The airline Air Canada has announced that it will cut a number of its routes starting January 23, putting at risk about 1,700 jobs across the country for the first quarter of 2021.
Air Canada’s decision is part of the restructuring of the company in accordance with its mitigation and recovery plan following the COVID-19 pandemic. In a statement, the airline indicates that this will reduce “approximately 25% of its planned capacity for the first quarter of 2021».
As a result of these system-wide changes, 1,700 jobs will be lost, and nearly 200 employees at its Express carrier will be affected. The airline claims that it “works with its unions on mitigation programs».
Flights between Gander and Happy Valley-Goose Bay in Newfoundland and Labrador and Halifax in Nova Scotia, as well as those between Saint John, Newfoundland and Labrador and Toronto are also canceled.
A huge disappointment
Ed Ratuski, general manager of Kamloops airport, expects these flight suspensions to remain in effect until March.
Video: Federal officials uncomfortable using French in the office (Le Devoir)
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COVID-19: England returns to total containment
Faced with the alarming spread of the new variant of the coronavirus, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the reconfinement of England until mid-February. The highest level of restrictions imposed on nearly 80% of the English population was not enough to stem the spread of the new variant (50 to 70% more contagious, according to British scientists). With more than 75,000 dead, the UK is one of the countries in Europe most bereaved by COVID-19 and the trend has worsened in recent weeks. In English hospitals, the number of patients with the virus – nearly 27,000 – “increased by nearly a third” in one week. “We must therefore enter a national confinement that is strong enough to control this variant” —Boris Johnson As during the first containment in the spring and unlike the second in November, schools will be closed and will switch to distance education from Tuesday. The confinement is to come into effect from 12:01 am on Wednesday. If the conditions are met, the confinement will be lifted in mid-February, at which time, hopes Boris Johnson, all those over 70 years old will be vaccinated.
Death of a girl in Laval: the neighborhood in shock
The peaceful rue de Bouthillier in Laval has turned into a crime scene since a 7-year-old girl was found lifeless. The tragedy that shook the family of Afghan origin is still considered a “suspicious death” according to police and no arrests have yet been made. Police are unable to confirm whether the girl died of abuse. “There are currently 12 forensic investigators on site who are crime scene experts. It should be understood that investigators are working very hard to understand the circumstances surrounding the death of the young girl. », Explains Stéphanie Beshara, public affairs officer at the Laval Police Department. The latter says that an autopsy should be done on the young victim on Monday. “The autopsy will really allow us to know what exactly happened and what caused the death of the young girl. When officers arrived at the scene, six family members, in addition to the victim, were at the scene, police confirm. The latter were all met with an interpreter during the night, as they speak Farsi. They are all considered “witnesses” at this stage of the investigation.
Longer and stricter confinement already demanded
Public health experts are calling for an extension of the lockdown after January 11 in Quebec, given the continued increase in the number of new daily cases of COVID-19. Unless there is a change in tone from Quebec this week, the reopening of schools and non-essential businesses is still scheduled for next Monday. However, the latest data published by the authorities on the state of the pandemic in the province are giving shivers. While the effects of confinement should have started to be felt on the epidemiological curve, new daily contaminations have continued to increase. On January 3, the authorities’ report showed 7,663 additional COVID-19 contaminations between December 31 and January 2. According to Marina Klein, professor of medicine at McGill University, specializing in infectious and viral diseases, there was a sustained and widespread community transmission before the holidays, and it developed despite the measures put in place during celebrations. “We must put in place strict containment measures as soon as possible, including delaying the return to school, keeping all businesses, except the most important, closed and limiting travel,” she said. The professor says she understands the fatigue of Quebecers, who have been immersed for more than nine months in this pandemic, but believes necessary the extension and strengthening of containment measures.
For his part, the mayor of Kamloops, Ken Christian, said to himself “more than disappointed»To see the cancellation of the only direct air connection between his city and Vancouver.
«When you have companies like the British Columbia Lottery Corporation having their provincial headquarters in Kamloops, it is simply unimaginable that you have no air access so they can move employees back and forth.“, did he declare.
The municipality is in talks with Pacific Coastal Airlines, Central Mountain Air and WestJet to see if they can fill the void.
A vital service in Prince Rupert
The City of Prince Rupert does not hide its disappointment either, according to its administrator, Rosa Miller.
There is “significant growth opportunitiesIn what is Canada’s third largest port, she said. She considers these travel interruptions to mean “a disruption of Canada’s growing global business interestsAnd the province’s economic recovery.
Prince Rupert Chamber of Commerce President Michelle Boomars-MacNeill said discussions began Wednesday morning to try to convince Air Canada to reverse its decision, while there is still time.
Air Canada says it will contact customers affected by the cancellations and will be offered several options, including refunds or alternate routes, if applicable.