Objections raised to idea of selling airports, making them for-profit

Originally published: February 21, 2017

The Capital Regional District is expected to wade into the debate over privatizing Canada’s airports when it meets today.

CRD director and Saanich Coun. Judy Brownoff intends to table a motion to have the CRD push the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to call on the federal government to stop what it sees as a push to privatize the nation’s airports.

Brownoff’s motion will also ask for Ottawa to consult with stakeholders on a transportation policy that reflects the needs of all Canadian communities.

In an interview, Brownoff said there are too many unknowns in the debate over the selling of airport assets. “We don’t know, but I’d rather be in front on this than behind and trying to catch up,” she said.

Following an 18-month review of the Canada Transportation Act, the federal government is considering recommendations on airport governance that it received from a panel led by former cabinet minister David Emerson.

According to Transport Canada officials, the panel considered a variety of issues, including whether current governance and service delivery models for airports could be improved.

“The government has taken no decision about selling the airports currently operated by private, not-for-profit, non-share capital airport authorities,” said Transport Canada spokesperson Marie-Anyk Côté. “This is a complex issue that warrants thoughtful and detailed analysis, as well as consultations with stakeholders that would be impacted by any change in airport governance.”

Read the rest at the Times Colonist.