Chris Selley: Airlines didn’t refund our airfares. Now they’re getting our tax dollars

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Federal transport minister Marc Garneau had good news for Canada’s beleaguered airlines on Sunday: A bailout is on the way. And he had good news for the thousands of Canadians who bought tickets on those airlines for trips they couldn’t take: “Before we spend one penny of taxpayer money on airlines, we will ensure Canadians get their refunds,” he vowed. One might ruefully note the fiscal choreography being proposed: Airline customers get money back in their wallets, then the government raids their and every other Canadian’s wallets to make up the difference — and then some. The airlines are in no small hole: Air Canada lost $1.75 billion in the second quarter of 2020, $685 million in the third. Onex Corp. has fared no better with WestJet.