CTA Review

The Government of Canada is considering selling Canadian airport ownership from not-for-profit, community-accountable entities to private owners who will seek to extract profits at travellers expense.

The articles below explain how this would affect you, and air travel.

Note: Articles are displayed in their original language.

Skies Magazine logo

During the busiest season of the year for Canadian airports, Unifor is raising concerns about the dangers of abandoning the not-for-profit model of the nation’s airport network.

“Airports are gateways for millions of passengers and billions of dollars in goods,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor national president. “Airport security and service should take priority over making a quick buck.”

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A Parliamentary committee is recommending against the Liberal government’s plan to sell off Canada’s airports to raise billions in capital to be used towards other public infrastructure projects.

“Limit rising passenger and operational costs by preventing the privatization of Canadian airports,” the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, said in its report of the Pre-budget consultations in advance of the 2018 federal budget.

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Public Service Alliance of Canada logo

OTTAWA, Nov. 20, 2017 /CNW/ - Municipalities are starting to add their voices to the growing opposition to the idea of selling Canada's airports. Opposition to the move has already been voiced by the cities of Vancouver, Victoria, and Richmond, BC, while Calgary's mayor has publicly spoken out against the plan. Toronto City Council is considering a motion to oppose the plan as well.  

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 The Globe and Mail logo

The body that represents the world's airlines is adding its voice to the chorus urging the federal government to keep Canada's major airports in public hands and not privatize them.

"We haven't found anywhere a system of privatized airports that works well from an airline point of view," Alexandre de Juniac, director-general and chief executive officer of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Wednesday.

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#ONFR TFO logo

La possibilité de voir les aéroports canadiens privatisés, tel qu’envisagé par le gouvernement fédéral, soulève des craintes quant à leur capacité à offrir des services bilingues aux voyageurs.

«Déjà que nous avons du mal à nous faire servir en français dans les aéroports, il y a des raisons d’être inquiet!», juge le président de la Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne (FCFA) du Canada, Jean Johnson.

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logo AirportTechnology.com

According to a recent poll, a majority of Canadians do not support potential plans to put for-profit companies in charge of some of the country’s biggest airports. Their misgivings about changing the current model are backed by some of the airports at the heart of the proposal.

Last year, the Justin Trudeau-led Canadian Government hired Credit Suisse Group AG to look at the benefits of privatising the country’s eight largest airports: Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Halifax.

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International Air Transport Association logo

Cancun - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported that the global airline industry’s performance on safety, sustainability and profitability is solid, but the industry faces the threat of protectionist measures being implemented by governments. IATA also called for governments to enhance their collaboration with the industry to meet rising security challenges, avert a looming infrastructure crisis and to build smarter regulation.

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Logo Financial Post

Never mind voters or airport executives. The constituency Canada needs to get on board for any privatization of the country’s airports is its bondholders.

Investors who hold debt in the country’s biggest airports are protected by rules and contracts that would likely require the government to get their consent — and offer compensation — before it could change the ownership or capital structure of an airport, according to Jose Saracut, managing director fixed income at Manulife Asset Management.

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National Observer logo

The federal government's research on privatizing Canada's major airports appears to be missing something important.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau's federal department has been reviewing this possibility for the past year.

Some have raised concerns about increased consumer costs and weaker national security. But his department has had little to say about the potential impact on global warming.

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logo Globe and Mail

Canadians aren't sold on airport privatization, according to a new poll that found most people think it's a bad idea.

The federal Liberals continue to study options for privatizing Canada's largest airports, based on the advice of two government panels that urged Ottawa to consider the idea as a way to raise billions in revenue that could help pay for new infrastructure.

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BNN logo

While most Canadians haven’t been paying attention to the airline privatization debate, their gut feeling is that the Liberal government’s idea should stay grounded.

An Angus Reid Institute survey released Wednesday finds 53 per cent of Canadians think privatizing the country's eight largest airports would be bad, with 46 per cent saying their traveling experience would worsen. The federal government has been mulling the possibility of selling Canada's airports to fund infrastructure projects, though no action on this was included in the last budget.

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Financial Post logo

More than half of Canadians think privatization of airports is a bad idea and that it would result in more expensive, less pleasant travel, according to a poll being released by the Angus Reid Institute on Wednesday.

The survey found 53 per cent of Canadians opposed the idea, with only 21 per cent saying they thought privatization was a good idea. The rest, 26 per cent, said they didn’t know.

Canadians who travel more often were slightly more likely to believe privatization is a good thing.

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logo Montreal Gazette

Montreal and Toronto city councils are debating motions this week that, if approved, would voice official opposition to the privatization of Canadian airports.

“The Canadian model of airline governance works,” said Snowdon councillor Marvin Rotrand. The government earns rent from the not-for-profit organizations that manage airports, he explained, and the system “provides relatively good services, safe and secure passage and it is seen by other countries as a model that they should be moving toward.”

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Bloomberg logo

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he’s more interested in attracting outside capital through his proposed infrastructure bank than selling off the nation’s airports to fund the construction of new roads, hospitals, and other projects.

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logo Montreal Gazette

Montreal councillor Marvin Rotrand is urging the city administration and Aéroports de Montréal to fight against any movement to privatize airports by the federal government.

Ottawa has commissioned studies on the possible benefits of privatizing Canadian airports, currently run by not-for-profit airport authorities. Estimates on potential benefits range between $8.7 billion and $40 billion that could be raised by selling off the nation’s eight largest airports, including Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.

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Logo La Presse

Montréal doit s'opposer au projet de privatisation des aéroports canadiens de crainte de perdre le contrôle d'un important levier économique, plaide le conseiller municipal Marvin Rotrand. L'élu présentera une motion lors du prochain conseil municipal pour que la métropole prenne part à la campagne dénonçant les visées d'Ottawa.

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logo du Sénat du Canada


I hope you will allow me to begin my remarks with a brief update on the Canadian Senate, as I see it today in our parliamentary system.

We have witnessed a number of changes since Prime Minister Martin appointed me to the Senate in 2005. This was particularly so in the last few months, with the implementation of a new appointment system for the institution. Now, anyone who meets the basic criteria may apply and be considered to become a member of the Senate.

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Logo Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)

Airlines and their passengers have paid up to $1.6 billion too much for airport access over the past decade due to a textbook example of how not to privatise monopoly assets, the competition regulator said.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) latest report into Australia's four biggest airports - Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth - found that profit margins eased slightly for three of the operators last financial year.

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OBJ logo

Since the 1990s, Canada’s major airports have been operating as private, not-for-profit self-sustaining businesses. Today, airports contribute over $1 billion a year in rent and other fees to the federal government, and Canada is recognized as having the best aviation infrastructure and most efficiently run airports in the world. 

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In the 1990s, the federal government privatized Canada’s major airports, creating airport authorities that were mandated to operate as not-for-profit self-sustaining businesses benefiting their local communities through economic development, tourism and investment.

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Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chairman Rod Sims says he looks forward to a continuing debate on the regulation of monopolies and privatisation today as part of a panel session at the annual ACCC/AER Regulatory Conference in Brisbane.

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The head of the competition regulator and a former advocate of privatisation has called for the privatisation of public monopolies to stop because the government is mishandling them.

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Ottawa looking at whether Canada’s major airports should be sold off to private investors to raise funds for infrastructure spending.

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released its annual Airport Monitoring Report for 2014-15, finding that the monitored airports at Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney continue to enjoy high profit margins in both aeronautical and car parking activities.

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This article addresses the performance of three Australian airports since they were privatised by divestment. They represent cases of divestment in a monopoly environment, with ownership arrangements for each airport varying markedly. The performances of the divested airports are considered using both financial and non-financial data. There are significant implications for future divestment policies, including the value of divestment as a policy response of governments in less competitive environments, the use of particular infrastructure investment models, and the nature of the linkage between ownership structure and financial performance.

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