Shoddy safety record?!?!
I want to know who you heard that from!
It is seriously a great aircraft to fly on, the best "regional jet" by far as it is more suited of a "real aircraft" brading, as it is wider and taller inside, more like a 737 than an ERJ-145.
They are nice planes, i like them for sure, and i have flown on many of them, not the Air Canada ones, but on a few 146-200s.
with it being AC tho, beware of the FAs, i had a Montreal based crew going to LHR once, and they were the most ignorant Flight Attendants i had ever witnessed myself.
You might be OK tho, in my experience the Regional Crews are a bit more accomadating.
Have a good trip!