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Parliamentary committee says keep airports public

Pearson International AirportAdd the House of Commons finance committee to the growing list of groups calling for Canada’s major airports not to be privatized. The recommendation comes in the House of Commons finance committee’s report from its pre-budget consultations.

The committee calls for the Liberal government to “[l]imit rising passenger and operational costs by preventing the privatization of Canadian airports.” A majority of the committee members are Liberal MPs. The Liberal government is considering privatizing airports, but is keeping the details secret.

The federal government owns 26 airports across Canada. The airports are privately managed by non‑profit airport authorities that pay rent to the government and reinvest revenues back into the facilities.

CUPE has been fighting airport privatization since it surfaced in a review of the Canada Transportation Act. Initiated by the Conservative government, the review’s final report was tabled in Parliament in 2016.

The Air Transport Association of Canada, National Airlines Council of Canada, and Greater Vancouver Board of Trade all raised concerns about airport privatization with the finance committee. CUPE’s pre‑budget brief warns that infrastructure that’s sold off or privatized through the Canada Infrastructure Bank will cost us all more, including through higher user fees.

We’ll keep pushing back against this disaster-in-waiting. Canada’s airports are not for sale.


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