Boeing Gets Away With It
Hi there Passengers,
Happy holidays! I regret to inform you that Passage will not let me say C******** in a newsletter. See! Look! This left-wing political correctness is out of control! It’s Robert (@robert_hiltz) here once again on a fine Thursday with your Passage Daily.
Today we’re bringing you stories of: the 737 MAX being on its way to flying again; Ontario students being told to empty their desks; the Sahotas owing a big tax bill; the low wages and poor working conditions in the food processing industry that have them facing a shortage.
Ho-ho-ho the news…
Boeing’s Nightmare 737 MAX Approved To Fly In Canada Again
Feels like a lifetime ago, but remember the Boeing 737 MAX? The plane that would fall from the sky because of the way it was designed?
Yeah, well, good news: it’s hit its first step on being approved for flight in Canada again.
The plane was a marvel of modern aircraft design. By that, I mean that Boeing tried to design a new more powerful and economical plane around the bones of the original 737. The problem is that the new features of the MAX, such as its bigger engines, made the plane handle differently than its previous generation. So, Boeing wrote a bunch of software to work in the background to make the plane seem like it was behaving like the old versions.
They did all this to cut costs, as pilots wouldn’t need to be retrained on the new models. The problem is that also meant they received basically no training on the software working in the background. So, when a particular sensor failed — typically every sensor has a backup, but because they were cutting costs there was only one — the plane’s software misinterpreted the situation and essentially flew the plane straight into the ground and the pilots didn’t know how to stop its descent.
An email went out from Transport Canada this week to the families of 18 Canadian victims of one of the crashes, and was obtained by the Globe and Mail: “I know that the news of our completion of the validation process is not something that you wanted to receive. I can assure you though that our process and review to validate these changes has been comprehensive; that our decisions have been independent and driven by the analysis of our globally recognized certification experts; and, that we are confident in our validation outcome.”
Boeing was initially left to do the major safety oversight on its own planes: it made critical safety features expensive luxury add ons, and two planes ended up as smoking craters before anyone did anything.
But now we’re told due diligence has been done this time, and will continue to be done. The government said today this is only a first step, and the planes aren’t yet approved to carry passengers in Canada.
The reason people trust air safety is because it has taken the idea of fixing problems seriously. Each crash led the system to track down what broke and work on a fix. But when the system itself is broken, how can we trust it? This wasn’t a failure of imagination or design, this was Boeing looking to cut as many corners as possible, and the regulators letting them, until multiple crashes happened and hundreds of lives were lost.
A rational society would never have allowed these planes to fly in the first place. Letting them fly now is unconscionable. Boeing should have had to eat the economic losses of designing a death machine.
- In a sign Ontario students may not be returning to in-person classes after the holiday break, the province’s education ministry is telling students to bring home all their essential materials.
- “We are recommending that boards encourage students and staff to take home any materials that they may require for remote learning before they leave school for the holiday period so that we can continue to be ready for all scenarios.” — Ontario Ministry of Education memo
- The Sahota family in Vancouver, who owned and operated some of the city’s worst housing, are facing a tax bill of $1.2 million. They may also be forced to sell their home to cover the bill, according to the Globe and Mail.
- This month it came to light the city had bought the Sahotas’ most notorious properties, the Regent and Balmoral hotels. This week, The Tyee reported the city paid the family $11.5 million for the properties.
ICYMI: If Canada’s Food Producers Need More Workers, Maybe They Should Pay Better Wages
The nation’s food producers are sounding the alarm that they’re not going to have enough workers in the coming years, and could be missing up to a quarter of the necessary labour by 2025. They say this is mostly due to their workforce aging and retiring. What they want is money from the government to “innovate,” and access to more foreign labour.
Instead, they should perhaps consider paying their workforce better, and protecting them from things such as COVID-19
A story in the Toronto Star breaks down the industry’s pleas, but also points to the likely problem:
“On average, the pay at these jobs is around 20 per cent below the overall average hourly wage, […] national payroll data shows that within goods producing industries, the gap is wider: the average hourly wage in goods producing industries was $30.36, compared to $21.20 in food manufacturing, including overtime pay.”
Until the industry is willing to pay people reasonably and offer decent working conditions, they’re going to have trouble attracting workers.
That’s all for me for a little while! Passage Daily will be back tomorrow with Jeremy for one more edition before taking a break for C********. The holidays are not ideal this year, but I hope you’re able to get some enjoyment out of them. I want to thank you all for inviting us into your inboxes this year, it’s quite the privilege. And special thanks to those who have reached out via email or DM, it’s always nice to hear from readers. See you on the other side!
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