In the early 1980s, Canada had four functioning Canadian-owned airlines, one publicly owned, and a raft of independent charter and regional carriers. Then the industry was deregulated, supposedly to foster competition, cheapen fares, and open up the marketplace. Result? We’re down to a single major air carrier, and it is a virtual subsidiary of a larger American air carrier. Meanwhile, 90 percent of regional carriers have been gobbled up, so that it’s now difficult to get on a plane in Canada that isn’t controlled by offshore profit vampires. Hey! What happened to the cheap fares and the competition? And what do “deregulation” and “open up the marketplace” really mean?

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