Canada April Fool's: A DAFT tax, levy on obese pets

Fri Apr 1, 2011 12:35pm EDT
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TORONTO (Reuters) - A DAFT levy on phone data plans and air mixed with helium to curb airline fuel costs led the field of Canadian efforts at April Fool's jokes on Friday, while an Ottawa radio station said the city wants to tax overweight pets.

Low-cost Canadian wireless carrier Mobilicity said it would bring in the industry's first Data Access Fee Tax, to be known by the acronym DAFT, on its unlimited data plan.

"We join the Big Three wireless providers in charging customers extra fees as we look to maximize our profitability," a company executive said in a statement.

Airline WestJet, notorious for its April Fool's Day pranks, said it will use air mixed with helium in ventilation systems to lighten the takeoff weight of its fleet of Boeing 737s and bring fuel savings of up to 4 percent.

The airline did not say whether the helium would cause its passengers to talk like Donald Duck, a normal side-effect of breathing helium.

In Ottawa, anxious pet owners called into a radio station after it broadcast the news of a special tax on overweight animals. One man objected that both he and his pet gain weight in the winter, and lose it in the summer.

(Reporting by Euan Rocha and Susan Taylor; editing by Janet Guttsman and Peter Galloway)