This article was originally published on July 11, 2017 on Huffington Post Canada.
For years, Lebanese Canadians flying to Beirut have had to endure exhausting layovers in Europe. But recent hopes that the Trudeau government would approve direct flights to Beirut were dashed with a tweet from an Air Canada executive early Monday. Duncan Bureau, VP Global Sales for Air Canada tweeted that the government had rejected their application, commenting, “Huge disappointment for us and [the] Lebanese community here.”
Bureau’s comments were echoed by the Lebanese community on social media. Comments to a post about the refusal on Facebook were both sceptical and critical. One individual wrote, “Trudeau will not be re elected in the next election. […] Pathetic decision Justin.” On Twitter another wrote, “Shame on @JustinTrudeau & @liberal_party for discriminating against the Lebanese-Canadian community.”Read more
This article was originally published on Oct. 12, 2016 on the Huffington Post.
Over thirteen years ago, the excitement was palpable. In early June, 2003, Air Canada was about to launch its inaugural non-stop flight from Montreal to Beirut. Thousands of Lebanese-Canadians had bought their tickets for the summer, delighted to avoid tiresome layovers in Europe on the way to visit friends and family.
But then, inexplicably, the Canadian government pulled the rug out from under Air Canada. Citing “national security” issues, the government rescinded the airline’s license to fly non-stop to Beirut – a license that it had granted only months before. In addition to the disappointment and frustration of airline executives, Lebanese-Canadian ticketholders were enraged.Read more