Week of April 23

Air Canada should refund money taken for cancelled flights

Sir: Air Canada is profiting from the COVID-19 crisis.

That’s right, they are making money and lots of it. They have cancelled flights, laid off employees, cancelled international and domestic routes, reduced their flight schedules and incurred less and less costs every day, and they’re keeping our money.

That money is collecting interest. Millions of dollars (our dollars) collecting interest! That’s profiteering from the crisis.

Isn’t there a law against that?

Not only that, you can bet the price of all airline tickets will go up when and if things get more or less back to normal. That means my return airfare flight that cost me $980.00 will probably cost $1,200 or $1,400 when, and if, I can ever book it. And so, not only did we lose our money by being given a voucher; we also lost the interest on it and the ability to use it for bills while in isolation.

And speaking of isolation, at my age (67) I don’t see myself flying off anywhere unless there is a tried and true vaccine and I’ve been inoculated. If that doesn’t happen in the next 24 months I lose my voucher money.

Is the voucher transferrable? Am I allowed to give it to my children? Can I sell it on the Internet? I’m guessing no is the answer to all questions.

Air Canada has notoriously high prices for airfare. And they seem to have the Minister of Transport and Transport Canada in their pocket for some reason.

And when all is said and done, the federal government will bail them out of any financial difficulties with our tax dollars and a bunch of forgivable loans. And they will still keep our money. Isn’t it about time Air Canada customers were returned their money for services cancelled by Air Canada? They provided us with nothing, and now they have our money.

That’s called stealing.

Brian MacDonald


Giving thanks to our fearless, compassionate nurses

Sir: Kudos to all the health-care workers out there working to keep us healthy and safe. I especially want to focus on nurses here.
I am a retired RN, for approximately one year. I had the honour and the privilege recently to assist in monitoring and assessing cruise ship passengers isolated at CFB Trenton.
Public Health Agency of Canada nurses were in charge of monitoring the 236 Canadian returnees. They were fearless.

These nurses were caring, accountable, compassionate and very concerned for the cruise ship people for which they were responsible.
It wasn’t just clinical assessment and monitoring; these nurses also took on the important function of ensuring their mental health was at its best possible for the 14 days they were isolated at the Trenton air base.

I’m a better nurse because of my experience with the public health nurses of Canada. I want everyone to know that nurses will always be there for you.
As our motto at Trenton stated: “As the world rushes away, Nurses run towards to care.”
Bless all health-care workers who, despite the risks, continue to care for the sick.

George Rudanycz


Let’s treat every day as though it’s Earth Day

Sir: The world as we know it is very different right now. Here we are with so much time on our hands.

Earth Day is celebrated annually on April 22, but if some of us missed the official day, it’s not too late. We can all (parents and children together) take care of our planet and our world every day. Here are some ideas:

* Make a scavenger list of items to look for and find

* Grab a bag, put on gloves, and pick up litter that has accumulated in areas of parks that are still open

* Have a contest for finding the most litter.

* Graph what is found to determine what’s most often carelessly discarded.

* Discuss or write an explanation on why humans litter.

* Make posters with popular tag lines: ‘Earth day should be every day!” “Take care of our planet!” “My trash hurts the animals.” Display them for your neighbourhood.

Read a book and/or google Earth Day and recycling. How long does it take a plastic bottle to break down? What happens to birds and animals that become entangled? What happens with garbage?

Did you know the average Canadian throws away 2.7 kg of garbage each day? How can we reduce, reuse and recycle?

Have fun. Take care of our planet. Treat every day like Earth Day.

Debbie Montgomery

Retired educator and environmentalist


MP Gladu should demand additional financial support

Sir: As a resident and someone who voted for Marilyn Gladu in the last election, I am shocked by the failure of the Conservative Party of Canada and the other opposition parties to negotiate a better solution to the financial hardships the COVID-19 crisis has caused Canadians.

One very big gap in the CERB program is seasonal workers who have run out of EI benefits, and because of the crisis, are unable to access 2020 jobs.

I am sure there are many more similar circumstances excluded by the CERB program, which is so specific as to prevent a very large portion of unemployed Canadians from qualifying. These include but are far from limited to the aforementioned group.

The opposition parties combined hold more seats in the House than the Liberals. Yes, I get it. The Conservative Party does not get along with the other opposition parties.

However, it is not politics we Canadians are interested in or worried about. We are fearful for the lives of vulnerable citizens being ruined because of the parties in opposition won’t work together to force Mr. Trudeau to help all Canadians who need help.

Ms. Gladu needs to step up and make a very blunt public statement about the terrible mistake our government is making and demand the Liberals generously expand the CERB program to be far more inclusive.

Now is the time for her to act decisively. She needs to do her job as MP for Sarnia-Lambton and demonstrate she is future prime minister material.

Brian Farrar