Carl Icahn’s New Playground: Canada

9, 2013 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) — Air Canada rouge says ‘Buenos Dias’ to Mexico starting October 10, with flights between Toronto and Cancun 6 days per week. And beginning December 19, Air Canada rouge will operate two flights daily between Toronto and Cancun, with convenient mid-morning and early evening departures. Cancun is the gateway to Mexico’s spectacular Mayan Riviera, Mexico’s premier visitor destination. Air Canada rouge’s service between Toronto and Mexico marks the next phase of its fleet and network expansion for winter 2013/14. Air Canada rouge announced earlier in June that it would be adding flights to Mexico, Las Vegas, Sarasota, and additional Caribbean destinations, from both Toronto and Montreal gateways. With this network expansion, the airline’s fleet grows from 4 aircraft to 10, including 2 Boeing 767-300ERs and 8 Airbus 319 aircraft. The fleet will grow to 10 aircraft by the end of 2013 with the addition of 6 Airbus A319 aircraft by December 2013 and an additional 4 Airbus A319 aircraft by March 2014, for a total of 14 aircraft by the end of the 2013-2014 winter season. Air Canada rouge will operate its A319 on the Cancun route. The newly fitted aircraft features 142 seats: 24 new slimline rouge Plus seats in a 3+3 configuration, offering more legroom and recline, and 118 new slimline rouge seats in a 3+3 configuration. Air Canada rouge is part of the new Air Canada Leisure Group, recently created by Air Canada to uniquely serve vacation travelers with flights and, through Air Canada Vacations, packaged holidays and cruises. “The Air Canada Leisure Group leverages the combined strengths at Air Canada, Air Canada Vacations and Air Canada rouge to offer the best possible travel experience for leisure customers so that they can truly ‘vacation ahead’,” said Michael Friisdahl, Chief Executive Officer of the leisure group.

Icahn has ventured up to Canada in the past, but the country seems riper than ever for American activist investors. William Ackman recently shook up an iconic Canadian brand, Canadian Pacific Railway, and made a killing for his Pershing Square hedge fund revamping the company. Canadas Globe and Mail even named Ackman its CEO of the year . Other American activists, however, have had less luck and dont view Canada as a great place to practice their brand of investing. Barry Rosenstein had his Jana Partners hedge fund launch an activist proxy campaign against Canadian fertilizer maker Agrium that failed. Rosenstein later slammed what happened to him in Canada , alleging the company bribed shareholders using a tactic allowed in Canada that saw Agrium pay brokers 25 cents for a successful vote in the proxy contest. Theres a cost to what they did. Theres a cost to corporate governance in Canada. Will I think twice about going back to Canada? Yeah, I would, Rosenstein said. American activist investors seem to be increasingly embarking on foreign adventures during a time when their investment strategies are ascendant, but going far from home doesnt make things easier. Another New York hedge fund billionaire, Dan Loeb, has so far not accomplished much in his effort to spark change at Japans Sony. Icahn is also coming to Talisman midway through a makeover. The company got rid of its previous CEO, who presided over a bundle of global assets from the North Sea to Kurdistan, Norway and Colombia, that proved unmanageable. A Canadian activist shareholder, West Face Capital, already seemed to pave the way for Hal Kvisle to take over as CEO last year and simplify the company by unloading some assets.

Microsoft Canada collaborates with Arlene Dickinson to fuel YouInc.com community for entrepreneurs

While Air Canada is boasting about improved service in other parts of the country, here, not so much. The most glaring cut is the direct flight to Londons Heathrow. I think its an absurd decision on behalf of Air Canada, said Edmonton Economic Development Corporation president and CEO Brad Ferguson. Edmonton and the capital region, were the youngest fastest growing jurisdiction in Canada. Our airport is one of the fastest growing in the country and we think Air Canada needs to be a part of that. This is a punitive decision on behalf of Air Canada. Obviously theyre looking to aggregate more out of Calgary and I think what theyre missing is weve got 1.2 million customers sitting here in Edmonton and the Capital region that now have zero direct flights to the United States or Europe through Air Canada, so Air Canada is now resorted to being a simple domestic carrier. Were going to need to pursue lots of options and idealy Air Canada will be a part of that. There are still direct US flights from Air Canadas code share partners like United. What we have right now, its not just about access, its about choice and Edmontonians and Canadians they need choice of where they fly to and how they get there and at what time. Were actively and agressively pursuing multiple flights Its all about us growing up as a city. This change of schedule comes on the heels of Edmonton International securing direct service through Iceland Air, which provides connecting service to several locations in Europe. The Edmonton to Heathrow route had moved from five days to three,and that inconsistency to Ferguson was also a problem. I used to be with Proctor and Gamble, I used to sell Crest as a living and Ill tell you, if your product is not on the shelf every day the consumer starts to buy Colgate instead. We have a very strong London flight, the flights are sold out, and the consumers are paying top dollar for those flights, its a profitable route and wed like to see a regular flight from Air Canada here. (sj)

Air Canada scaling back flights to London

8, 2013 /CNW/ – Microsoft Canada is very proud to announce a new collaboration with one of Canada’s most notable business icons, Canadian business leader Arlene Dickinson , in support of her new online community YouInc.com that celebrates and empowers entrepreneurs around the world. Microsoft Canada is bringing its business technology expertise to YouInc.com, the online community and resource hub for entrepreneurs. The collaboration between the technology leader and a venture capitalist on the CBC hit series Dragons’ Den, Arlene Dickinson launched on Wednesday, October 2 . “Microsoft Canada is extremely excited to support this incredible initiative. We believe that entrepreneurs and SMB’s have a significant role in driving innovation in Canada . Technology is the foundation for successful businesses and we are thrilled that Microsoft Canada will be the platform to enable entrepreneurs and SMB’s realize their full potential” said Dennis Cerasoli , Vice President, Small and Midmarket Solutions and Partners Group at Microsoft Canada As part of the collaboration, Microsoft Canada will co-create new content for YouInc.com on business technology solutions for entrepreneurs, including in-depth articles and features, exclusive offers, and direct access to experts with whom entrepreneurs can interact with for advice on technology challenges they may encounter. “Technology is the fuel for our growing entrepreneurial economy,” said Dickinson. “To be the best in the world, entrepreneurs need to have the technological tools and support which enable them to put their ideas and innovations into tangible, successful action, so I couldn’t ask for a better collaborator than Microsoft Canada.” YouInc.com gives entrepreneurs a community through which they can share, connect and grow through help and insights from peers and recognized experts alike. Microsoft Canada has a proud history of working with small and medium sized businesses to provide the full suite of technological solutions to enable them to reach their full potential. About Microsoft Canada: Established in 1985, Microsoft Canada Inc. is the Canadian subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq “MSFT”) the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Microsoft Canada provides nationwide sales, marketing, consulting and local support services in both French and English. Headquartered in Mississauga , Microsoft Canada has nine regional offices across the country dedicated to empowering people through great software – any time, any place and on any device. For more information on Microsoft Canada, please visit www.microsoft.ca . About YouInc.com: Arlene Dickinson launched YouInc.com in October 2012 as part of Arlene Dickinson Enterprises Ltd., a company created to invest in, serve and support entrepreneurs.