Connect with us


Indigenous languages, consultation among issues raised before Pope Francis’s visit



Before Pope Francis’s arrival in Canada last July, federal officials flagged concerns about the level of consultation done with a First Nations community that was set to host him.

Briefing notes prepared for the deputy minister of the Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations a month before the Pope arrived also show officials were concerned about how much help Catholic bishops would be in translating his Spanish into Indigenous languages.

The briefing notes were obtained by The Canadian Press through an access-to-information request.

Pope Francis, 85, journeyed to Canada in July to apologize for the Catholic Church’s role in residential schools.


Survivors had asked for such an apology for years leading up to the visit, including during trips to the Vatican by Indigenous leaders in 2009 and last April.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission also listed an apology from the pope as one of its calls to action in its report that investigated the harm and legacy of residential schools. Indigenous children in Canada were forced to attend the government-funded, church-run institutions, where thousands suffered abuse, neglect and even died.

When the apology finally came in July, it garnered a mix of reactions. Some survivors and elders said they felt it was significant step toward reconciliation, while others felt the Pope’s words fell short.

But the planning leading up to the visit raised some concerns.

A briefing document prepared ahead of an anticipated meeting in mid-June with the papal visit co-ordinator, Archbishop Richard Smith, shows federal officials expressed the need for improved communication after a recent planning visit to Alberta.

The province is home to Maskwacis, a group of four First Nations south of Edmonton, which was to be the site of the Pontiff’s apology.

“In terms of the most recent advance visit to Edmonton, it became apparent that there is a disconnect between the national, regional and local organizing committees,” according to the document.

“It was further emphasized that the communities of Maskwacis and Lac Ste. Anne needed to be more engaged when visits to their communities happen.

“In this regard, it was recommended that there will be further outreach to Maskwacis given the importance of this event in the overall papal visit.”

In a statement to The Canadian Press, a spokesman for the papal visit said the archbishop and others involved in the planning worked with community leadership and were aware they were doing so under tight circumstances.

“The extremely short window of just a few months to plan the papal visit meant that things were moving very quickly, decisions had to be confirmed and the benefit of a traditional 18-month planning timeline was just not possible,” wrote Neil MacCarthy.

“The restrictions on the Holy Father’s health meant that events were limited in time and scope.”

Besides Indigenous leaders, local church and federal officials also had to work with directions from the Vatican, who decided that Francis’s visits to communities would last for just an hour or so, despite initial hopes they would be longer.

Following his apology, Pope Francis travelled northwest of Edmonton to Lac Ste. Anne, an important pilgrimage site to Indigenous Peoples and Catholics, and earned cheers when he greeted the crowd in Nakota, Cree and Blackfoot.

One consequence of residential schools was the destruction of Indigenous languages, because children were forbidden from speaking their mother tongue.

Before his visit, officials in Ottawa viewed translating Pope Francis’s words from Spanish into Indigenous languages as a must, and a task that required a lot of planning.

“A risk of not interpreting some of the Pope’s speeches into Indigenous languages is that a papal address translated into only English and French but for an audience of residential school survivors or Indigenous peoples could be seen as another act of colonization,” reads an internal document dated early June.

“Interpreting speeches into Indigenous languages could be seen as a meaningful act of decolonization.”

It added that in doing so, Ottawa “would be able to follow through with its various commitments to promote Indigenous languages in particular the Indigenous Languages Act,” referring to legislation it passed in 2019.

The federal government ultimately spent $2 million to hire Indigenous language speakers to translate the Pope’s for broadcasts. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops footed the bill for on-site services.

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, which organized the papal visit, says the trip cost it around $18.6 million.

While the federal government has yet to release the final cost of the visit, including for security, some departments have published details on the price of some components.

In addition to the translation services, Crown-Indigenous Relations said it spent around $32 million on transportation costs for survivors who wanted to attend papal events in-person, or host related activities in their own communities.

Another $3.6 million, plus taxes, was paid to a production company to broadcast the five-day trip, the department said.

Global Affairs Canada, the government wing responsible for co-ordinating visits of world leaders, was preparing to spend around $2 million, according to a separate document released through federal access law, also obtained by The Canadian Press.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 8, 2022.


Stephanie Taylor and Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press


Air Canada flights delayed due to IT issue – CTV News



Air Canada reported a technical issue with its flight communications system on Thursday, causing delays across the country for the second time in a week.

In a statement to, the Montreal-based company said it was experiencing a “temporary technical issue” with the system it uses to communicate with aircraft and monitor the performance of its operations.

By Thursday afternoon, the airline said the system had “begun to stabilize,” though flights were expected to be impacted for the remainder of the day.


“The communicator system has begun to stabilize, and aircraft continue to move although still at a lower than normal rate. As a result, customers may experience delays and in some instances cancellations as we move through recovery,” Air Canada said.

“Customers are advised to check the status of their flight before going to the airport as we anticipate the impact will persist through the balance of the day.”

As a result of the system failure, the airline said it implemented a “flexible policy,” allowing customers who wished to change their travel plans to do so at no cost.

Speaking to reporters before question period, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said the federal government has been in touch with Air Canada and is encouraging the airline to get its communications system back up and running “as quickly as possible.”

“They understand the consequences of these delays and we’ll keep following up on the situation,” said Alghabra.

The system failure caused delays for the majority of flights scheduled to depart from the Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport on Thursday morning, said Michel Rosset, communications manager for the Winnipeg Airports Authority.

Some Air Canada flights in the afternoon and evening were scheduled to run on time at the Winnipeg airport, but Rosset advised passengers to look online for updated flight information as that could change.

“With flights, even on a good day, things could change pretty quickly. So I’d recommend, if you’re looking for updated (flight information) throughout the day, the best bet is just to head to our website,” he told in a phone interview.

Leah Batstone, communications and marketing advisor for the Halifax Stanfield International Airport, said the Halifax airport was aware of the “IT issue” that Air Canada was experiencing and recommended passengers to keep tabs on their flight status.

“As always, travellers are advised to check their flight status directly with their airline before coming to the airport,” Batstone said in an emailed statement to

Air Canada was forced to ground its planes last week due to a similar problem with its communications system, which delayed nearly half its flights.

The airline said the issue it experienced this Thursday was in the “same systems as that of May 25, but it was unrelated.”

“We have been in the process of upgrading this system using a third-party supplier’s technology. Air Canada will continue to work with the manufacturer to ensure stability in the system in the future,” it said.

“We apologize for the impact on our customers and appreciate their patience. We are working hard to get people on their way as soon as possible.”

Adblock test (Why?)


Source link

Continue Reading


Air Canada flight delays at Toronto Pearson | CTV News – CTV News Toronto



Several Air Canada flights are delayed at Toronto Pearson International Airport due to a temporary technical issue.

The Canadian airline said its system used to communicate with aircraft and monitor operational performance is impacted. Flights were delayed all across the airline’s system as a result, a spokesperson for Air Canada confirmed to CTV News Toronto.

At around 1:30 p.m., the airline said the communicator system has “begun to stabilize,” with flights continuing to move “although still at a lower than normal rate.”


“As a result, customers may experience delays and in some instances cancellations as we move through recovery,” the statement reads.

Greater Toronto Airports Authority media manager Rachel Bertone told CTV News Toronto that Toronto Pearson passengers are encouraged to check their flight status before making their way to the airport.

“We have also put in place a flexible policy for those who wish to change their travel plans at no cost,” Air Canada said.

As of Thursday afternoon, numerous Air Canada flights initially scheduled to leave Toronto Pearson this morning have been delayed to the afternoon.

Plus, many of Air Canada’s flights headed to the Toronto airport from places like Orlando, Fla., Vancouver, B.C., and New York’s LaGuardia Airport, have been delayed.

In terms of cancellations, however, just over two per cent of departures and roughly 3.5 per cent of arrivals have been cancelled – though it should be noted these percentages include all airlines. 

“We apologize to those affected, and appreciate their patience,” the statement reads.

This is the second time in a week that Air Canada has suffered a technical issue with its computer system, which delayed nearly half of all its flights.

The airline confirmed in its statement, “The issue today was in the same systems as that of May 25, but it was unrelated.”

Air Canada has not said how long the technical issue is expected to last, but said they are “working hard” to get fliers on their way as quickly as they can.

Adblock test (Why?)


Source link

Continue Reading


Air Canada flight communicator system breaks down, causing widespread delays –



Air Canada is experiencing an issue with one of its internal systems, leading to flight delays across its network.

The airline said Thursday it is “experiencing a temporary technical issue with its communicator system, one of the systems that we use to communicate with aircraft and monitor operational performance.”

The issue is causing delays across the system, with 234 flights delayed so far on Thursday and 34 cancellations, according to That’s about 44 per cent of the airline’s daily load.


Air Canada’s flanker brand Rouge is also impacted, with 78 delays, or 52 per cent of its flights, as well as 11 cancellations.

It’s the second time in less than a week that the airline has been hit by a problem with its communicator system that caused delays or cancellations. On May 25, U.S. aviation regulator the FAA ordered a ground stop of all Air Canada flights due to unspecified internal computer issues. The outage lasted a little over an hour.

Air Canada says the impacted system is the same as the one from last week, but says the two outages are “unrelated.”

“We have been in the process of upgrading this system using a third-party supplier’s technology. Air Canada will continue to work with the manufacturer to ensure stability in the system in the future.”

Duncan Dee, a former executive at the airline, described the affected system as an “electronic tracking system to allow them to identify the location of their aircraft at any given time within their network.”

People on the ground watch an Air Canada jet fly over LAX airport.
An Air Canada jet is shown flying over the skies near Los Angeles International Airport. Almost half of the airline’s regularly scheduled flight load has been delayed or cancelled on Thursday because of a technology outage. (Bing Guan/Bloomberg)

“It’s the system which allows them to track their aircraft and to communicate with flights in a more automated way,” he told CBC News.

He was scheduled to fly on an Air Canada flight himself on Thursday and said it was disheartening to see the system fail twice “in such a short period of time. This isn’t something that happens very regularly … because obviously systems aren’t supposed to go down and certainly not to go down so soon, one after the other.”

Government monitoring situation

Early in the afternoon, the airline said the system has begun to “stabilize” but is not yet back to normal and delays continue.

The airline is advising anyone who is supposed to fly today to check the status of their flight before heading to the airport. 

“We are working hard to rectify this situation,” the airline told CBC News in an emailed statement. “We apologize to those affected, and appreciate their patience.”

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said he has been in constant contact with the airline and has been assured that the company is doing everything it can.

“I encourage them to get it up as quickly as possible,” Alghabra said. “They understand the consequences of these delays … they are working on restoring it as quickly as possible.”

Last month, the government tabled new rules designed to make it harder for airlines to wriggle out of compensating passengers for costly delays and cancellations. Those rules have yet to be tabled, but Alghabra said what’s happening on Thursday would be covered by existing rules since it’s being caused by something the airline can control. 

“Based on current rules, passengers are protected,” he said. “Air Canada has obligations to passengers.”

Adblock test (Why?)


Source link

Continue Reading