Friday, January 14, 2011

Harper left holding the bag for Air Canada; Camp Mirage lost for nothing?

So, a bit of a recap here on the latest development in this ongoing UAE dispute which is proving to be an utter disaster for the Harper government. The Harper brain trust chose to fully embrace Air Canada's present day position of saying no to more landing rights for UAE airlines. They chose to go to bat for Air Canada on an issue of commercial air landing rights instead of prioritizing keeping Camp Mirage, our air base in the UAE, open. That has proven to be a highly flawed decision.

Because as was reported Wednesday by Haroon Siddiqui of the Toronto Star, and then in additional detail yesterday by Canadian Press (alternate link), documents have come to light showing that in 2006 Air Canada actually was A-OK with Emirates' airlines getting increased access to the Canadian market, as long as they could participate in profit sharing for the routes. 

Not surprisingly, given the vibrant state of our democracy under Mr. Harper, no one is talking:
The Harper government remained silent Thursday. Spokespeople for Harper and for two top cabinet ministers currently touring in the Middle East - Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon and Defence Minister Peter MacKay - declined to speak to reporters.

Cannon's office cancelled a conference call, citing a packed schedule. MacKay's office declined an interview request, saying the U.A.E. spat was Cannon's bailiwick.
No wonder they're not talking and playing kick the can, they have a lot of material to cover off. For example, John Baird's talk of the loss of tens of thousands of jobs that apparently Air Canada had no concerns about just a few years back.

It is looking like Canada has lost a critical military base in the UAE at a cost of $300 million due to the sheer incompetence of the Harper government. $300 million incurred in order to protect Air Canada from something they themselves wanted.

Looking forward to the explanation on all this.