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Everything Short of Help?

Traffic at Canada’s top 25 airports is down more than in the US post-September 11/01.


October 2, 2007
By David Carr
 
 
 
 
 

Pressure on Canadian aviation is building with little evidence coming
out of Ottawa that the federal government is giving the file the
attention it deserves.

Traffic
at Canada’s top 25 airports is down more than in the US post-September
11/01. That ought to have had alarm bells ringing in Ottawa. Instead,
at last November’s Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC) annual
general meeting, the underlying theme in Transport Minister David
Collenette’s remarks was a plea for
patience.

Robert Kennedy
once said of the Canadian government that in times of crisis, it will
give every assistance short of help. It was an unfair remark then, and
it would be an equally unfair characterization of the government today
as it pertains to aviation. Ottawa has stepped up to the plate in
the past. The Chrétien government quickly provided indemnity for
third-party liability following 9/11 when the insurance industry
cancelled such policies. It established a $158-million relief fund for
carriers experiencing hardship as a result of the terrorist attacks
(although less than $90 million has been provided).

On the
manufacturing side, the risk-sharing Technology Partnerships Canada
(TPC) helps to close the gap in aerospace research and development
between Canada and competitors in the US and Europe, where the industry
benefits from a level of military R&D not available in this country.

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