Sunday, June 20, 2004

Free Our Skies! 

Air Canada is no longer a Crown Corporation. Which is why a law written specifically against it is stupid and should be repealed. Props on the Conservatives for this.
The letter indicates that a Conservative government would aim to "create a competitive environment in the airline industry and leave airlines alone in their fight to attract customers."
You see, that's good. If someone needs French service outside Quebec, or English service in Quebec, the market will provide. If it's not necessary, you're wasting taxpayer money enforcing bilingualism laws, and hurting the airlines.

Let Air Canada be. Sure, let them be the flag carrier outside Canada, but there's no point in treating them differently in domestic skies.

But no, 'cuz our country's a schizophrenic (no offense) mess, Stephen Harper has to come out and appease the offended, not that it made things any better.
In an attempt to ride out any turbulence, Harper announced Sunday that he would kill the Air Canada Public Participation Act but replace its language provisions by making the country's bilingualism law apply to all airlines.
The airline industry is going through tough times, and imposing official bilingualism rules (i.e. the rules used in the federal government itself) on everyone in the industry is insane. Double negative props on the Conservatives for this.

The most I think should be on the books is a legal requirement for bilingual safety information. And that's already in the Transport Act.

A note: my local MP and Conservative candidate, James Moore, had this to say when initially asked on the story:
Conservative transportation critic James Moore says that, if elected, his party would reach an agreement with carriers to "provide effective bilingual services for customers where numbers warrant."
Where numbers warrant: i.e. if people needed it. That I can live with. James, I'm cheering for you. Make us proud!

But government style bilingualism for private airlines? Insane. I suppose the most sensible solutions are the ones that come up before the politics kick in.

I don't know what's more frustrating, the Conservatives doing the political equivalent of yoga to make sure they don't offend anyone, or the whole damn country for punishing anyone that doesn't contort themselves like this.
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