Canada keeps hitting turbulence on the journey back to normal

Canada keeps hitting turbulence on the journey back to normal

By Shachi Kurl, President

Can we agree that all those futurists who predicted that around this time we’d be enjoying a post-pandemic “jazz age” — a period of hectic economic growth and a robust return of joie de vivre — deserve, at minimum, some very dirty looks? Economic growth is being hampered by inflation not seen in decades. Unresolved supply chain issues, a war in Europe and a labour crunch prevent meaningful comebacks for business. Granted, the pandemic is not over, as top health officials continue to remind us. But as long as our governments behave as though it is (including dropping mask mandates, and no longer offering daily data or tracking so people can “assess their own risk”), at least we can rely on joie de vivre, right?

Find me anyone at a Canadian airport looking joyful lately. The scenes at many of this country’s busiest hubs represent portraits of frustration, futility and the forlorn. Flights are being cancelled because airlines can’t staff the journeys they’ve sold. Passengers are left stuck for hours on the tarmac aboard parked planes waiting to clear customs and immigration. Travellers are waiting much longer than normal for pre-boarding security checks — again because there are not enough workers to meet demand. Not so jazzy.

Tourism operators recently “celebrated” national tourism week. Now they worry that the first experiences of Canada for overseas visitors are those of travel-related chaos, creating terrible first impressions.

Read more from the article in the Ottawa Citizen here.

Image – Peter J. Thompson/National Post


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