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Spotted on June 14, 2011

Categories: Canada

Some delays reported as Air Canada strike begins

air-canada-strike-220-pic.jpgAir Canada customer service and sales staff went on strike at midnight Tuesday when their union failed to reach an agreement with the airline.

After a few early-morning delays in Atlantic Canada and Montreal, about 45 flights were reported cancelled or delayed at Toronto's Pearson Airport. Lineups were expected at gates, as passengers boarded their flights. An Air Canada spokesman attributed slower boarding to managers learning their new jobs.

Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said the airline is treating the work stoppage the same way it would a severe winter storm or some other irregular operation.

The strike generated a lot of discussion among community members.

letmetalk had a flight Tuesday and arrived three hours early anticipating long lines. "But wow, must say best check in ever with Air Canada. Someone helped with [the self check-in], then no line up, and service agents [were] fighting to help me. If this is the service we get with a strike then wow I say let them strike forever."

Whistler Five-0 isn't a fan of Air Canada's customer service. "While on strike, Air Canada staff should visit [the] WestJet school to learn proper technique when dealing with customers."

AshalGab had a different opinion. "Honestly I always travel with Air Canada and I think their service is pretty amazing. I really don't get why people say their customer service sucks. Whenever I do get a problem (if at all most of times), it gets resolved pretty easily. People probably expect nice service while being rude to the workers or something. Anyhow best of luck to both sides."

kmg708 weighed in on the debate about unions.

"Canadians are developing an increasingly low tolerance for unions demanding entitlements that most of us live without ... The result is that Canadians look for other options to replace these companies, and many will never return to the Post Office or Air Canada because they no longer hold the monopolies they once did."

pudljumpr has worked as an Air Canada pilot for more than 33 years.

"I have watched our staff deal with surly people, understaffing, irregular hours and a general lack of respect from the company and customers. They deserve better from both ... Flying airplanes is a skill that takes time, money and dedication. The expectation to be compensated better than an [Toronto Transit Commission] bus driver, after obtaining the equivalent of a doctorate of aviation, is not out of this world. Our junior pilots are not making more than a bus driver. So the end result is you get what you pay for. Ask yourself if you want the cheapest pilots available in the middle of a thunderstorm?"

Health Canada's asbestos advice rejected by government

asbestos-cp-9901353-220-pic.jpgCommenters have also been weighing in on a story about how the Canadian government rejected advice from Health Canada to add asbestos to a global list of hazardous materials in 2006.

According to documents obtained under Access to Information, a senior Health Canada bureaucrat wrote that the agency believed that chrysotile -- a form of asbestos that has been linked to cancer -- should be added to a UN treaty known as the Rotterdam Convention.

More than 50 countries ban the use of asbestos. But Canada, one of the leading exporters of the material, lobbied to keep asbestos off the Rotterdam list with the support of producing countries such as Russia and Zimbabwe. Ultimately, chrysotile asbestos did not make the Rotterdam list.

"Asbestos is a cash crop for Canada," BentWang wrote. "As such you can guarantee that ethics will take a back seat to profit. We have known of the dangers of asbestos for over 20 years now."

Nojuan agreed. "Alas, in this fair country of ours, greed always triumphs over health or safety, always has, always will."

"Health Canada should get used to it; all levels of gov't pretty much ignore the interests of the voters on an ongoing basis," Hotman said.

However, HereInSask argued that the Canadian government makes decisions for the benefit of citizens.

"Health Canada should focus more on the health of [Aboriginal Peoples] under federal authority and on approving drugs used by us all and less on fear mongering."

Defeated Canucks fans look to Game 7

mi-bc-110613-canucks-fans1b-220.jpgThe Boston Bruins drubbed the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final series Monday night, forcing a deciding championship game.

Many community members criticized Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo for giving up goals early in the game.

cabbage referred to Luongo as a "[choke] artist" and argued that Bruins goalie Tim Thomas deserves the Conn Smythe trophy. "Luongo doesn't even come close to Thomas."

Rigged657 agreed. "We'll see who has it Wednesday night. No point in crying over split milk. It's a one game series. Those first two goals [Luongo] let in were horrible, you gotta make those saves."

"As bad as Luongo has been in Boston I really wonder what has happened to the highest scoring team in the NHL this season," asked jimfrieson. "They are averaging about one goal per game in the finals, although they have won two 1-0 games ... one goal is normally not enough."

The Canucks' twin teammates Henrik and Daniel Sedin were also accused of underperforming.

"We've heard for years that the Sedin brothers are the best players on this team, but they have been 'mailing it in' throughout the series," BrianX. " No need to look further for the cause of this failure."

However, most agreed that the deciding Game 7 should be an exciting affair.

"It is never over until it is over, one way or another," Monica.Rovers.

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