Tuesday, July 19, 2005

PEI subsidy controversy ongoing

If this wasn't so sad for taxpayers, it'd be funny. The Premier of PEI is saying that he chose to subsidize Westjet over Air Canada because of the relative comfort of the seats. Talk about picking winners and losers.

Mr. Binns defended his government's subsidies for rival WestJet Airlines Ltd., saying the discount carrier's 166-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft carries passengers in greater comfort than Air Canada's 50-seat Bombardier CRJ-200s.
The best the Liberal opposition could come up with on this file was that the Premier "offended" Air Canada.
Opposition Liberal Leader Robert Ghiz said the Premier and his Progressive onservative government must take the blame for offending Air Canada by taking sides with WestJet.

"PEI is losing year-round service from Toronto because Pat Binns made the decision to subsidize WestJet, which is in direct competition with Air Canada," Mr. Ghiz said. "Unfortunately, the Premier made a mistake and this will hurt the PEI economy in the long term."

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