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ATAC reflects on budget

Jan. 28, 2009, Ottawa - A step in the right direction. This is how John McKenna, president of the Air Transport Association of Canada, considers the budget released yesterday by the minister of finance.


January 28, 2009
By Carey Fredericks

Jan. 28, 2009, Ottawa – A step in the right direction. This is how John McKenna, president of the Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC), considers the budget released yesterday by the minister of finance.
       
He indicated that the decision not to finance an estimated $282 million in additional funding for the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority through an increase in the Air Travellers' Security Charge was positive for air transportation in Canada. "It would have been inopportune to raise a tax during these economically difficult times."
       
The funding will support development of aviation security plans, improve operations of CATSA and implement a new passenger assessment system. "We need to look closely at what this new passenger assessment system will entail. The same can be said for the $14 million cargo security plan also announced today," continued McKenna.
       
Positive features of the budget for Canadian air carriers also include the increase in small business deductions and extended capital cost allowances on computers.
       
On the negative side, however, ATAC is very disappointed that the budget did not include the prime minister's promise of a 2 cents/litre reduction in fuel excise taxes. "A reduction would certainly have helped our industry during these uncertain times. We met with the minister of transport, infrastructure and communities in December on this issue, among others, and we
will continue to push for this promise to be honored," concluded McKenna.


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