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4 airlines hit with fines for violating new passenger protection regulations

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A number of Canadian airlines have been slapped with nearly $50,000 in combined fines for violating the new passenger protection regulations that came into effect this summer.

Air Canada, WestJet, Air Transat, and Porter have been accused of not posting the new passenger rights information at designated Canadian airport locations, according to the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA).

The CTA issued its first set of fines on August 27, which amounted to $45,000 between the four airlines, following the first round of rules of the new federal Air Passenger Protection Regulations coming into effect on July 15.

According to the CTA, WestJet received the biggest penalty of $17,500 for seven infractions for the airline failing to post the passenger rights notice at airports in Halifax, Calgary, Edmonton, and Quebec City.

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Air Canada is facing a $12,500 fine for five infractions at the same airports, while both Air Transat and Porter face $7,500 in fines for three infractions each at two different Canadian airports in Calgary and Quebec City.

According to the Canadian government, under the new regulations, airlines operating flights to or from a Canadian airport must display a notice, in a visible manner, at the check-in desk, self-service kiosks, and boarding gate, informing passengers of their rights.

This includes if they’re denied boarding, or their luggage is lost or damaged, they may be entitled to compensation under the new regulations.

Inconvenienced travellers can receive up to $2,400 for being bumped for reasons within the airline’s control and up to $2,100 and a refund of any baggage fees for any lost or damaged bags.

A spokesperson for Porter confirmed to Daily Hive it had received notice of the fines related to “minor communication issues” and added, “they were corrected immediately upon receipt.”

“Porter has dedicated significant resources to implementing the regulations on very short notice and we are making every effort to comply with the rules,” said the spokesperson.

Daily Hive has also reached out to Air Canada, Air Transat, and WestJet for comment but had not heard back at the time of publication.

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US$1 billion in 67 seconds and other numbers to know

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Singles’ Day in the world’s most populous country has become a mammoth marketing event for China’s e-commerce businesses that have turned it into the world’s biggest online shopping extravaganza.

Singles’ Day, which originated on university campuses in Nanjing, China in the 1990s, became an annual shopping bonanza after Alibaba, China’s biggest e-commerce retailer, made it into an event a decade ago.

This year’s sales surpassed last year’s record, with two of the country’s largest online retailers reporting combined sales of more than US$63 billion, even before final numbers were reported. The eye-popping figures make Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the U.S. seem somewhat anemic and humdrum by comparison. Alibaba posted live updates on its website and on Twitter, but for the very keen, the company also provided a real-time sales counter.

Singles’ Day by the numbers:

1. Singles’ Day takes place on November 11, because the number one and the date, 11/11, looks like a single person.

2. Alibaba said sales by merchants on its platforms totalled 268.44 billion yuan (US$38.38 billion) by midnight local time, handily surpassing last year’s total of US$30.8 billion.

3. Alibaba said the number of delivery orders exceeded 1.042 billion in 18 hours and 31 minutes; surpassing the 2018 total.

4. Alibaba said sales exceeded US$1 billion just 1 minute and 7 seconds after midnight on November 11, and surpassed US$10 billion after 29 minutes and 45 seconds.

5. In the U.S. in 2018, Black Friday brought in US$6.2 billion last year, and US$7.9 billion on Cyber Monday, according to Adobe Analytics.

6. Alibaba rival, JD.com, reported sales of 179.4 billion yuan ($25.6 billion) by mid-afternoon, according to The Associated Press.

7. More than 200,000 brands from over 200 countries and regions were expected to participate in this year’s event; only 27 brands participated in 2009.

8. A once-informal day, a countdown gala leading up to Singles’ Day that included a performance from Taylor Swift was broadcast on nearly 30 online streaming platforms and TV channels.

9. Online shopping makes up 19.5 per cent of Chinese consumer spending, compared with about 11 per cent for American consumers, according to The Associated Press.

10. Alipay said it set a record on Singles’ Day in 2017 for most payment transactions, processing 256,000 payment transactions per second, just 5 minutes into Singles’ Day; 1.48 billion transactions were ultimately processed over the course of 24 hours.

11. China’s State Post Bureau is expected to handle 2.8 billion packages from Nov 11 to 18, according to state-run press agency Xinhua.

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OpenText snaps up cloud security firm Carbonite in $1.42 billion deal

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OpenText, the Waterloo-based enterprise cloud information management company, announced Monday that they have reached a deal worth US$1.42-billion to acquire Carbonite, Inc, a Boston company that does cloud data protection and endpoint management.

OpenText chief executive Mark Barrenechea said that part of the reason why he likes Carbonite is because it gives an opportunity to sell to 300,000 small businesses and 7 million individual professionals.

“This acquisition will further strengthen OpenText as a leader in cloud platforms, complete end-point security and protection, and will open a new route to connect with customers, through Carbonite’s marquee SMB/prosumer channel and products,” Barrenechea said in a news release.

The deal of US$23 per share for the Boston-based Carbonite is a 25 per cent premium to the close of trading Friday. OpenText will pay $800 million in cash with the total transaction including debt valued at US$1.42 billion.

OpenText shares were up 2.3 per cent and Carbonite were up 24 per cent in morning trading.

Historically, Opentext has focused most of its efforts on the largest enterprise clients.

Speaking to investment analysts, Barrenechea said it will likely take around 18 months to fully integrate the company into OpenText.

The company has a long history of growing through acquisition; OpenText spent nearly US$3 billion between 2013 and the beginning of 2017, including the US$1.62 billion acquisition of Dell EMC, the company’s enterprise content management division.

As of September 30, Carbonite had $405 million in trailing twelve-month revenue.

• Email: jmcleod@nationalpost.com | Twitter:

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Keystone pipeline restarted after breach in North Dakota

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The owner of the Keystone pipeline says the line has returned to service after a breach that leaked an estimated 1.4 million litres of oil in northeastern North Dakota late last month.

TC Energy Corporation says the move follows the approval of its repair and restart plan by the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which ordered the line shut until the Canadian company completed corrective action.

The company says it will operate the pipeline at a reduced pressure with a gradual increase in the volume of crude oil moving through the system.

The line, which began operating in 2011, is designed to carry crude oil from Alberta across Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and through North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri on the way to refineries in Patoka, Ill. and Cushing, Okla.

The spill affected about 2,090 square meters of land near Edinburg, N.D.

TC Energy says it continues to work closely with the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality as it investigates the cause of the breach.

“We appreciate the cooperation and support from local officials, emergency response personnel and commissioners in Walsh County, as well as the landowner who has granted permission to access land for assessment, repair and clean-up activities,” TC Energy said in a statement on Sunday.

“We also want to recognize the continued efforts of our crews, contractors and businesses in the community for their around-the-clock support, which has allowed us to respond quickly and safely to this event.”

The company adds it is communicating plans to its customers and will continue working closely with them as it begins to return to normal operating conditions.

It said on its website that it has observed no significant impacts to the environment.

The pipeline spill and shutdown come as the company seeks to build the US$8-billion Keystone XL pipeline that would carry oilsands oil from Alberta to refineries in Texas.

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