Connect with us


Toronto Pearson: 'I just need to get out of this airport' – BBC



Travellers crowd the departures lounge at Toronto Pearson International Airport in MississaugaReuters

Airports and airlines around the world are struggling to keep up as people begin to travel again in earnest after more than two years of the coronavirus pandemic – but are some travel hubs worse than others?

For four days in a row in early July, Toronto Pearson International Airport – the busiest in Canada, with flights to 155 cities around the world – experienced the most delays of any airport globally.

Flights leaving from Toronto via Air Canada – the country’s largest airline – were also the most likely to be delayed or cancelled, according to aviation tracking website FlightAware.

Canadian country music singer Brett Kissel, who’s on a North American tour, arrived at the airport with members of his band after a show in Italy in late June.

Their next big concert was several days later in Calgary. They had plenty of time. Then they arrived at the Toronto airport.

“There must have been three or five thousand people there,” he said. “Yes, that sounds crazy. But I know what a crowd that size looks like, since I’ve been on stage, looking out at them.”

Almost as bad, the airlines lost their luggage, including guitars that belonged to the band.

Near the baggage claim, he said, were “1,500 to 2,000 suitcases in pyramids”.

In despair over the long lines and lost luggage, he ordered a stretch limousine for C$1,000 [$766; £647] for the band and left.

Mr Kissel and his band members were not the only ones to face problems.

Ryan Whitney, a sports podcaster and former professional ice hockey player, posted on Twitter about his Toronto travel nightmare on 6 July, as he was scrambling to get to Boston after a cancelled flight, calling the airport “the worst place on earth”.

His voice tense and angry, he said in a video missive that’s been viewed over two million times: “I just need to get out of this country, out of this airport.”

In May, Canada said it was taking steps to help reduce air travel wait times, including by increasing staffing at major airports.

This month the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, which operates the airport, launched an education campaign for how “passengers and stakeholders” could work together to reduce delays, and acknowledged “various and complex” challenges.

It said in a statement that all industry partners “together must expeditiously implement reforms that will make smoother journeys for the remainder of summer and beyond”.

But epic delays, long queues, cancelled flights, and lost luggage is not just an issue in Toronto.

More than 100,000 passengers have been leaving London’s Heathrow airport, which is the UK’s largest airport and an international travel hub, each day – or trying to.

Flight cancellations have become common, and luggage goes missing.

Two travellers sleep at the airport

Getty Images

Heathrow has apologised to passengers affected by the travel chaos, but has insisted most passengers had a good level of service, despite resourcing challenges at multiple levels.

At Edinburgh Airport, hundreds of bags have been left in a warehouse while airline employees try to sort through a missing luggage backlog.

So why is all this happening?

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented disruption to the industry. Air travel plummeted in response to travel restrictions and other measures, and airlines grounded fleets and laid off workers.

At one point, air travel was down around 90% in the US, according to the country’s Transportation Security Administration.

This summer has been an abrupt turnaround.

The number of people who are flying is up dramatically, to nearly the same level as it was before the pandemic.

“We’ve never before had 50% capacity out of the market and tried to bring it back so quickly,” said Laurie Garrow, a civil engineering professor at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, referring to the airline industry.

“Demand just whiplashed back.”

Airline employees – whether at the ticket counter, baggage claim or in the air – have been overwhelmed, especially since staffing is already thin.

Many airport employees, whether baggage handlers or custodians, left their jobs during the pandemic and have not returned.

Kathleen Bangs, a spokeswoman for aviation tracking website FlightAware, said that Pearson is facing the same problem that airports around the world are going through – a shortage of workers.

“Airports are having a hard time getting people to come back to work,” she said.

And so, Pearson’s rating sank this summer, said Ms Bangs, as did ratings for Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, LaGuardia Airport in New York, and many other airports in the US and Canada.

Airline executives have scrambled to accommodate the returning passengers – and to manage their expectations for their summer travel.

“Regrettably, things are not business as usual in our industry globally, and this is affecting our operations,” said Michael Rousseau, the president of Air Canada, in a late June message to passengers.

Air Canada has drastically reduced the number of flights this summer so they can provide better service on the ones they do schedule. It cut 9,500 flights in July and August, or about 154 per day.

“We are convinced these changes will bring about the improvements we have targeted,” Mr Rousseau said, adding “that the real benefits of this action will take time”.

Other airlines have made similar decisions.

In truth, few companies, even the nimblest ones, have been able to withstand the bust-and-boom cycle unleashed by the pandemic.

Airlines, like airplanes themselves, are big and unwieldy, and slow to make course corrections.

Mr Kissel and his band eventually got their luggage and their guitars back from the Toronto airport.

When asked whether he would write a song about Pearson, Mr Kissel laughed.

He likes country songs that are upbeat, he said, but when it comes to the airport: “I can only think about several swear words I’d use. I’d probably end up writing a negative song, riddled with a lot of ‘F-words’.”

Adblock test (Why?)

Source link

Continue Reading


Inflation is making Thanksgiving dinner more expensive than ever – CBC News



Thanksgiving dinner will come with a hefty price tag this year as double-digit food inflation pushes up the cost of everything from turkey to potatoes.

The cost of a classic roast turkey dinner with all the fixings — stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, green beans, pumpkin pie and beverages — now comes in at a total cost of $203.95 for a family of four, with some leftovers.

That’s up about 12 per cent from $181.75 last year, according to figures gathered from Statistics Canada and grocery retailers.

Food inflation hit 10.8 per cent in August compared with a year before — the fastest increase in grocery prices since 1981.

Some Canadians are responding to higher grocery prices by making menu changes to save money.

A new survey found nearly a quarter of respondents plan to alter their Thanksgiving meal due to higher food prices.

“Canadians are making compromises and revisiting their menu plans because of food inflation,” said Sylvain Charlebois, Dalhousie University professor of food distribution and policy.

A poll by the school’s Agri-Food Analytics Lab conducted by Angus Reid on Sept. 30 found 22 per cent of respondents said they would be making changes to their Thanksgiving menu due to food costs.

Feeling the pinch

Meanwhile, some Canadians might be struggling to cobble together a Thanksgiving meal at all.

“Things are really rough out there,” said Kirstin Beardsley, CEO of Food Banks Canada. “There are more people turning to food banks than ever before in our history.”

Many food banks in Canada will be offering the fixings for a celebration meal, she said.

Yet the challenge for food banks is that as demand for their service rises, some people in the community who may have donated in the past are feeling stretched and might not be in a position to give as much, Beardsley said.

“Food banks have seen quite a significant decline in food donations over the pandemic,” she said. “We’re heading into Thanksgiving and the holiday season in need of more community support.”

Meanwhile, some Canadians are planning smaller celebrations this weekend to keep Thanksgiving costs down — a tough decision after two years of pandemic restrictions on large gatherings.

“Turkey is pretty expensive, so people looking to save money might prefer a large chicken,” said Abby Langer, a registered dietitian and nutrition expert.

For bargain shoppers who find a turkey on sale, she said the bird can be repurposed for several meals after Thanksgiving.

“If you do make a large turkey, you can freeze some of the meat, boil the carcass to make soup or make lots of other meals using the leftovers,” Langer said.

Here is a look at estimated costs for items on a typical Thanksgiving dinner menu, using figures from Statistics Canada, grocery retailers and researchers.

Turkey: 15 per cent

Turkey is the main item on many Thanksgiving menus. But prices have increased about 15 per cent this year compared with last year, according to the Agri-Food Analytics Lab. Last year, fresh turkey was about $5.73 per kilogram, or $37.25 for a 6.5-kilogram turkey. This year, the price of a kilogram of fresh turkey is about $6.59, or $42.84 for the same size bird.

Potatoes: 10.9 per cent

A year ago, a kilogram of potatoes cost about $1.39, making a 10-lb bag about $6.31. Today, potatoes are about $1.54 a kilogram, making that same bag of potatoes $6.99.

Butter: 16.9 per cent

The price of butter is up about 17 per cent in Canada at $5.99 a pound, or 454 grams. A year ago, butter was about $5.11 a pound.

Fresh vegetables: 9.3 per cent

If you spent $40 on fresh vegetables and herbs last year, expect to pay closer to $44 for the same basket of veggies this year.

Bread: 17.6 per cent

Bread for stuffing or to serve with the meal will cost more than last year. A loaf priced at about $2.54 last year will now cost you $2.99.

Fruit: 13.2 per cent

Fruit prices are up by double digits compared with last year. A 1.36-kilogram bag of apples to make a pie was about $5.29 last year and now it will cost $5.99.

A 340-gram bag of fresh cranberries that cost about $2.64 last year will now cost $2.99.

Flour: 23.5 per cent

Flour is likely on your shopping list if you plan to bake pies or make gravy. Last year, flour cost roughly $2.51 a kilogram, making a five-kilogram bag about $12.55. This year, with flour prices about $3.10 a kilogram, the bag will cost $15.50.

Condiments, spices and vinegars: 17.2 per cent

If you spent $20 last year on condiments, spices and vinegars, this year you can expect to pay about $23.50.

Milk: 7.9 per cent

The price of two litres of milk is now about $4.99, up from about $4.63 last year.

Eggs: 10.9 per cent

A dozen eggs now cost about $4.99, up from $4.50 a year ago.

Ice cream: 7 per cent

Today, two litres of ice cream will cost about $6.99, whereas a year ago the price was about $6.53.

Sugar: 18.4 per cent

A two-kilogram bag of sugar that cost about $2.52 a year ago is now $2.99.

Coffee: 14.2 per cent

A 340-gram bag of coffee is now about $12.79, up from $11.20 a year ago.

Tea: 10.7 per cent

A box of tea with 72 tea bags is about $6.29 today, up from about $5.68 a year ago.

Wine: 5.7 per cent

A bottle of wine that came with a $15 price tag last year will now cost about $15.86.

Adblock test (Why?)

Source link

Continue Reading


Fate of Elon Musk's Twitter deal awaits both sides to reach agreement – CNBC Television



Adblock test (Why?)

Source link

Continue Reading


More interest rate hikes are needed to tame inflation, Bank of Canada governor says – Global News



Signs that global inflation pressures are easing are not enough to curb future interest rate hikes as the national economy is still running too hot, the Bank of Canada’s top policymaker says.

Tiff Macklem said in a speech Thursday to the Halifax Chamber of Commerce that even as inflationary pressures beyond Canada’s border such as high global shipping rates and supply chain concerns subside, domestic sources of price growth such as demand for services remain too hot.

Read more:

Canada’s supply chains ‘desperately’ need overhaul amid global pinch: report

The annual rate of inflation clocked in at 7.0 per cent in August as gasoline costs continued to fall, per Statistics Canada, though prices on food continued to surge, hitting a 41-year high.

Macklem also said surging demand for travel and recreation after the end of COVID-19 restrictions fuelled inflation.

Those forces have helped keep the Bank of Canada’s core metrics of inflation hot even as the headline figure from Statistics Canada has slowed in two consecutive months.

“When combined with still-elevated near-term inflation expectations, the clear implication is that further interest rate increases are warranted. Simply put, there is more to be done,” Macklem said Thursday.

The Bank of Canada, as an institution, and Macklem specifically have been targets in recent months for federal Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre, who charges the central bank with enabling the Liberal government agenda and contributing to rampant inflation.

Click to play video: 'Poilievre accuses Trudeau of ‘increasing the cost’ of Thanksgiving dinner'

Poilievre accuses Trudeau of ‘increasing the cost’ of Thanksgiving dinner

Poilievre accuses Trudeau of ‘increasing the cost’ of Thanksgiving dinner

During his leadership campaign, Poilievre said he would fire Macklem from his post if he became prime minister, a proposal that has received backlash in turn as not respecting the independence of the institution.

Global National anchor Dawna Friesen asked Macklem in an interview following his speech on Thursday about his response to the Conservative leader.

The governor told Friesen that the central bank’s independence is the reason it’s able to “deliver price stability” and control inflation — a task he was resolute in his comments Thursday the Bank of Canada would be able to accomplish.

“I can tell you, I go to work every day, that’s my focus. Inflation is hurting Canadians. The best way to protect Canadians from high inflation is to eliminate it.”

How high will interest rates go?

The Bank of Canada’s policy rate currently sits at 3.25 per cent, following an increase of 0.75 percentage points on Sept. 7.

The central bank’s benchmark rate has jumped up three percentage points across five consecutive hikes since March, which Macklem acknowledged Thursday is “one of the steepest and fastest tightening cycles we’ve ever conducted.”

CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld said in a note to clients Thursday that Macklem’s speech “had a fairly hawkish tilt,” implying a more aggressive stance on monetary policy.

Click to play video: 'Your Money: Tips for managing monthly mortgage payments due to rising interest hikes.'

Your Money: Tips for managing monthly mortgage payments due to rising interest hikes.

Your Money: Tips for managing monthly mortgage payments due to rising interest hikes – Sep 22, 2022

The central bank had signalled back in September that more interest rate hikes would be needed to tame inflation. But Shenfeld said Macklem’s remarks meant the next rate decision on Oct. 26 was “still a lock” for an increase of half a percentage point with a pause afterwards unlikely.

Warren Lovely and Taylor Schleich of National Bank Financial (NBF) said in a note that they also expect a move greater than the standard 25-basis-point step later this month, with the policy rate ending the year “at no less than” four per cent.

The NBF economists said that Macklem’s tone was reminiscent of recent speeches from U.S. Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell, who has promised more “pain” to come in efforts to tame inflation south of the border.

Read more:

U.S. Fed chair signals ‘pain’ ahead; more rate hikes needed to tame inflation

Indeed, Macklem was adamant that as the labour market remains tight and wages are beginning to grow, Canada’s economic growth must slow to give supply time to catch up with pent-up consumer demand.

“This will help relieve price pressures here in Canada,” he said.

Weak Canadian dollar fuelling inflation

Asked whether he still believed Canada will skirt a recession, Macklem maintained it is possible to avoid the economic downturn but conceded there are many factors that could complicate those efforts.

Global supply chain issues persist with pandemic-related lockdowns in China, war continues in Europe and inflation could prove “sticky” at home, he cited as ongoing issues the bank is monitoring.

“There is a path to a soft landing but it is a narrow path and there are risks,” he said.

Click to play video: 'Will Canada see a recession by the end of 2022?'

Will Canada see a recession by the end of 2022?

Will Canada see a recession by the end of 2022?

“How high interest rates need to go … really depends on how inflation and the economy responds.”

One such inflationary pressure is the relative weakness of the Canadian dollar to the U.S. greenback.

Usually when a country’s central bank raises interest rates, the national currency gets a boost as investors are incentivized to hold that denomination.

Read more:

The loonie is at a nearly 2-year low. What does that mean for inflation?

But the Canadian loonie — like most currencies around the world, in fact — has faltered as of late due to the overwhelming strength of the U.S. dollar. The Canadian dollar is at a more-than two-year low of 73 cents to the U.S. dollar as of Thursday.

That’s driving up the prices of imports from the U.S. and weakening the purchase power of Canadians who travel south for the winter, contributing to inflation.

Macklem said Thursday that the lagging loonie means “there’s going to be more to do on interest rates.”

Weighing the wage question

In his speech Thursday, Macklem continued to try to set expectations for inflation in the near- and long-term, pledging the central bank would fulfill its mandate to bring price growth back to its two-per-cent target.

Speaking from Halifax, he alluded to the rebuilding efforts underway following the devastation from storm Fiona as providing resolve for the Bank of Canada’s own campaign.

“Atlantic Canadians will rebuild after this storm as they always have. And the Bank of Canada will control inflation as it has for the last 30 years. We are resolute in our commitment to restore price stability for all Canadians,” he said.

Read more:

Economists cry foul over Bank of Canada revisions to key inflation gauge

Inflation expectations are a critical part of the fight against inflation itself. When consumer and employer expectations for inflation become “unanchored,” they begin demanding higher wages to offset the impact, which then feeds back into prices themselves as businesses pass on costs to the end-user.

The “wage-price spiral” is a worst-case scenario for the Bank of Canada, Macklem explained, and would require much higher interest rates to tame.

“Once you get into a wage-price spiral, it’s too late,” he said.

But as Macklem has preached this to business leaders and warned them against raising wages too high amid the inflation fight, some have accused the central bank governor of overstepping his bounds and disrupting collective bargaining.

When the governor spoke to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) in July, he warned attendees not to bake today’s inflation levels into long-term wage contracts.

The Canadian Labour Congress has taken issue with this tact — president Bea Bruske said in a statement last month that she’s “deeply concerned about the Bank’s preoccupation with encouraging companies to push down wages, at a time when so many workers struggle to make ends meet.”

Macklem was asked about his wage messaging on Thursday. He maintained that he is leaving decisions about payroll up to businesses, and to workers to decide what wages they are willing to accept.

But he said his guidance has been to not bake high levels of inflation into long-term discussions about salary.

“What I’ve been telling workers, what I’ve been telling businesses, is as you take your decisions, don’t count on inflation staying where it is,” he said.

“Inflation is coming down, and workers and businesses can count on that.”

— with files from Reuters

Click to play video: 'How inflation will take a big bite out of Thanksgiving'

How inflation will take a big bite out of Thanksgiving

How inflation will take a big bite out of Thanksgiving

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Adblock test (Why?)

Source link

Continue Reading