Aimia suddenly suspends dividends following Air Canada’s decision to cut ties by The Canadian Press Posted Jun 14, 2017 5:33 am MDT Last Updated Jun 14, 2017 at 6:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email MONTREAL – Aimia Inc. (TSX:AIM) is immediately suspending all dividends on common and preferred shares, including previously declared payments that were to be made at the end of this month.The Montreal-based company runs Aeroplan and other customer reward programs for various businesses including Air Canada (TSX:AC), its original customer.Aimia says the dividend suspension is required following Air Canada’s decision to stop using Aeroplan and launch its own customer reward program in 2020.That announcement sparked a major decline for Aimia shares, which closed at $1.89 on Tuesday, worth less than one-quarter what they were worth prior to May 10.Aimia says a capital impairment test required by the Canada Business Corporations Act prevents it from paying the dividends, even though it has the liquidity to do so.“Our business continues to perform well and generate strong free cash flow,” executive chairman Robert Brown said in a statement.Shareholders who are entitled to previously declared dividends may be paid at a future date.Aimia says it’s actively working on forming new long-term relationships for the period after Air Canada departs and is making progress on cutting $70 million of costs from its business.The company also announced Wednesday that it will reduce the size of its board of directors to nine members, from 12.It says Joanne Ferstman, Alan Rossy and Beth Horowitz have resigned as directors.
In a note to correspondents, Adama Dieng, the UN Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, said that on 3 June in Tallinding, President Jammeh allegedly referred to the Mandinka as “enemies, foreigners” and threatened to kill them one by one and place them “where even a fly cannot see them.” “I am profoundly alarmed by President Jammeh’s public stigmatization, dehumanization and threats against the Mandinka,” the Special Adviser said. “Public statements of this nature by a national leader are irresponsible and extremely dangerous. They can contribute to dividing populations, feed suspicion and serve to incite violence against communities, based solely on their identity,” he added. Mr. Dieng said he was particularly appalled by President Jammeh’s “vitriolic rhetoric,” as history has shown that hate speech that constitutes incitement to violence can be both a warning sign and a powerful trigger for atrocity crimes. “We have seen, in Rwanda, Bosnia – and more recently in the Middle East – how incitement to violence has led to mass killings along identity lines,” the Special Adviser said, reminding President Jammeh that any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence is prohibited under international human rights law as well as under national legislation. Mr. Dieng also noted that States have the primary responsibility to protect their populations. In 2005, all Heads of State and Government acknowledged the responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, as well as their incitement. “I urge the President of the Gambia to fulfil this responsibility,” said the Special Adviser, “and ensure that the rights of all populations of the Gambia are respected, irrespective of ethnicity or political affiliation.”
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