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Air passengers question baggage delays at Halifax airport – CTV News Atlantic

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After a week in Florida with her folks, Jillian and Justin Bean should be fairly well-rested, but that’s not quite the case thanks to an unusual experience at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport when they touched down Sunday night.

Although their flight was direct, their departure was delayed in Orlando by three or four hours, which apparently caused another problem when they landed in Halifax.

After deplaning from the international flight, the process seemed typical until passengers tried to collect their baggage — a necessary step to clear customs and go home.

Minutes turned to hours, with passengers getting increasingly agitated by the delay and no one providing answers about what was going on.

“Two hours in, pretty frustrated,” Justin Bean told CTV News.

“We were already on a four-hour delay on the way in. And then, to arrive with no explanation or direction from anyone, whether it was airport security or WestJet, just standing around waiting, and the stress level increasing as all the passengers were talking to each other and trying to come up with assumptions as to what was going.”

“That’s the whole problem,” added Jillian Bean.

“That’s why I’m upset: there’s such a lack of accountability here.”

Video from the scene showed a number of passengers gathered around a WestJet agent, who’s heard saying, “I’m just coming out here to deliver a message. I’m not a lead. I’m not anybody in control.”

Two Halifax Regional Police officers also showed up, but it’s unclear who called them.

Justin Bean says that proved to be disappointing as well.

“Well, at first, we thought, ’Great, we can leave. They’ll let us out of the door. It seems like a human right,'” said Bean.

“But, in reality, it kind of felt like the cops were there to keep the mob at bay while WestJet did their thing behind the scenes.”

In an email to CTV News Monday afternoon, the airline acknowledged the problem and apologized.

“We can confirm that WestJet flight 1041, travelling between Orlando International Airport (MCO) and Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ), experienced a delay at MCO and consequently arrived late in Halifax yesterday evening,” wrote WestJet media relations advisor Madison Kruger.

“Upon arrival, our third-party service providers, including our baggage handlers, across YHZ were working through significant delays due to many off-schedule arrivals and resource constraints, which resulted in a substantial and unfortunate delay in providing guests with their baggage following their flight.

“We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience our guests faced as a result and appreciate their patience; we understand how impactful it can be when travel does not go as planned.

“We are committed to doing everything we can to deliver the WestJet experience our guests expect and deserve.”

“Across our network, we are working alongside our third-party service providers to alleviate baggage delays and have invested in additional WestJet oversight to support our providers responsible for actioning and delivering our baggage services in a timely manner.

There’s little doubt there’s been a major increase in air travel in recent months, and airport officials admit staffing shortages continue to be an issue.

“Many of our partners continue to experience staff shortages, and of course, there’s now an increase in demand after two years of very little activity,” said Tiffany Chase, the director of public affairs, marketing and customer relations at Halifax Stanfield International Airport.

The Bean family, who were travelling with their 18-month-old toddler Oliver, did get to speak with WestJet customer service on the phone early Monday afternoon and were directed to file for compensation through the website.

Jillian Bean says they will likely do that, but in the meantime, she remains disappointed by the experience.

“We need to figure out some other way to do it if you’re going to continue to encourage people to travel,” she said.

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TD faces public scrutiny, support, of First Horizon takeover in public meeting – Business News – Castanet.net

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TD Bank Group’s proposed takeover of Memphis-based First Horizon Bank is the issue before a public meeting Thursday where community members are being given a forum to voice their opinions on the deal.

The virtual meeting is being convened jointly by the Federal Reserve Board and the U.S.Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which are reviewing the proposed US$13.4 billion deal.

The meeting comes as TD has faced renewed criticism in recent months for allegedly aggressive sales tactics in the U.S., including from Senator Elizabeth Warren who has called for the merger to be blocked until the bank is “held responsible for its abusive practices.”

TD agreed to a US$122 million settlement with U.S. regulators in 2021 stemming from illegal overdraft practices, while an investigative report released in May alleged that problematic practices continue at the bank, something the bank had strenuously denied.

The federal agencies also held a public meeting in mid-July for BMO’s proposed US$16.3 billion takeover of Bank of the West, where numerous community groups urged the deal be blocked until a strong community benefits agreement can be reached.

The bank also faced criticism for the proportionately low number of mortgages granted to Black and Latino borrowers, while numerous community groups that have received funding from BMO voiced their support of the deal.

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Judge sides with Enbridge Inc. in Michigan’s latest effort to halt Line 5 pipeline

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WASHINGTON — The international dispute over Line 5 belongs in federal court, a Michigan judge declared Thursday, dealing a critical blow to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s bid to shut down the controversial cross-border pipeline.

It’s the second time in nine months that District Court Judge Janet Neff ruled in favour of pipeline owner Enbridge Inc., which wanted the dispute elevated to the federal level.

That first decision prompted Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel — believing her only path to victory to be in state court — to abandon the original case, turning instead to a separate, dormant, nearly identical circuit court case to try again.

Neff’s disdain for that tactic was palpable throughout Thursday’s ruling.

“The court concludes that (the) plaintiff’s motion must fail, based on …(the) plaintiff’s attempt to gain an unfair advantage through the improper use of judicial machinery,” Neff wrote.

“The court’s decision … is undergirded by (the) plaintiff’s desire to engage in procedural fencing and forum manipulation.”

A spokesperson for Nessel did not immediately respond to media inquiries.

Whitmer is a Democrat and close ally of President Joe Biden whose political fortunes depending on the support of environmental groups in the state. She ordered the shutdown of Line 5 in November 2020.

She cited the risk of an ecological disaster in the Straits of Mackinac, the environmentally sensitive passage between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron where the pipeline runs underwater between the state’s upper and lower peninsulas.

They went to circuit court, where Enbridge pushed back hard, arguing that Whitmer and Nessel had overstepped their jurisdiction and that the case needed to be heard in federal court.

Late last year, Neff sided with Enbridge, prompting Whitmer and Nessel to abandon the complaint and try again, this time with a similar circuit court case that had been dormant since 2019.

Nessel had hoped to head off Enbridge’s jurisdictional argument on a technicality: that under federal law, cases can only be removed to federal jurisdiction within 30 days of a complaint being filed.

But Neff wasn’t buying it, citing the precedent she herself established in 2021 when she ruled for Enbridge the first time.

“It would be an absurd result for the court to remand the present case and sanction a forum battle,” Neff wrote.

“The 30-day rule in the removal statute is intended to assist in the equitable administration of justice and prevent gamesmanship over federal jurisdiction, but here, it is clear to the court that (the) plaintiff is the one engaging in gamesmanship.”

The Line 5 pipeline ferries upwards of 540,000 barrels per day of crude oil and natural gas liquids across the Canada-U. S. border and the Great Lakes by way of a twin line that runs along the lake bed.

Critics want the line shut down, arguing it’s only a matter of time before an anchor strike or technical failure triggers a catastrophe in one of the area’s most important watersheds.

Proponents of Line 5 call it a vital and indispensable source of energy, especially propane, for several Midwestern states, including Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. It is also a key source of feedstock for refineries in Canada, including those that supply jet fuel to some of Canada’s busiest airports.

In a statement, Enbridge described Thursday’s decision as “consistent with the court’s November 2021 ruling that the state’s prior suit against Line 5 belonged in federal court.”

That, the company said, is the correct forum for “important federal questions” about interstate commerce, pipeline safety, energy security and foreign relations.

The statement goes on to say that shutting down Line 5 would “defy an international treaty with Canada that has been in place since 1977.”

Line 5 talks between the two countries under that treaty, which deals specifically with the question of cross-border pipelines, have been ongoing since late last year.

“Enbridge looks forward to a prompt resolution of this case in federal court.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 18, 2022.

 

James McCarten, The Canadian Press

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Bed Bath & Beyond shares fall after investor Ryan Cohen files intent to sell stake – CNBC Television

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