November 06, 2015

Billy Bishop, Bombardier and Trudeau's war on Canada's middle class

Mitch WolfeRebel Blogger

Well, Trudeau Jr., even before officially becoming Canada’s new Prime Minister, was already reneging on his key platform promise to spend infrastructure money to help out Canada’s middle class.

It is old the bait and switch, sports fans.

And the Quebec voters -- and all the idealistic, starry-eyed Canadians who voted for the Liberals thinking that their middle class lot in life will improve -- fell for it, once again, hook, line and Liberal stinker politics.

Bowing to the worst form of NIMBYism (I call them “SWADEs”: Smug, White, Arrogant Downtown Elitists), the new Trudeau government kiboshed efforts by Toronto-based Porter Air and the majority of Toronto City Council to expand the already successful downtown Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.

The plan was to extend both ends of the Billy Bishop runway by 168 metres, to allow Bombardier C Series airplanes to safely take off and land. That way, Porter Air could offer longer flights from Toronto to western Canada, the United States and even the Caribbean.

Currently, the Billy Bishop airport accommodates two million visitors to Toronto. Expansion would double that,, giving Toronto and the GTA a much needed economic shot in the arm.

And studies show that the continued success of Porter Air benefits all Canadian air travelers. Air Canada and West Jet are forced to lower their prices and improve their service in order to compete with Porter Air. The expansion of Billy Bishop would only increase this healthy competition.

Porter Air has agreed to buy 12 C Series Bombardier planes, with an option to buy 18 more. Such an order is worth $2.3 billion at 2013 list prices. However, this order is conditional on the three parties --  the federal government, the city of Toronto and Ports Toronto -- approving the airport extension.

So this is where things get really interesting.

The Quebec provincial Liberal government has already committed $1 billion to Bombadier to assist with C Series plane development, and Quebec’s Economy Minister Jacques Daoust said he will ask the Trudeau government to match that amount.

(Recall the federal Liberals were decimated in Quebec in the 2011 federal election. In this recent election, the Trudeau Liberals secured 40 Quebec seats.)

It would be financially foolish for Trudeau to agree to a $1 billion lifeline to Bombadier, then killing Porter Air’s $2.3 billion order of Bombardier C Series planes.

On the other hand, for Trudeau to both kill the Porter Air Bombardier order and refused to extend a financial lifeline to Bombadier could be politically fatal for Trudeau and the Liberals in Quebec.

You can bet your sweet poutine that the Quebec Conservatives, Mulcair and his NDP fellows and the revived BQ would be all over Trudeau for lying to the Quebec people about creating jobs.

Just ask the BQ and the NDP. What goes up in one Quebec election in Quebec, comes crashing down the next.

The lefty loony lunatic Adam Vaughan, elected Liberal MP of Spadina-Fort York, and representing Toronto's "SWADE" element, seems to be pulling the strings of the puppet Trudeau. 

Recall that Trudeau never specifically campaigned on the platform of killing the Porter Air expansion.

But the out of control Vaughan is claiming such a public mandate.

And the stupid, clueless and weak Trudeau seems to going along, in effect telling middle class workers in Montreal and Toronto to go frack themselves.

Because at this stage, with Vaughan claiming an end to an expanded Porter Air, the Trudeau Liberals  do not seem disposed to help either Quebec Bombardier workers or Toronto citizens.

Remember: We conservatives warned you about these incompetent, anti-business, anti-private sector and anti-jobs Liberals.  


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commented 2015-11-09 05:32:04 -0500
So, the Latvian national carrier AirBaltic has just announced that it will be the first to fly the Bombardier C series out of the nation’s capital Riga, thus expanding routes and giving serious tree-shaking competition to other carriers in Northern Europe… Meanwhile “back at the ranch” i.e Toronto, a bunch of dimwitted local politicians are willing to block the expansion of the Billy Bishop airport’s runways to accommodate jets… Now most big cities in the world would “kill” to have such a convenient downtown airport to facilitate business and tourism traffic… But not Toronto… Mind you, that will not stop them from seeking government hand-outs to improve their “infrastructure”… I’m guessing it must be that Lake Ontario water that is killing all those brain cells?
commented 2015-11-08 21:06:12 -0500
Ezra, could you please try to refrain from showing pictures, film clips etc of the shiny pony in your videos. I tend to miss the points you are making when I have to look at that, that --OK, clown.
commented 2015-11-07 00:27:03 -0500
I wish you could edit comments on here. That should be “write-off” not “right-off” in my last post
commented 2015-11-07 00:25:39 -0500
I wouldn’t right-off the expansion proposal just yet. Before the new government was sworn in Adumb Vaughan was proclaiming the proposal to introduce “jets” at Billy Bishop “dead”. Adumb claim that this was made clear in a letter sent to Mayor Tory in June.

Here is a copy of that letter. Notice the subject is tearing down the Gardiner NOT expanding Billy Bishop (one the second page there is passing reference to not opening the tripartite agreement).

A Liberal press secretary made reference to that letter but I have yet to hear Trudeau back up Adumb Vaughans promise to kill a $2.3 Billion order to Bombardier. Also note that Adumb Vaughan did not get appointed to cabinet. He is a lowly backbencher. The Minister of Transport who will decide the issue is Montreal MP and former Astronaut Marc Garneau. Somehow I think that Garneau will take a different view on this stupid “jets” vs “propeller” argument. I will be very amazed if Trudeau and Garneau do not overrule Vaughan even if it means Vaughan crosses over to the NDP. The Liberals don’t need him. He is just one of over thirty Liberal MPs in the Toronto area.
commented 2015-11-06 23:08:11 -0500
For Charles Reid: it’s not my imagination that compares Bombardier with Boeing and Airbus. Bombardier itself has been explicit that it sees the market for aircraft in the CSeries size as open for it to capture. From Wikipedia:

“The CSeries is designed for the 100- to 149-seat market category. Bombardier estimated this market to be 19,333 aircraft, representing more than $250 billion revenue over the next 20 years. Bombardier expects to be able to capture up to half of this market with the CSeries. In 2009, first flight for the CSeries was expected in 2012.” [estimations cited are from:]

In other words, the comparison is not mine, but Bombardier’s.
commented 2015-11-06 22:47:48 -0500
White, Arrogant Downtown Elitists), the new Trudeau government kiboshed efforts by Toronto-based Porter Air and the majority of Toronto City Council to expand the already successful downtown Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.

" the majority of Toronto City Council"

What’s your source?
commented 2015-11-06 16:06:58 -0500
Here’s another little puzzle to add to this one and well suited to an Ezra /Brian look.
On the face of it, Trudeau’s appointment of an ex no nonsense tough cop, come an ex no nonsense tough soldier as defence minister, seems an ideal choice and one that Sthen Harper might have made. Until, that is, you remember Trudeau’s apparent thinking on how to deal with extremism around the world.
The question is, will this guy be allowed to function the way he obviously would, or is he just a nice bit of stage dressing.? Perhaps the planned reneging on our NATO commitments will give us a clue, when it comes up for finalizing.
A point or two for Mr Jenkins. To compare Bombardier with Boeing or the Airbus consortium is just about as silly as it gets. You might as well compare the size of the U.S. Military with Canada’s.
If Jenkins speculations on the whole story were to be taken seriously, then it seems bombardier’ s only option is to close it’s doors
commented 2015-11-06 13:11:41 -0500
A few points:
• although Porter Airlines has said they want to buy 12 CS100s from Bombardier, there is no guarantee that at the end of the day, they will. There are other manufacturers in the market. Heck, even if they buy no jets, they come out ahead with an expansion approval as they can more fully load their existing fleet.
• if Bombardier is counting on the Porter order as a part of its order book, it’s time to look at what other “orders” they are counting on. Some of their so-called “firm” orders grow less firm as time goes on.
• Porter’s 12-jet conditional order would add less than 5% to Bombardier’s total of 243 CSeries jets (a number that has not increased in over a year); Bombardier needs a LOT more than that to get in range of the 2,869 Boeing 737 max or 4,307 Airbus A320neo aircraft orders of their major competition.
• the Porter CSeries order would not bring any manufacturing to Toronto; CSeries production will not be there.
• although you state that the “plan was to extend both ends of the Billy Bishop runway by 168 metres”, that has not been the case since Sept 2013, when the Porter ask went to 200 metres. Now Air Canada’s analysis says even that will not be enough to fly at-capacity CS100s in all air temperatures and weathers.
• you state that passengers would double from 2 to 4 million passengers annually. The actual PortsToronto proposal goes to 5.5 million. The economic benefits of that increase would have to be subtracted from flights cannibalized from Pearson.
• refusing a jet expansion at BBTCA will not “hobble” the airport, as you state. The current agreement has NO limits on passengers or numbers of flights, subject to noise restrictions.

Not sure where this editorial stands on the Bombardier situation: criticizing a bailout, or criticizing no bailout as “anti-business”.