Easing urban traffic congestion no simple task

Cities are establishing taxes on electric cars and other low-emission vehicles to reduce traffic and raise infrastructure funds

Easing urban traffic congestion no simple taskThe state of Oregon recently became the latest devotee of a variation of congestion fees. The system falls short, even if the goal is worthy. It’s a sort of tax on road use more commonly directed at motorists and commercial vehicle drivers who access the central area of a city. Those drivers presumably add to…

What does the future hold for Canada’s airline industry?

Huge financial losses, massive layoffs and stringent safety protocols for the few remaining passengers sets a dark tone

What does the future hold for Canada’s airline industry?Many Canadians look forward to travelling when the COVID-19 pandemic comes to an end (whenever that may be). Unfortunately, flying the friendly skies is quickly becoming far less friendly. Air Canada temporarily suspended all flights to the U.S. on April 26. Passengers are required to wear masks for the entirety of any trip, and flight…

Ottawa doing too little to protect Canadians

For weeks, the government told us that we’re prepared for COVID-19. Its early actions demonstrated something entirely different

Ottawa doing too little to protect CanadiansProvide a timely response. Ensure transparency. Tell the truth. These are just some of the basic tenets of crisis communications, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his crisis response team would do well to take them to heart because, so far during the COVID-19 crisis, their statements and actions have missed the mark in every…

COVID-19 will prompt a rethink of globalization

In the wake of COVID-19, we need to reconfigure our economy and society so they are less vulnerable to external shocks

COVID-19 will prompt a rethink of globalizationAmerican historian Frank Snowden pulls no punches. He says the “coronavirus is emphatically a disease of globalization.” And the most severe blows strike at cities that are “densely populated and linked by rapid air travel, by movements of tourists, of refugees, all kinds of businesspeople, all kinds of interlocking networks.” In this respect, the virus…

Is the transportation world segueing to Segways?

While authorities quibble over the pros and cons of personal transportation devices, plenty of manufacturers are churning out cheap options

Is the transportation world segueing to Segways?Despite the fact that it’s pollution free, efficient and tremendous fun to ride, the self-balancing Segway is still stuck in limbo because, says Transport Canada, personal transport devices (PTs) are not “compliant.” And while the federal government and the provinces try to make up their minds, nobody’s going anywhere on them … at least not…

Putting the Greta Effect to good use

The young Swedish climate activist has raised the public consciousness about our day-to-day energy consumption choices

Putting the Greta Effect to good useA new term has entered our language: the Greta Effect. This refers to the impact of Greta Thunberg, the teenage Swedish climate activist who was named the 2019 Person of the Year by Time magazine. Thunberg has made it clear that we’re in a climate crisis and the time to act to avert disaster is…

CN strike exposes Canadian infrastructure flaws

Most of Canada’s transportation system, from Halifax to Vancouver, has been undercapitalized for years

CN strike exposes Canadian infrastructure flawsAfter a harvest from hell across the country, farmers now have to deal with a new problem: the CN strike. Over 3,000 Canadian National Railway Co. employees out of about 24,000 in Canada and the United States are off the job. They’re asking for better working conditions and safety improvements. Perhaps it’s not the most…

Airport land lease fees inflate Canadian travel costs

The land leases that the federal government requires of the 26 largest public sector airports under its control in Canada are entirely avoidable

Airport land lease fees inflate Canadian travel costsTravellers will be annoyed at yet another hike in the airport improvement fee (AIF), from $20 to $25, on every airline ticket originating at Vancouver International Airport (YVR). But that’s a relatively minor irritant compared to another major airport expense that raises costs to airlines and, as a result, air fares. The land leases that…

High-speed rail case difficult to make

Governments and taxpayers need to look more closely at several factors, including transportation, impact and costs

High-speed rail case difficult to makeListen to the promoters and you would think the Vancouver-to-Seattle-to-Portland high-speed rail proposal is a great idea. For many, high-speed rail is a panacea that promises to solve all of our transportation and environmental problems. But governments and taxpayers need to look more closely at several factors, including transportation, impact and costs. High-speed rail has…

Canadian airlines see growth in revenue and passengers

Canadian airlines see growth in revenue and passengersOperating revenue for the 26 largest Canadian air carriers totalled $6.6 billion in the first quarter, up 8.8 per cent from the first quarter of 2018, according to a study released by Statistics Canada on Monday. “The gain was driven primarily by increases in both passenger (+8.8 per cent) and goods (+6.0 per cent) revenue.…

WestJet sale to Onex clears another hurdle

WestJet sale to Onex clears another hurdleCalgary-based WestJet Airlines Ltd. has announced that Canada’s Competition Bureau has granted unconditional approval for WestJet's proposed sale to Onex Corp. by issuing a no-action letter. “Receiving unconditional approval from the Canadian Competition Bureau is another important step on our path to closing the transaction. We continue to engage with the relevant authorities on the…

Record quarterly revenue for Canadian Pacific Railway

Revenue growth across every line of business, says company

Record quarterly revenue for Canadian Pacific RailwayCalgary-based Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. announced on Tuesday record second-quarter revenues of $1.98 billion, an increase of 13 per cent from last year. It also had record earnings per share (EPS) with reported diluted EPS of $5.17 or $4.30 on an adjusted diluted EPS basis. “I commend the team for this record second-quarter performance,” said…

WestJet, Delta Air Lines move closer to joint venture

Canadian Competition Bureau gives clearance. Regulatory approval still needed from U.S. Department of Transportation

WestJet, Delta Air Lines move closer to joint ventureCalgary-based WestJet and Delta Air Lines announced on Thursday that their proposed U.S.-Canada transborder joint venture has received clearance under Canada's Competition Act from the Canadian Competition Bureau.  The airlines said the bureau issued a no-action letter confirming that it doesn’t intend to challenge the proposed joint venture agreement between WestJet and Delta. “Today's clearance by…

WestJet sale to Onex approved by federal minister

Deal still subject to conditions, including other regulatory approvals and approval by the security holders on July 23

WestJet sale to Onex approved by federal ministerCalgary-based WestJet Airlines Ltd. says Onex Corp. has received approval from the federal minister of Transport to acquire WestJet provided the acquisition doesn’t raise public issues related to national transportation. It was announced in May that WestJet was being sold to Onex in a deal that is worth about $5 billion, including assumed debt. The…
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