NDP byelection victory means BC Liberal renewal Leader Andrew Wilkinson

first_imgThe Canadian Press NANAIMO, B.C. — Opposition Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson says their candidate’s defeat in the Nanaimo byelection has the party shifting into a period of renewal.Wilkinson says every party needs new faces and new blood, adding he expects at least three members of the current Liberal caucus to announce they will not be running in the next provincial election, set for 2021.He didn’t name the three members expected to be retiring.Wilkinson says Nanaimo Liberal candidate Tony Harris — who took 40 per cent of the byelection vote on Wednesday — is the kind of successful and well-known local representative the party needs in the next election. New Democrat Shiela Malcolmson won the riding with over 49 per cent of the vote, but Wilkinson says the Liberals were able to increase their vote share from the last provincial election in the NDP stronghold. Wilkinson also announced a 20-point Liberal plan to tightened spending at the legislature in the wake of the ongoing probes involving the suspensions of clerk Craig James and sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz.“No more trips to Africa,” Wilkinson says. “No more arcane hats. No more secret cabinets full of booze.”last_img read more

Delay in alliance with AAP affecting poll campaigning

first_imgNew Delhi: The issue of alliance with the AAP has delayed election campaigning of the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee as party workers are confused. The workers are in dilemma, said a senior leader of the party on condition of anonymity. Congress leader said that workers who have been associated with the party for years were in favour of the alliance. But, the situation is not clear so far. They are sitting idle waiting for a decision from the high command. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe workers are reportedly in favour of an alliance with AAP, aware that it will be impossible to win even one of the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi without this understanding. The seat sharing formula that has been discussed by the two parties earlier followed a 3+3+1 formula, with the one being left for a neutral candidate.A senior Congress leader said that the DPCC is divided in two groups — one is led by its president Sheila Dikshit while the other is led by two ex-DPCC presidents and a senior leader of AICC who is active in Delhi politics. Dikshit opposes the alliance while the other group supports it on the ground that alliance is a necessity for defeating the BJP. If it is not done, the BJP will sweep in all seven Lok Sabha seats. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsSources said that four former Delhi Congress presidents — Ajay Maken, Subhash Chopra, Tajdar Babar and Arvinder Singh Lovely favoured an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi.Dikshit’s point of view is that the Congress should contest alone whether it loses or wins. This will encourage the party workers who have been associated with the party for generations. They will work to strengthen the party. The second point is that alliance might damage the party in assembly election also that is to be held next year.In 2013, the Congress had supported the AAP for formation of government. The government had collapsed after 49 days. The second time the Congress could not win even a single seat out of 70 though it had ruled the state for three consecutive terms. The AAP had won 67 seats.last_img read more

463 jailed Morsi backers declare hunger strike Lawyer

first_imgCAIRO –A source from within Egypt’s prison authorities dismissed the allegations, claiming that none of the prisoners had declared a hunger strike. “Some prisoners only objected verbally to the introduction of glass dividers,” he said.As many as 463 jailed supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi on Monday declared a hunger strike in a Cairo prison to protest alleged maltreatment by Egyptian prison authorities, a lawyer with the detainees’ defense team said.Among those who have joined the hunger strike are Muslim Brotherhood deputy leader Khairat al-Shater; deputy head of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party Essam al-Erian; leading Brotherhood member Mohamed al-Beltagi; and former youth minister Osama Yassin, lawyer Sayed Nasr told Anadolu Agency. A handful of former Morsi aides – including secretary for foreign affairs Essam al-Haddad, adviser for Egyptian expatriate affairs Ayman Ali, adviser on media affairs Abdel-Meguid Mashali, security advisor Ayman Hodhod, and aide Ahmed Abdel-Atti – have also joined the hunger strike, Nasr added.“They declared the hunger strike to protest the prevention of their families from visiting them and new measures to install glass dividers between them and visiting family members,” he added.However, a source from within Egypt’s prison authorities dismissed the allegations, claiming that none of the prisoners had declared a hunger strike. “Some prisoners only objected verbally to the introduction of glass dividers,” he said.The Interior Ministry had announced earlier that jailed Brotherhood leaders would be able to use booths to see visiting family members through a glass divider and talk to them through handsets instead of face-to-face meetings.In a statement, the ministry said that prison regulations gave the authorities the right to organize prison visits in ways that prevented prisoners from passing messages on to followers outside.Following Morsi’s July 3 ouster by the military, the government launched a wide-ranging crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, the group from which the ousted president hails.Most Brotherhood leaders, including the movement’s supreme guide and his top aides, are currently in jail on multiple criminal charges that they insist are politically motivated.By Islam Tawfiqlast_img read more

UN expert hails Mongolia for successes in campaign to achieve universal education

9 October 2009Mongolia has made great strides towards providing universal education for its children, a United Nations independent expert said toy, praising the Asian nation for emphasizing the need for young people from both rural and urban areas to complete their educations. Enrolment rates have reached over 93 per cent at the primary level and 95 per cent at the secondary level in “such a vast territory with so little population density,” said Vernor Muñoz, Special Rapporteur on the right to education.He wrapped up an eight-day visit to Mongolia yesterday, marking the first mission by an independent expert on the right to schooling to the country.The country, Mr. Muñoz said, “has shown innovation and creativity in order to provide education to such diverse groups such as nomadic communities and ethnic minorities.”While in Mongolia, he met with Government officials, civil society groups, academics, students, parents and trade unions. He also witnessed first-hand the state of education in kindergartens, primary and secondary schools in the capital, Ulaanbaatar, as well as the remote Khovd province in the country’s west.Despite the current global economic crisis, the education budget has remained steady at around 20 per cent, but the rising population and inflation have made it difficult to provide a quality education to all children, the expert, who serves in his individual capacity and reports to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council, noted.Urban areas have seen frequent school overcrowding, while access to water and proper sanitation is a problem in rural communities. “This lack of adequate facilities has resulted in many parents not registering their children at the start of compulsory schooling and should be addressed properly by the education authorities,” he stressed.The Government, Mr. Muñoz said, should also consider the situation of children with disabilities, since little is provided from them. Mongolia has ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.That treaty, which entered into force in May last year, asserts the rights to education, health, work, adequate living conditions, freedom of movement, freedom from exploitation and equal recognition before the law for persons with disabilities. read more

Four arrested at BIA attempting to smuggle gold

Four passengers were arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) while attempting to smuggle gold jewellery worth Rs 14 million.The Sri Lanka Customs department said that the four passengers are Sri Lankans and they had arrived in the country from Mumbai. They were arrested when attempting to smuggle the gold into the country. (Colombo Gazette)

Iraq UN officials conclude talks in Baghdad ahead of resuming arms probe

Yesterday, Hans Blix, Executive Chairman of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), and Mohammed ElBaradei, Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), held a press conference following their meeting with the Iraqi delegation headed by General Amir Al-Sa’adi, Adviser at the Iraqi Presidency, according to a UN spokesman travelling with the team. They had also met earlier in the day with Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Blix told reporters that he and Mr. ElBaradei had discussed with Iraqi officials how to implement Security Council resolution 1441, and stressed that what was needed by Iraq was to ensure that it had no weapons of mass destruction (WMD). If there were any WMD programmes, Iraq should declare them; if not, Iraq must show with documentation that nothing was remaining. Meanwhile, the meetings with the Iraqi delegation looked at the remaining practical arrangements and the two sides agreed on the need for a mechanism for direct contact in case of trouble, Mr. Blix said, adding that the first team of inspectors would arrive on 25 November, with inspection work starting shortly afterwards. Mr. ElBaradei said that his team was in Iraq to start a new phase with full authority of the Security Council and that they would work with competence, professionalism and impartiality. All Iraqi officials he met had committed themselves to full cooperation, he added. In response to questions, Mr. Blix said that the Iraqi side was ready to implement the Council’s resolutions, and that the first test would be the Iraqi declaration, which would be submitted by 8 December. There were still many open questions on Iraq’s WMD capabilities, he said, adding that he impressed upon them to look into their stocks and check them further. As for the inspection procedures, Mr. Blix said that no advance warning would be given to the Iraqis on inspections. The “no-notice” procedure gave high credibility and might in fact increase credibility, which would be in the interests of Iraq, too. Asked about whether firing at allied aircraft in the no-fly zone constituted a “material breach,” Mr. Blix said that this was a matter not related to weapons inspections. read more

US stocks rise as stronger auto sales and factory orders highlight strengthening

US stocks rise as stronger auto sales and factory orders highlight strengthening economy by The Associated Press Posted Apr 2, 2013 11:56 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Stocks are trading at record highs again following strong reports on auto sales and factory orders.The Dow Jones industrial average rose 92 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 14,665 at midday Tuesday.The Standard & Poor’s 500 rose nine points, or 0.6 per cent, to 1,571. The Nasdaq composite rose 22, or 0.7 per cent, to 3,261.Chrysler said it sold more cars and trucks in March than in any month since the Great Recession began. Its sales rose 5 per cent, while U.S. sales for GM and Ford rose 6 per cent.Orders to U.S. factories rose 3 per cent in February, the best gain in five months.Health insurance companies rose after the government released revised Medicare Advantage rates that suggest funding cuts will be less severe than analysts and companies had feared. read more

Judge rules against singlehanded bid to stop Muskrat Falls hydro project

Judge rules against single-handed bid to stop Muskrat Falls hydro project ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – A provincial Supreme Court judge has ruled against a Newfoundland man’s single-handed bid to stop the $7.7-billion Muskrat Falls hydro project in Labrador.Judge Gillian Butler says Brad Cabana wholly failed to establish a serious issue to be tried at a later date.She says Cabana also failed to successfully argue that the project on Labrador’s Churchill River would cause him irreparable harm.In fact, Butler found that defendant Nalcor Energy, the Crown-owned provincial utility, would be at risk of major losses if construction ceased.Cabana, a political blogger and small businessman who represented himself, argued various constitutional violations that he said could spell disaster for the project.He suggested through his social media Twitter account that he intends to appeal Butler’s decision, which imposes unspecified court costs. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by The Canadian Press Posted Jul 26, 2013 4:27 pm MDT read more

Wesdome delays shareholder meeting in response to Resolute Funds complaint

Wesdome delays shareholder meeting in response to Resolute Funds complaint by The Canadian Press Posted May 17, 2016 5:35 am MDT Last Updated May 17, 2016 at 6:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – Wesdome Gold Mines (TSX:WDO) is postponing its annual meeting by up to four weeks in response to a last-minute complaint by its largest shareholder, Resolute Funds.Resolute Funds said Monday it doesn’t think Wesdome’s leadership is capable of addressing issues at the Eagle River gold mining complex in northwestern Ontario near Wawa.It’s raised concerns about a significant increase in Wesdome’s cash depletion during the first quarter, compared with the third quarter of 2015 when the company produced 14,484 ounces of gold from the Eagle River operation.Wesdome reported last week that the complex produced 8,036 ounces of gold in the first quarter, down 21 per cent from a year earlier, and 2016 annual production is expected to be at the low end of an estimate ranging from 54,000 to 60,000 ounces.The Toronto-based company says it will now hold its annual meeting by June 14 and its board has assigned chief executive Rolly Uloth and two independent directors to recommend a response to the issues raised by Resolute Funds.Wesdome shares closed Monday at $1.61, down four per cent, giving the company a total market value of about $208 million.“The current board and management have created significant value for all of the company’s shareholders, including Resolute,” the company said in a statement.“The company has been developing a management succession plan and has taken corrective action to improve operations … In the best interest of all its shareholders, management believes the company should continue with this strategy.” read more

Les gaz déchappement des moteurs diesel classés cancérogènes

first_imgLes gaz d’échappement des moteurs diesel classés cancérogènesL’Organisation Mondiale de la Santé (OMS) a décidé de classer les gaz d’échappement des moteurs diesel parmi les cancérogènes.Le CIRC (Centre international de recherche sur le cancer), l’agence pour le cancer de l’Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS) a pris une décision majeure : il a décidé de classer les gaz d’échappement des moteurs diesel parmi les cancérogènes. Un classement qui avait été évoqué dès 1988 déjà, rappelle le CIRC. Cette fois, les experts ont estimé qu’il y avait suffisamment de preuves montrant qu’une exposition aux gaz d’échappements de moteurs diesel était associée à un risque accru de cancer du poumon, pour classer ces gaz dans le groupe des cancérogènes certains pour les humains (groupe 1).À lire aussiDengue : symptômes, traitement, prévention, où en est-on ?”Les preuves scientifiques sont irréfutables et les conclusions du groupe de travail ont été unanimes : les émanations des moteurs diesel causent des cancers du poumon”, a déclaré le président de la réunion, le Dr Christopher Portier cité par l’AFP. Par ailleurs, les experts ont noté qu’il y avait également un risque accru de cancers de la vessie. Le diesel émet un gaz, le dioxyde d’azote (NO2), responsable de maladies respiratoires et cardio-vasculaires. “Etant donnés les impacts additionnels pour la santé des particules diesel, l’exposition à ce mélange chimique doit être réduite dans le monde entier”, a ainsi déclaré M. Portier.”Ma réaction, c’est : ‘enfin!'”, a déclaré le Dr Patrice Halimi, secrétaire général et porte-parole de l’association Santé environnement France, qui regroupe 2 500 médecins. “On sait depuis très longtemps que le diesel est un mauvais choix sanitaire, et que cette politique publique [visant à promouvoir un parc diesel en France] est une erreur”, a-t-il ajouté. “A la suite de cette reconnaissance par l’OMS, j’appelle à ce que nous mettions en place une politique publique qui soit réellement tournée vers la santé”, conclut-il.En effet, le diesel s’est fortement développé en France et il équipe près de 60% du parc automobile aujourd’hui (contre environ 25 % en 1995). Réputé meilleur pour le climat que le moteur à essence en générant moins de CO2 au kilomètre, le diesel émet en revanche des particules fines. Selon le ministère de l’Ecologie, ces particules, également émises aussi par le chauffage au bois et l’industrie, seraient en France à l’origine de quelque 42.000 morts par an.Le 13 juin 2012 à 11:31 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Les chambres dhôtel des nids à bactéries

first_imgLes chambres d’hôtel : des nids à bactériesLors d’un congrès de microbiologie qui s’est déroulé à San Francisco du 16 au 19 juin, des chercheurs américains ont exposé les résultats de l’inspection qu’ils ont menée dans de nombreuses chambres d‘hôtel de leur pays, révélant une profusion de sources potentielles d’infections bactériennes. Partant du constat selon lequel l’agrément donné aux hôteliers en matière d’hygiène publique de leurs installations ne reposait que sur une inspection visuelle des chambres, des biologistes de l’Université de Houston dirigés par Katie Kirsch ont mené leurs propres investigations, et exposé leurs conclusions lors d’une réunion de la Société américaine de microbiologie.À lire aussiErysipèle : contagion, traitement, de quoi s’agit-il ?Au cours de leur étude, ils ont analysé pas moins de 19 types de surfaces prédéfinies dans les chambres de 3 hôtels (choisis aléatoirement) de chaque état américain. Ils ont alors constaté que le personnel n’avait généralement pas le temps matériel de procéder à un nettoyage poussé, et utilisait des balais, éponges et serpillères susceptibles de propager les microbes d’une chambre à l’autre.Ainsi, si les toilettes et les lavabos des salles de bains présentent, en toute logique, le plus grand ‘choix’ de bactéries, les télécommandes de télévision et les interrupteurs n’ont rien à leur envier… Les têtes de lit, les cordes à rideaux et, curieusement, les poignées de porte des salles de bains sont en revanche les endroits les moins contaminés.Selon les auteurs de l’étude, cette situation généralisée présente d’une part un risque de propagation en cas d’épidémie, et expose d’autre part les clients souffrant d’un déficit de leurs défenses immunitaires à des ennuis de santé potentiels qui sont loin d’être négligeables. Les chercheurs espèrent ainsi que leurs travaux pousseront les hôtels à procéder de manière plus régulière à des nettoyages complets des chambres. Le 23 juin 2012 à 13:05 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Which do you hear Laurel vs Yanny debate divides the Internet

first_img— Yanni (@Yanni) May 15, 2018Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. What do you hear?! Yanny or Laurel pic.twitter.com/jvHhCbMc8I— Cloe Feldman (@CloeCouture) May 15, 2018Much like the debate over the color of the dress, the debate quickly went viral on social media, with celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres and Chrissie Teigen giving their opinions on what they heard. New age artist Yanni even weighed in and, of course, he only hears Yanni: (WSVN) – First, it was “what color is the dress?”Now, it’s “which one do you hear?”A Twitter user posted a four-second clip that has divided the internet, with users split as to which one they’re hearing. Is it “Laurel?” Or do you hear “Yanny?”center_img I only hear Yanni 😉 hahaha https://t.co/WrMMVvl8iX last_img read more

Volkswagen faces Australian lawsuit over emission scandal

first_imgTroubled German carmaker Volkswagen has been hit with its first Australian class action lawsuit for selling vehicles that contained emissions defeating devices.Bannister Law on Monday said it has filed two ‘class actions’ against the German auto-giant in Australia’s federal court which could amount to billions of dollars in financial compensation for the estimated 91,000 affected local cars, Xinhua news agency reported.”In supplying cars containing the defeat device, the statutory guarantee was not complied with. If we’re successful on that part of the claim, the customer may be entitled to a refund of the purchase,” class Principal Charles Bannister said in a statement.Earlier in October, Volkswagen announced a recall of 91,000 Volkswagen and Audi automobiles, sold between 2008 and 2015 that have been caught up in the global diesel emissions-rigging scandal, putting it in line with the German head office’s plans to start recalling up to 11 million diesel vehicles world-wide starting in January.Volkswagen has suspended local sales of affected vehicles fitted with 1.6 or 2.0-liter EA189 diesel engines after talks with Australia’s government over ways to deal with the problem.Australian regulators are currently investigating the troubled auto-giant and have warned that the company faces millions of dollars in possible fines for breaking mandatory safety standards and misleading customers.last_img read more

Food dept to offer dealership to 1500 more ration shops

first_imgKolkata: The state Food and Supplies department will offer dealership to 1,500 more ration shops in the state, after the state Panchayat elections. “We presently have dealership of 21,000 shops. We will be giving 1,500 more in different districts across the state,” state Food and Supplies minister Jyotipriya Mallick said.Sources in the Food department said that self-help groups and cooperatives will be given priority in the dealership offer. “Offering of dealership to ration shops had been stalled since the Left regime. We are now opening it up,” a senior official of the department said. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsIt may be mentioned that for dealership, members of self-help groups will have to form a group with 10 people and then apply for the same. “They will be allowed to open up a ration shop in any of their residential premises. The government will not charge anything from the SHGs,” the official maintained. According to the official, the department will go for individual dealerships only when applications of SHGs and cooperatives fall short of the 1,500 target. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed”We have found out that SHG women are very serious and dedicated to their duties and responsibilities. We are hopeful that the ration shops will function well under them,” he added.The decision of the department comes in the wake of a number of ration shops being closed due to various factors. “Some ration dealers have died while some licenses have been cancelled due to corruption of the dealers. People are being compelled to travel long distances for their rations. The new ration shops will be of great help to them,” the official said.Most of these ration shops will come up in the rural areas, while a handful of them will also come up in urban areas, as per plans of the Food department.The Food department’s notification will come up after the conclusion of the Panchayat elections.last_img read more

Phone Safety on Planes Passengers Dont Care

first_img 3 min read Register Now » This story originally appeared on PCMag Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Ever been on a plane as it’s about to take off, with your phone in airplane mode or even turned off, then looked over to see someone FaceTiming at full volume? It happens plenty, despite requests from flight attendants who ask you to turn off connectivity on your phone for your safety (and because the Federal Aviation Administration makes them).A new survey by AT&T reseller All Home Connections put 1,000 travelers to the test, asking them point-blank what they do with their phones on a plane. The answers might be startling to anyone with aviophobia. They might also seem worth a big ol’ shrug to weary travelers who’ve seen it all and believe the rules are arbitrary, capricious, and a trifle unfair, especially because air travel has become such a chore, with all the pleasure of taking a covered wagon across the prairie in the 1800s.What it boils down to is this: One in 15 people surveyed never even bother to put their smartphones in airplane mode when a flight attendant asks. Only 67 percent turn off their phones. And men are twice as likely to flaunt instructions from the crew. You can see all the details in this infographic.All Home Connections went the extra mile and talked to a pilot and author who said pretty clearly that phones “can and do interfere with radio transmissions,” and the only thing saving the plane’s communications with the tower is that the majority of passengers do use airplane mode when requested. It turns out that at least 61.4 percent of respondents believe that to be true. (14.5 percent believe using a phone will outright cause a plan to crash. But considering how many people apparently don’t turn off their phones, the ground would be littered with fuselages and wings if that were the case.)The survey also covered the worst habits of people on planes. Playing audio without headphones topped the list of things respondents hate, with 83 percent of people annoyed (at best). Fewer people (63 percent) dislike when passengers talk on the phone when the plane is still on the ground. And a lot of people hate when you use a bright screen (whether on a phone or tablet or laptop) when the lights are out for a night flight. Plenty of people would like to see transgressors’ devices confiscated or see them get fined for their hubris. One to 2 percent would like to see them banned, depending on the etiquette “infraction.”For more, read the full report. Think about it next time you’re flying the not-so-friendly skies. Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. July 11, 2019last_img read more

Mexican navy intercepts vessel near Acapulco carrying ton of cocaine

first_imgAcapulco, Guerrero — The Navy of Mexico says they have seized a vessel and its cargo after it was found transporting drugs off the coast of Acapulco.During a surveillance operation, an aircraft of the Mexican Navy saw a vessel with suspicious cargo. With support from ships, naval units and personnel, the boat was intercepted on a beach near the town of El Calvario, approximately 148 kilometers northeast of Acapulco, where the crew fled.Photo: Secretaría de Marina-Armada de MéxicoIn a press release, the Secretariat of the Navy of Mexico reports that personnel from the Eighth Naval Region based in Acapulco secured the small vessel which, after inspection, they found contained 19 bags with an estimated one-ton of cocaine.Photo: Secretaría de Marina-Armada de MéxicoNaval personnel also seized two high-power motors and 42 50-liter drums of fuel from the boat.The cocaine, fuel and boat were delivered to authorities.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)last_img read more

ACTA takes a stand on latest goround of currency surcharges

first_imgACTA takes a stand on latest go-round of currency surcharges << Previous PostNext Post >> Tuesday, July 10, 2018 Posted by TORONTO — ACTA is weighing in on the currency surcharge controversy with an update to travel agents from ACTA President Wendy Paradis.Agents have been reaching out to ACTA to share their feedback about Sunwing’s recent $20 currency surcharge, says Paradis. Currency surcharges are nothing new and aren’t limited to one tour operator, as Paradis points out. Just a few years ago, in 2014, several tour operators including Air Canada Vacations and Sunwing introduced a $35 currency surcharge to shore up against a deflating Canadian dollar.This new surcharge was introduced by Sunwing on June 21 for departures Aug. 1 and beyond.Paradis says ACTA “strongly believes that only real taxes belong in the tax field and all other ‘service fees and surcharges’ are a cost of the product and belong in the base fare.”Travel agencies in the province of Quebec were most vocal expressing how unhappy they were about yet another non-commissionable fee by taking to social media to express their disappointment, she noted.Sunwing says: “As a tour operator, most of the products and services that we contract are based on U.S. dollars. Unfortunately, the current unfavourable exchange rate against the U.S. dollar has necessitated us to impose a temporary currency surcharge. The $20 per person surcharge applies to new bookings only for departure dates from August 1st onwards.  The surcharge was introduced on June 21st; existing bookings made prior to this date are unaffected. We will continue to carefully monitor the situation until such time that this surcharge can be removed.”The issue of non-commissionable fees, a hot button topic in the cruise industry in particular, is a global issue, says Paradis, and ACTA “has been pushing for change about this problem for some time.” Paradis says ACTA has and will continue to raise this matter globally through the World Travel Agents Associations Alliance (WTAAA) and push for change not only in Canada, but worldwide, and tells agents ACTA will provide updates on its progress.“There is a huge level of strain being put on vacation packages both from the Canadian dollar being so low but also due to the continuously rising fuel costs,” says ACV’s Managing Director, Nino Montagnese. However Air Canada Vacations as well as Tranast and also TravelBrands say they have no current plans to implement a currency surcharge.center_img Travelweek Group Tags: ACTA, Air Canada Vacations, Sunwing, WTAAA Sharelast_img read more

Profit music to Amadeus ears

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H On the back of a rise in global air traffic, Amadeus announced this week an adjusted profit of €263.7 million for the first six months of 2011, an increase of 12.2 per cent on the year before.     Revenue from continuing operations for the travel and tourism technology provider rose 3.9 per cent to €1.39 billion. Amadeus president chief executive Luis Maroto said the first half of the year had been “positive and active”, highlighting the company’s outstanding performance in the Asia-Pacific region. “At an operational level, both our Distribution and IT Solutions businesses continued to grow and in particular had significant successes in the Asia-Pacific region, adding further visibility to our future growth,” Mr Maroto said.Also encouraging for Amadeus was a 32.5 per cent year-on-year increase in the number of passengers (203.9 million) booked using the company’s reservation system, a figure Mr Maroto expects to increase even further. “We are confident that our ongoing investment in developing the best technology will continue to produce long-term results and now expect our annual Passengers Boarded (PB) to be more than 700 million by 2014,” the Amadeus boss said.The global market share of travel agency air bookings for the Madrid-based company rose by 0.8 per cent to 37.2 percentage points during the first half of 2011. Profits for Amadeus are soaringlast_img read more

Aussies head abroad tourism trade deficit

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T As more and more Australians venture overseas for holidays, Australia’s tourism is suffering a steep decline, according to Shadow Tourism Minister Bob Baldwin.“As long as the Government continues to make Australia a more expensive and less competitive destination we will continue to see Australia’s tourism trade deficit grow,” Mr Baldwin said. The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) latest figures show an increase in Australian’s travelling abroad, compared with 7.4 million trips in 2010/2011. These numbers have doubled in the last decade. South East Asia arrivals increased by 9 percent during April 2012, while Australia’s performance for the same month was labelled as “weak” by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). Myanmar (35 percent), Cambodia (24 percent) and the Philippines (10 percent) all experienced substantial growth and saw double-digit monthly increases for the month of April 2012.Mr Baldwin said the Government’s new carbon tax would have an impact on future international tourist arrivals.“At a time when Australian tourism is already struggling because of the high Australian dollar the Gillard Labor Government has made a bad situation worse by introducing a series of measures that make Australia a less competitive tourism destination.” In addition to the carbon tax, Mr Baldwin said the Passenger Movement Charge increases and a rise in airport security taxes have also had a negative effect on Australian tourism.last_img read more