Clear the air
Read this article for free:
Already have an account? Log in here »
To continue reading, please subscribe:
Monthly Digital Subscription
$4.75 per week*
- Enjoy unlimited reading on winnipegfreepress.com
- Read the E-Edition, our digital replica newspaper
- Access News Break, our award-winning app
- Play interactive puzzles
*Billed as $19.00 plus GST every four weeks. Cancel anytime.
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/10/2011 (4183 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs has decided it should let its money do the talking and will boycott Air Canada for six months because the airline’s executives have not responded adequately to the assembly’s call for an apology. The airline, in an internal memo, told staff it would be checking out of the downtown Winnipeg hotel it used for layover of crews. This, it said, was due to the risk posed to crews from an the influx of aboriginal people downtown.
The claims were wrong — the number of “displaced people” from flooding was far fewer than the memo inferred were creating fear and risk to crews and pilots. These people, refugees from rural flooding, are as nervous about being downtown as any other visitor. They are not the root of the problems arising from intoxication and panhandling or crime seen or perceived downtown. When the memo went public, a storm erupted and facts unravelled the airline’s case. Air Canada said it was sorry if it caused anyone offence.
It was the classic non-apology. Aboriginal people in Manitoba are suitably disturbed, and demanding better. The assembly requested a meeting, which has not happened. Further, the pilots’ association said its members do not fear for their safety in downtown Winnipeg.
It is time for the airline to clear the air, so to speak. It should wholeheartedly, finally, apologize and explain its concerns publicly to a community still perplexed.