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BS: Canadian Visa Stupidity

Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Dec 10 - 04:58 PM
gnu 28 Dec 10 - 05:15 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 28 Dec 10 - 05:16 PM
GUEST,999 28 Dec 10 - 05:21 PM
Ed T 28 Dec 10 - 05:39 PM
Little Hawk 28 Dec 10 - 05:56 PM
gnu 28 Dec 10 - 07:11 PM
bobad 28 Dec 10 - 07:19 PM
gnu 28 Dec 10 - 07:40 PM
CET 29 Dec 10 - 11:09 AM
Jack Campin 29 Dec 10 - 12:30 PM
Ed T 29 Dec 10 - 01:06 PM
gnu 29 Dec 10 - 02:20 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Dec 10 - 03:00 PM
Richard Bridge 29 Dec 10 - 03:10 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Dec 10 - 06:33 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Dec 10 - 06:43 PM
GUEST,999 29 Dec 10 - 06:49 PM
Jack the Sailor 30 Dec 10 - 12:37 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Dec 10 - 02:04 PM
Richard Bridge 30 Dec 10 - 02:14 PM
bobad 08 Jan 11 - 11:17 AM

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Subject: BS: Canadian Visa Stupidity
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 04:58 PM

Canadians now will have to pay $250 for 30-day, $500 for 3-month, and $1000 for 6-month visas to the United Arab Emirates. This resulted from the Conservative governments refusal to grant extra landing rights to two Emirate airlines.

Dubai is a centre for 200 Canadian businesses operating in the Emirates.
25,000 Canadians live and do business in the UAE.
Canadian bilateral trade with the Emirates amounts to $1.5 billion dollars annually.
Canadian universities, including University Calgary, have campuses in Dubai at the University complex there. Canadian students interested in Middle Eastern culture and business study there, and Emirate students come to Canada for specialized study.
The UAE is a stratigically important, friendly ally.
All of these will be hurt by the decision.

The UAE, a major airline hub in the Middle East, gave Canadian visitors a 30-day stamped visa.

Previously, Canada was among 30 countries whose citizens did not require a visa to the UAE.

This decision by our government must be recinded. Contact your member of Parliament.


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Subject: RE: BS: Canadian Visa Stupidity
From: gnu
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 05:15 PM

My member, as is yours, most likely, a member.

What crap!


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Subject: RE: BS: Canadian Visa Stupidity
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 05:16 PM

Human rights in the UAE are little better than Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan. I don't see why we should kiss their arse! Tell them to piss off!


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Subject: RE: BS: Canadian Visa Stupidity
From: GUEST,999
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 05:21 PM

The UAE do NOT control Canada`s government nor our government`s decisions. I`m with Sandy on this. I wouldn`t be quite as polite about it as Sandy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Canadian Visa Stupidity
From: Ed T
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 05:39 PM

My member of parliament is NDP...not much chance that their voice would have any potential impact on this administration.


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Subject: RE: BS: Canadian Visa Stupidity
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 05:56 PM

Thank God this has not occurred in regards to Liechtenstein!


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Subject: RE: BS: Canadian Visa Stupidity
From: gnu
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 07:11 PM

Ahhh... am I missin sommat here... it's about landing rights? Why would we refuse landing rights? Is it to do with their abuse of human rights? And how do these affect each other, given our business relationships?


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Subject: RE: BS: Canadian Visa Stupidity
From: bobad
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 07:19 PM

The story in a nutshell:

"Despite heavy lobbying, the UAE has so far failed to convince Canada to allow its two major airlines, Dubai-based carrier Emirates and Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways, to increase flights to the country.

Emirates has been lobbying Ottawa to allow it to expand its three-day-a-week Dubai-Toronto service. It also wants to fly to Calgary and Vancouver.

The dispute escalated last month when the UAE ordered Canada to vacate a military base near Dubai which was used as a staging post for Canadian forces in Afghanistan.

UAE's efforts to gain more landing rights in Canada has been fiercely criticized by Air Canada, which has accused the Mideast airlines of wanting to steal away connecting passengers that help make its routes profitable.

Allowing a foreign carrier like Emirates to take some of the most profitable connection traffic could have an impact on Air Canada's ability to maintain its domestic service, threatening jobs, the Canadian Labor Congress said Monday.

The union group represents 3.2 million Canadian workers."


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Subject: RE: BS: Canadian Visa Stupidity
From: gnu
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 07:40 PM

Thanks Bobad.


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Subject: RE: BS: Canadian Visa Stupidity
From: CET
Date: 29 Dec 10 - 11:09 AM

Tough luck on the Canadian expats working in Dubai, but this is not a cause I intend to get worked up about.


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Subject: RE: BS: Canadian Visa Stupidity
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 Dec 10 - 12:30 PM

I suspect this is not the first time. Looking at the price list for visas on entering Turkey, Canadians have always had to pay more than anybody else. That had to be a quid pro quo for Canada screwing Turkey over with its own visa fees.

Would the Canadian Labour Congress, Air Canada and the Canadian government get similarly protectionist about US airlines flying into Canadian airports?


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Subject: RE: BS: Canadian Visa Stupidity
From: Ed T
Date: 29 Dec 10 - 01:06 PM

More background:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/uae-embassy-to-charge-canadians-steep-visa-fees/article1851142/


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Subject: RE: BS: Canadian Visa Stupidity
From: gnu
Date: 29 Dec 10 - 02:20 PM

I know they used to, Jack, but I haven't kept up with the deregulation here since the early 80s.


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Subject: RE: BS: Canadian Visa Stupidity
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Dec 10 - 03:00 PM

Canadian airlines have no flights to the Emirates, thus only marginally affected if landing rights had been granted.
Canadian students at the University Complex in Doha, and teachers at two Canadian schools will pay a price-
College of North Atlantic, Qatar campus
University of Calgary School of Nursing, Qatar campus.
Many businessmen, esp. from Ontario and Alberta, will have heavy visa fees (these of course become business expenses deductable from taxes).
Canadian engineering and manufacturing firms, such as Bombardier (airplanes, rail cars, etc.), will be looked upon unfavorably in the Middle East and Arabian peninsula.

A typical case of Canada cutting off its nose.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Canadian Visa Stupidity
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 29 Dec 10 - 03:10 PM

Q has an axe to grind as a neoliberal economist. The UAE demands were at best gunboat diplomacy and if one is to be purely cynical about it one should look at the overall balance of trade between the relevant states.

Nationalisation of all UAE interests in Canada without compensation and freezing of all UAE balances in Canada should do the trick.


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Subject: RE: BS: Canadian Visa Stupidity
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Dec 10 - 06:33 PM

what a neoliberal economist is, only Richard Bridge knows; I am an Alberta Conservative in politics.

The Canadian Embassy-Trade Commissioner efforts are being undercut by short-sighted policies.
The UAE (esp. Abu Dhabi) is ranked no. 3 after Saudi Arabia and Iraq in terms of oil reserves and no. 4 in terms of natural gas reserves.
The Canadian Embassy has been pushing programs in oil and gas, chemicals, electric power equipment, metals, plastics, defence and aerospace industries, education and other fields. Abu Dhabi is a major world economic center.

The Consumers Assn. of Canada has condemned the Ottawa action, saying allowing Emirates carriers to expand in Canada would be beneficial to consumers.
"We are talking about a destination to which Air Canada does not even fly (directly)," said Mr. Cran, adding that there is no reason for Canadian consumers to be forced to give preference to Air Canada's Star Alliance carriers, which operate competing routes through Europe.
Calgary especially needs through flights to Dubai because of its business ties in the petroleum industry, and educational programs at the University of Calgary campus in Dubai.

There is no question that Emirates airlines offer much better service to businessmen than Air Canada, with more services and comfort. There are now 27,000 Canadians in the Emirates (mostly Dubai), an important middle class workforce. It could be threatened by Ottawa's attempts to protect an airline that is falling behind premier servers abroad, and does not even offer through service to the UAE and other Middle Eastern countries except limited service to Israel.


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Subject: RE: BS: Canadian Visa Stupidity
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Dec 10 - 06:43 PM

Some have said it would affect Air Canada service to India and Pakistan. Air Canada does not fly to either country, but has deals with competing airlines, so-called 'Star Alliance' partners.


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Subject: RE: BS: Canadian Visa Stupidity
From: GUEST,999
Date: 29 Dec 10 - 06:49 PM

Frankly, Scarlett . . .

The UAE have NO fuckin` business trying to straongarm this country. I doubt you`d understand that, never having had your native country strongarmed--other than the Brits doing it to you.

The UAE should get stuffed.

Bruce Murdoch


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Subject: RE: BS: Canadian Visa Stupidity
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 30 Dec 10 - 12:37 PM

It seems a complicated issue. But it look as though Canadian Conservatism = caving to foreign black mail. The economic argument seems bogus.

I didn't pay directly for my US work visa when I was brought here but I'd be surprised if the cost wasn't comparable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Canadian Visa Stupidity
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Dec 10 - 02:04 PM

Air Canada, which has no flights to India, Pakistan, or the Muslim countries of the Middle East, could have obtained rights to the major hub in Abu Dhabi in exchange if they had bargained.
Air Canada's poor equipment and poor financial position would put this addition on hold, but it is one that is badly needed if they wish to be a truly carrier in Asia.

In the meantime, businessmen and Western Canada's large Indian-Pakistani and Middle Eastern population will continue to fly to New York and catch airlines that serve their destinations, mostly through the hub at Abu Dhabi, or fly Cathay Pacific to China and continue to the Indian subcontinent. Air Canada has flights only to coastal China.

Canada's action is regarded as bias against Muslim countries in a report on Aljazeeri carried on cable here. Angry reaction from the Emirates was only to be expected.


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Subject: RE: BS: Canadian Visa Stupidity
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 30 Dec 10 - 02:14 PM

Your point exactly?

Landing rights are a valuable national resource that require husbanding, not handing out to those most inclined to bully.


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Subject: RE: BS: Canadian Visa Stupidity
From: bobad
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 11:17 AM

Tough talk from a Canadian senator;

Drop the gloves with UAE

Canada doesn't need to stand for the abuse coming from this tiny Mideast bully


The United Arab Emirates has gone into a princely snit over our refusal to grant it more landing rights in Canada for its airline, and has decided it can bully us into changing our minds. I suggest that we push back, firmly, because the UAE has not realized that Canada has options, too.

Why does the UAE so desperately want more landing rights? Because it has bought a lot of big fat aircraft as part of its decade-long, oil-fuelled spending spree, and needs to fill seats by moving North Americans through Dubai to the Middle East and Asia.

When the Canadian government refused, the UAE proceeded to: a) kick Canada out of our staging base for Afghanistan that was located on UAE soil; b) refuse our minister of national defence and our chief of the defence staff permission to fly through its airspace after they were in the air; and c) introduced the need for expensive visas for any Canadian wishing to visit their country.

Here's what I think we should consider in response: a) void the landing rights UAE airlines already have; b) forbid them to fly in Canadian air space; c) slow down the processing of visas for anyone from the UAE who wants to visit Canada; and d) tell them to convince us that nobody connected to any of the Emirates' royal families is supporting antiwestern terrorist activities.

Why would I want to drop the gloves in dealing with the UAE? Because I think they're essentially a bunch of pompous thugs behaving like Canadians need them. We don't, and somebody should show them they can't treat us like the second-class citizens they hire to do virtually all the work in their seven fiefdoms.

I am well aware that some critics argue that the Canadian government has been heavy handed in dealing with the UAE, as though we weren't properly versed in the delicate ways one must handle trumped up royals.

I say we should deal with them the same way we did when they got haughty about the Canadian Forces flight-training program for the UAE Air Force. That program was going fine until some member of a royal family flunked his flight test, and still wanted to be given qualifications to fly an aircraft. Our military wisely cancelled the training program when the UAE told us that members and friends of a royal family should not be allowed to fail.

Wait, you say. Weren't the seven families who so ruthlessly rule the UAE being jolly good chaps when they offered us a military base on their soil? Well it wasn't quite soil -- it was unoccupied sand. And let's keep in mind that our troops were using that stretch of sand to try to defuse terrorism in the region, with only the tiniest military contribution of about 200 "special forces" from the UAE.

Rich oil countries like the UAE should be doing a lot more to combat terrorism than they are. It isn't just democracies like Canada and the United States that need to fear al-Qaeda and the like. These outfits are also sworn enemies of the ruling classes in places like Saudi Arabia, and yes, the United Arab Emirates. The fact that the UAE was so quick to expel Canada from Camp Mirage for as small a matter as a disagreement over landing rights in Canada suggests a haughty and short-sighted indifference to whether the world succeeds in abating terrorism.

Maybe they're not indifferent. Maybe they like to play both sides of the street when it comes to terrorism. I have spoken to several intelligence sources who are adamant that leadership within the United Arab Emirates -- while posing as friends to NATO -- have been pouring money into terrorist movements throughout the Middle East. So we should reward that kind of duplicity with additional landing rights?

Canada is a civilized country trying to do two things on the international front: promote its own interests, and create a fairer, more civilized world. There is nothing fair or civilized about the UAE, nor are things improving. Foreign workers, mostly from Asia, outnumber privileged citizens by a ratio of about four to one, and are notoriously badly treated. This really is a country run by royal thugs, without democracy, free press, free assembly, or any semblance of human rights.

Even if we were just thinking selfishly about promoting the financial interests of Canadians, what does the UAE have to offer? We don't need their oil, and the economy of their show state of Dubai is a bubble just waiting to burst for the second time.

The UAE argues that denying its airlines more landing rights in Canada amounts to unfair protectionism of our own airlines, most notably, Air Canada. But why not protect against unfair competition? The UAE has two state-subsidized airlines that have bought themselves a bevy of huge aircraft that are eating a hole in the national treasury. They staff the airlines with underpriced help that can be fired at whim, and offer discounts on their visas if you fly on those airlines. Why kill off some Canadian jobs to the benefit of the high-spending UAE treasury.

Finally, it should be noted that five years ago the U.S. Congress decided that it wouldn't allow the UAE to manage American ports through a state-owned company called Dubai Ports World. Well, you know what? Dubai Ports World owns the company that runs container and break bulk terminals at the Port of Vancouver.

Note to the princes: "You want to keep that Vancouver contract and your current landing rights? Well then write us a letter within 30 days pledging that nobody connected to the royal families running your totalitarian governments is funding antiwestern terrorists, and we'll check that out with our intelligence people. And meanwhile, start showing us some respect."

Colin Kenny is former chair of the Senate Committee on National Security and Defence.
© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen


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