Mary-Jane Bennett

Derail interswitching policies

Forcing rail carriers to ship a competitor’s cars harms profitability and distorts the investment market The winter before last, Canadians endured their coldest-ever winter. On the rail lines, deliveries were slowed significantly, creating a backlog of grain and...

Are Baggage Fees Here to Stay?

Last week, WestJet announced that it will begin charging a $25 to $29.50 fee for the first piece of checked luggage on some domestic flights. Days later, Air Canada announced matching fees. WestJet defended its move claiming that about a quarter of its passengers do...

Featured News

Transformers: More than Meets the Eye

The path to net zero, based on the much disputed belief that carbon dioxide is a pollution, is more steep and impractical than most people realize. Replacing fossil fuels with clean electricity will require much more power generation and a greatly upgraded grid to...

Lessons from Lac-Megantic

Executive Summary Since 2008, the United States has been developing important policy relating to risk in the transportation of dangerous goods by rail. The dialogue has not been restricted to the conventional corporate participants—the chemical producers and...

The Economics of Airline Overbooking

A recent CBC radio report focused on the woes of an overbooked airline traveller. Missing was an analysis of the airline perspective.  Overbooking is not, as consumer advocate Gabor Lukacs claims, a “deceptive practice.” Ralph Nader used the same language in his...

Rail Relocation From Urban Centres Benefits Both Cities and Railways: It would address safety and land use concerns while providing improved transit and operational efficiencies to rail companies

The rail tragedy at Lac Mégantic, Québec, has opened a debate about the safety of railway in urban areas. Some argue a safety measure would be the relocation of rail lines away from urban areas. Those against this option make economic arguments about community sustainability and the high costs of relocation.

What Lessons Will We Learn From the Lac Mégantic Tragedy?

The explosion, shocking loss of life and the incineration of idyllic downtown Lac Mégantic, Québec, is a catastrophe for the ages. The tragedy, however, allows us to learn new lessons. The Transportation Safety Board will investigate the causes of the accident, and wider policy questions are being asked about the security of towns built along rail lines and the safety of transporting oil by rail.

Don’t Transfer Airport Ownership Without Compensating Canadians: Response to the Senate recommendation on airport rents

The Senate recently recommended that airport rents be phased out and ownership of Canada’s public airports be transferred to the non-profit corporations that now run them. Frontier’s Mary-Jane Bennett asserts that this is wrongheaded. Airports are publically owned and worth billions of dollars. They should not be transferred without fairly compensating Canadians.