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    Canadian Airlines: Bored of COVID-19 and Ready to Take Flight…

    By Hannah Rosen

    For the past couple months, most of our plans for the future have been up in the air, but what hasn’t?

    Canadian airlines.

    However, news broke this week notifying Canadian flyers that companies in the air transportation sectors are ready to start making money moves in the third quarter, despite safety concerns.

    While non-essential travel between the US and Canada have been extended until July 21, Canadian airlines are seeking revenue by taking away physical distancing measures (removing the hold on all middle seats), immediately raising criticism. NDP MP Niki Ashton said this move is reflective of the profit driven agenda of airlines.

    Okay, okay, so airlines have had a rough couple of months, but haven’t we all? Air Canada reported first quarter 2019 EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of $583 million, while first quarter 2020 EBITDA reported a mere $71 million (can I get that in small bills please?). 

    WestJet has also seen its share of dark days; since COVID-19 began spreading in North America, two thirds of their fleet have been grounded. Pre pandemic, the Calgary based company had 14,000 staff, then as of March 24, 2020, 6,900 employees left, and now WestJet laid off an additional 3,333 workers.

    Without borders opening, business models have to change. Through layoffs and decreased physical distancing, Air Canada and WestJet think they have found a way to survive the economic hardships of 2020, but at what cost? Raising our checked bag prices WILL be the last straw.

    The GIF that keeps on giving

     


     

    The Huawei Saga Continues…

    By Ruhee Ismail-Teja

    Last week, Trudeau received a letter from prominent former Canadian parliamentarians and diplomats urging him to release Huawei executive, Meng Wanzhou, from arrest in Vancouver, in order to secure the release of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, two Canadians imprisoned in China and charged with espionage.

    Trudeau responded that he would not release Ms. Wanzhou; stating that doing so would indicate permissiveness that could encourage the random detention of Canadians abroad in the future.

    Basically the PM is saying, if countries know Canada will do anything to get freedom for its citizens, they could arbitrarily detain Canadians travelling abroad to use their release as a negotiation tactic.

    Wait, what’s the context on this?

    The U.S. asked Canada to detain Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, after accusing her of breaking Iranian sanctions. This led to a request for extradition – when one country prosecutes or punishes someone for crimes that occurred in another jurisdiction. In this case, the U.S. is accusing Wanzhou of breaking sanctions, so through extradition, the U.S. asked Canada to detain her.

    Just days after Wanzhou’s detention, China arrested two Canadians: Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. They’ve been held hostage in solitary confinement since 2018. Last week, China charged them with spying.

    Trudeau remains adamant that the arrest is arbitrary and the Michael’s are innocent. It’s being called ‘hostage diplomacy.’ Not the ideal diplomatic situation, if you ask me.

    Ok, got it. And why does it matter so much to our economy?

    Great question. This whole debacle has proven problematic for Canada-China relations. China is the second-largest economy in the world – and growing, and is the largest export market for 33 countries.

    The U.S. has labelled Huawei a security risk and has banned the sale of Huawei products. The U.K. recently announced Huawei will not be allowed to participate in building the country’s 5G system. American politicians are pushing for Canada to block Huawei from their markets as well. Huawei currently holds 7.6% of the Canadian mobile market and polls suggest 80% of Canadians want Huawei barred from Canada’s 5G networks.

    Interestingly, 70% of Canadians say human rights and rule of law are more important than trade relations, and only 22% want Canada to develop closer trade ties with China – down from 40% in 2015.

    Earlier this year, China limited Canadian canola products, citing concerns of pesticides and bacteria (totally unfounded). 40% of Canadian canola is supplied to China. China has also placed limits on soybeans peaks, and meat. As you can imagine, this is a major blow to Canadian farmers.

    Photo Cred: Darryl Dyck / The Canadian Press

     


     

    How to Job Hunt in this Sh*tty Economy…

    By Robyn Fiell

    Thanks to COVID-19 creating one of the worst economies in history, you’re probably not a having a ton of fun looking for a new job right now. But believe it or not, companies are still hiring. While unemployment peaked in May at 13.7%, Canada saw 290,000 jobs gained. So, we’ve gathered a few tips that may help make your COVID job hunt a little easier

    1. GET LINKEDIN… or give your profile a re-vamp.

    LinkedIn is one of the most direct ways you can begin to grow your network, so if you don’t have it yet… GET IT. We all know it’s easy to let a profile go a little stale, so check it this page for some simple steps to enhance your profile

    1. Get comfortable networking remotely.

    Now that your LinkedIn is up and ready, remember that it’s STILL important to actively network while social distancing – here’s some ideas on how to get started: 

    • Reach out to former colleague or mentors through emails/LinkedIn, think about your shared experiences or common interests, ask to have a zoom coffee chat.
    • Ask lots of questions about career decisions and trends in your industries, don’t be afraid to straight up ask for advice!
    1. Learn some new skills while you have the time.

    If you have some extra time on your hands AND you’re interested in learning a new skill, now is definitely a good time to pursue that. We’ve found this list of resources that offer FREE, online courses, and don’t worry, not all of them are on learning how to code Python.

    1. Try to keep a flexible mindset, this could be a time for new opportunities!

    Social distancing forces us to spend more time inside and alone, hence more time to be angsty and reflect on life. Now is a great time to explore a new path or transition to a different position.

    There you have it, good luck out there, folks!

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