received airport rent deferrals, and breaks on some fees.

The Canadian airlines and travel industries now want sector-specific aid, as their global rivals are receiving state aid at home in the form of cash grants, loans or equity stakes.

According to IATA, the U.S. has provided US$35.7-billion in relief to its carriers, while Germany has offered US$13.6-billion, of which Lufthansa received US$10-billion. France’s airline package totaled US$7.6-billion, and the United Kingdom offered US$3.3-billion.

Ken Grafton is the Western Standards Ottawa Bureau Chief. He can be reached at kgrafton@westernstandardonline.com

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Mars Hill

    January 10, 2021 at 12:16 am

    but but isn’t it the purpose of the globalist ccp msm cabal to bankrupt citizens so we can beg them to help us….. WAKE UP FOR F**KS SAKE… we need to research and get reliable news online then let our friends and neighbours know about them. This will settle down once President Trump cleans the house in his next term.

  2. ninetyninepct

    January 9, 2021 at 2:08 pm

    Another stunned Trudeau decision and yet, somehow, ignorant uninformed Easterners continue to vote for him. Western Independence is looking better every day.

    How is the Phoenix payroll system overhaul going? How many respirators has Trudeau’s friend manufactured with the $125 million cash advance? Close to zero. Why are the Media ignoring all these failures? Where has barbie’s infrastructure billions gone to? Has that money been deposited in one of the Trudeau approved Communist Chinese Banks? Is it being held in a secret account to be illegally used for an unnecessary election? It is my money, not his.

  3. godot

    January 8, 2021 at 4:59 pm

    And still Trudeau is ahead in the polls.

    • Charles Martell III

      January 9, 2021 at 4:00 pm

      No one ever said Canooks were a smart bunch . . .

      Remember when they voted against Balanced Budgets & Govt Surpluses ?

      • Mars Hill

        January 10, 2021 at 12:17 am

        the ccp and globalist control virtually all the media for him

      • Charles Martell III

        January 10, 2021 at 10:44 am

        Canada is toast . . .

        I believe the best hope for the West is to separate !

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WATCH: UCP MLA calls AHS ‘bloated’ and ‘underperforming’

“Even at a 90% inoculation rate in those 12 and older, we struggle with capacity,” said Guthrie criticizing AHS for the lack of available hospital beds throughout the pandemic and the many cancelled surgeries as a result.

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Alberta Health Services is “failing” and needs “transformation,” says UCP MLA for Airdrie-Cochrane Peter Guthrie in a Facebook post.

Guthrie posted the video on Tuesday and said after speaking with many of his constituents, he had been “wrestling” with his thoughts on the state of Alberta’s healthcare system.

Guthrie highlighted the two-year period of the pandemic going from “zero data and no vaccine” to having data from around the world and a vaccine, “yet we seem to be in a circular loop.”

“Even at a 90% inoculation rate in those 12 and older, we struggle with capacity,” said Guthrie, criticizing AHS for the lack of available hospital beds throughout the pandemic and the many cancelled surgeries as a result.

“And AHS seems to recite the same recycled ideas including masking, passports and other various restrictions.”

In September, Guthrie said he and other MLAs questioned AHS and the Alberta government on the use of vaccine passports saying they were “divisive and possibly ineffective in stopping transmission,” and were showing waning efficacy.

“I don’t feel our health leaders adjusted to this evidence,” said Guthrie.

Guthrie also criticized AHS for not investing in researching treatments for COVID-19 symptoms and for working to “deter” the use of early treatments.

“AHS and the College of Physicians (and Surgeons of Alberta – CPSA) have penalized, suspended and even revoked licenses’ of those Alberta doctors trying to find a treatment, including anti-viral medications, that may help a patient avoid symptoms.”

Guthrie took aim at the “billions of added dollars” the government has put into healthcare for AHS to hire more doctors yet said wait times have not improved across the province. He also referenced a report by the Fraser Institute that pegged Canada as second behind Switzerland for the most expensive universal healthcare system in the world, but added Canada also sits among the bottom on performance.

“This reinforces the need for reform,” said Guthrie, adding he doesn’t blame frontline workers and suggests we should be looking to those healthcare workers for suggestions on how to improve what he calls a “failing” healthcare system.

Guthrie said pre-COVID19 — and immediately after he was elected — he and other MLAs felt upper management changes in AHS were necessary.

“We felt that AHS was a bloated, underperforming entity that requires transformation,” said Guthrie.

“With the uninspiring performance of AHS over the last two years, right or wrong, that sentiment still holds with me.”

Guthrie said he believes “high-calibre candidates” should be sought outside of AHS and said the healthcare system in Alberta should not be left to continue struggling and suggested other strategies should be explored by professional consultants from outside AHS.

“We must endeavour to generate confidence, not fear,” said Guthrie encouraging people to share their ideas and thoughts on how to improve Alberta’s healthcare system.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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Omicron grounds every 1 in 5 WestJet flights in February

Customers affected by the new cutbacks will hear from WestJet within the next few days.

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A total of 20% of WestJet flights will be cancelled in February — Omicron and past layoffs are to blame.

“As we continue to navigate the unpredictability of the Omicron variant on our staffing levels, along with the ongoing barriers to international travel, we are making every effort to proactively manage our schedule in order to minimize disruption to our guests’ travel plans,” said President & CEO Harry Taylor in a press release. 

“To our guests impacted by these additional consolidations, we sincerely apologize for the disruption and appreciate your continued understanding and patience.”

Customers affected by the new cutbacks will hear from WestJet within the next few days.

The aviation industry is the only transportation sector in Canada requiring full vaccination status to use and is the highest COVID-19 tested consumer activity in the country.

“Canada remains one of the only countries in the world requiring multiple molecular tests for fully-vaccinated travellers — these testing resources should be redeployed to our communities,” said Taylor, commenting on the demand to stop arrival testing.

The measures are in addition to the 15% reduction in flights implemented in January because of staff shortages.

These events follow the December deadline for WestJet employees to be vaccinated, where hundreds of employees were fired because of their vaccination status.

Ewa Sudyk is a reporter for the Western Standard
esudyk@westernstandardonline.com

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News

Misery index places Canada in bottom ranks

“Canadians are rightly concerned about the country’s high inflation and unemployment rates, and when compared to other developed countries, Canada is not doing well.”

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Canada’s combination of high rates of inflation and unemployment have secured it the sixth most “miserable” advanced economy in the world.

Tuesday morning, the Fraser Institute released a study that ranked the International Monetary Fund’s top 35 economic countries.

With an inflation rate of 3.15% and unemployment rate of 7.72%, Canada’s 2021 Misery Index score is 10.88.

“Canadians are rightly concerned about the country’s high inflation and unemployment rates, and when compared to other developed countries, Canada is not doing well,” said Jason Clements, executive vice president of the Fraser Institute.

Fraser Institute

American economist Arthur Okun created the Misery Index to understand the level of economic strain felt on an everyday basis for regular citizens of a country.

Inflation and unemployment act as measures that drastically affect the costs of living that impacts economic well-being on an individual level.

Only five countries received worse scores than Canada, Spain in the last spot with a score of 17.61, followed by Greece (15.73), Italy (11.96) and Iceland (11.26)

Countries above Canada’s score include France (10.10), the United States (9.72), Australia (7.33), and the United Kingdom (7.17).

Japan (2.61) and Switzerland (3.57) received the top scores being the least miserable.

The Misery Index was prominent in policy discussions during the 1970s and 1980s, but fell out of the spotlight during the 1990s while inflation and unemployment was low.

“The fact we are again discussing the Misery Index and Canada’s high ranking on it is bad news for all Canadians, who will suffer as a result,” Clemens said.

“Governments across Canada, particularly the federal government, should prioritize those policies that will make Canadians less miserable by lowering inflation and unemployment.”

Ewa Sudyk is a reporter with the Western Standard
esudyk@westernstandardonline.com

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Petition: No Media Bailouts

We the undersigned call on the Canadian government to immediately cease all payouts to media companies.

1,097 signatures

No Media Bailouts

The fourth estate is critical to a functioning democracy in holding the government to account. An objective media can't maintain editorial integrity when it accepts money from a government we expect it to be critical of.

We the undersigned call on the Canadian government to immediately cease all payouts to media companies.

**your signature**



The Western Standard will never accept government bailout money. By becoming a Western Standard member, you are supporting government bailout-free and proudly western media that is on your side. With your support, we can give Westerners a voice that doesn\'t need taxpayers money.

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