fbpx
Connect with us

News

Three senators spent $151K on government jets to fly home during pandemic

All three flew aboard Department of Transport Cessna C-550 jets. The aircraft has an operating cost of $1,400 an hour. Flight times put combined expenses at more than $151,000.

mm

Published

on

Despite health officials warning against air travel, three senators defied the ban and repeatedly used government jets to get to Ottawa and back home at taxpayer’s expense, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

“In the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Transport Canada provided aircraft to accommodate the travel requirements,” said Chloé Fedio, spokeswoman for the Government Representative in the Senate.

Fedio said senators had to fly back and forth from home “for the purpose of emergency Senate recalls.”

All three flew aboard Department of Transport Cessna C-550 jets. The aircraft has an operating cost of $1,400 an hour. Flight times put combined expenses at more than $151,000.

The health department at the time told Canadians to limit their movements to “going to the grocery store.”

Senate Speaker George Furey (Nfld. & Labrador) took eight flights back and forth between Ottawa and St. John’s since the outbreak of the pandemic on March 11, 2020 to July 1. Furey did not respond to questions.

Senator Raymond Gagné (Man.) took four jet flights back and forth from Winnipeg. Gagné did not explain why she did not remain in Ottawa to attend to Senate business.

Senator Donald Plett (Man.), Opposition Leader in the Senate, also took eight flights between Ottawa and Winnipeg over the period.

Asked what constituency business he had in his home province, Plett replied: “Manitoba is where I live.”

The Privy Council Office in one internal e-mail praised flight crews for “your heroic efforts” in flying senators across three provinces.

“I simply want to take a moment to express my sincere appreciation for all your incredible efforts,” wrote Matthew Shea, chief financial officer at the Privy Council Office.

The health department at the time said “non-essential travel” included visits with family and friends.

“Ask yourself before you go out this weekend, is what I’m about to do worth the risk?” Health Minister Patricia Hajdu told reporters last July 24.

“Wanting to be with other people is normal. It’s also normal to be confused with the new measures and changes that have been happening.”

“We have the ability to choose our destiny here in Canada. It is in all our hands.”

Hajdu herself jetted 11 times between Ottawa and her home in Thunder Bay, Ont., typically for weekends. The Department of Transport estimated Hajdu’s flights cost $73,220.

“Think again,” Hajdu said March 23, 2020.

“We are asking Canadians really to conduct only essential business, going to the grocery store, going to the post office, going to the pharmacy.

“It is essential that people are following the advice of Public Health and the advice is getting stronger and stronger,” Hajdu said March 22.

“With the stronger advice will be coming more and more penalties if people don’t listen.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

News

Flights from Vancouver to Kamloops priced more than $1,200 over Christmas

BC flight prices have skyrocketed over the Christmas season following flood damage to highways.

mm

Published

on

Following substantial flooding in November, which led to savaged highways and infrastructure, many of those planning to visit family out of town for Christmas are forced to fly — and some will be paying exorbitant prices for it.

For example, a WestJet round trip — listed on Expedia — from Vancouver to Kamloops, BC on December 22, with a return flight on December 27 is listed at $1,264 as of Wednesday morning.

The normally 30-minute flight includes a nearly four-hour layover in Calgary.

On TripAdvisor, the same round trip is priced similarly.

Those planning a round trip from Vancouver to Kelowna, BC on the same dates will save a few hundred bucks in comparison to those headed for Kamloops. For example, one round trip with WestJet from Vancouver to Kelowna — December 22-27 — is listed at $741 on Wednesday, although it includes a six-hour layover in Edmonton.

Normal flight times between the locales are 55 minutes.

Prices on WestJet’s website are comparable. On Air Canada’s site, all are currently sold out for the aforementioned dates and locations.

However, those travelling between Vancouver and Kelowna can find cheaper trips on Swoop if they fly out of Abbotsford, BC. On Wednesday morning, a non-stop round trip from Abbotsford to Kelowna, departing on December 22 and returning on December 29, is priced under $300.

Reid Small is a BC-based reporter for the Western Standard
rsmall@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/reidsmall

Continue Reading

News

Top Ontario doc says separating vaxxed and unvaxxed best way to get COVID under control

Ontario has had more than 626,000 cases of COVID-19 which has left more than 10,000 people dead.

mm

Published

on

One of the ways to bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control is to stop “the mixing of unvaccinated and vaccinated,” says Ontario’s chief medical officer.

“Basic means of protecting individuals is stopping the mixing of unvaccinated and vaccinated,” said Dr. Kieran Moore at a Tuesday press conference.

“And if our cases continue through and after the holidays we would make recommendations of government to continue the certification process in play. But we’ll continue to review the data. We do have a very robust testing strategy in Ontario for the winter months as we’ve released previously. We’ve purchased … 11 million rapid antigen test for all students in Ontario.”

Moore was asked whether COVID-19 is “something we’re just going to have to learn to live with” and whether it would ever go away.

“We have a long ways to go with the World Health Organization and other international organizations to try to decrease the number of individuals in which this virus can mutate and/or spread,” he said.

“But I do see a time when we’ll have low, endemic rates and it will turn out to be like influenza or other winter respiratory viruses where there’s a seasonality to it, where it does have an intermittent impact on our health-care system and like influenza, you need an annual vaccine to protect against it.”

Ontario has had more than 626,000 cases of COVID-19 which has left more than 10,000 people dead.

Continue Reading

News

Trudeau’s beach denier demoted

Trudeau was photographed twice on a beach in Tofino after deciding to skip the first day of a holiday he created — the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation on September 30.

mm

Published

on

The Justin Trudeau spokesman who told reporters the prime minister “wasn’t on a beach” when he was, has been demoted, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

Trudeau was photographed twice on a beach in Tofino after deciding to skip the first day of a holiday he created — the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation on September 30.

Trudeau had promised to “set a higher bar for openness and transparency in government.”

Alex Wellstead will be “taking on new challenges” as press secretary to the industry minister, the Prime Minister’s Office said yesterday.  

Wellstead. Courtesy Twitter

Wellstead in a statement called it “a very difficult decision to make.” He had worked as Trudeau’s official spokesman for 20 months.

Wellstead on September 30 issued misleading statements to conceal the fact Trudeau spent the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation at a beach resort in Tofino, B.C.

“He wasn’t on a beach,” Wellstead told The Canadian Press at the time. Global News and the weekly Chilliwack Progress photographed Trudeau strolling on the beach and enjoying a glass of beer on a beachfront patio.

The Prime Minister’s Office claimed Trudeau was in private meetings in Ottawa. Staff flew an Indian Residential School “survivors’ flag” and issued a solemn statement in Trudeau’s name.

“We remember the children who never made it home,” it said.

Wellstead did not explain his conduct.

“You as a communicator need to understand everything,” Wellstead said in a March 30 interview with public relations students at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ont.

The prime minister in 2015 Ministerial Mandate letters said officials must be truthful and transparent.

“Members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery, indeed all journalists in Canada and abroad, are professionals who by asking necessary questions contribute in an important way to the democratic process,” wrote Trudeau.

“Your professionalism and engagement with them is essential.

“We have committed to set a higher bar for openness and transparency in government. It is time to shine more light on government to ensure it remains focused on the people it serves.

“Government and its information should be open by default. If we want Canadians to trust their government, we need a government that trusts Canadians.

“It is important that we acknowledge mistakes when we make them. Canadians do not expect us to be perfect. They expect us to be honest, open and sincere in our efforts to serve the public interest.”

Trudeau on October 6 apologized for the Tofino holiday.

“Traveling on September 30 was a mistake and I regret it,” the prime minister told reporters.

“What made you decide to take a personal trip on a day your government set aside to honour the victims and survivors of residential schools?” asked a reporter.

“Like I said, it was a mistake,” replied Trudeau.

Continue Reading

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Share

Petition: No Media Bailouts

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

833 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.

Share this with your friends:

Trending

Copyright © Western Standard New Media Corp.