–  The Union of Canadian Transportation Employees (UCTE), the union that represents members at most federally regulated airports across Canada, is leery of the government’s recent announcement to study the benefits of privatizing airports.

Through the Canada Development Investment Corporation, Credit Suisse AG has been contracted to analyze privatization options.  This analysis is to be completed before the end of the year.

As part of its submission in response to the Emerson Commission Report, the body that reviewed the Canada Transportation Act, UCTE provided the Minister of Transport with its review of the privatization options for airports. In it, UCTE demonstrates where airport privatization has failed communities despite the short-term economic boost that the sale provided.

“Our research found that not-for-profit status needs to remain in place to solidify the leadership role that Canada plays in all realms of aviation,” said Christine Collins, UCTE National President.

Of concern is that this review is being conducted under the direction of the Minister of Finance and not the Minister of Transport.  UCTE wonders if, through this review, the government is seeking to justify a forgone outcome.  “We have to wonder if they have already put the cart in front of the horse,” said Collins. “I hope the Minister of Finance is aware that airports play a vital role when it comes to the safety and security of the public travelling through Canada.”

UCTE hopes that this review will carefully examine those airports where attempts to privatize failed and had to be brought back under government control.

A review of the privatization of Canadian airports