Regional Community Airports Coalition of Canada
At its annual meeting held June 5, 2008 in Vancouver, the Regional Community Airports Coalition of Canada (RCACC) accepted a resolution to seek the abolition of user fees for Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) services.
August 29, 2008 By Administrator
At its annual meeting held June 5, 2008 in Vancouver, the Regional Community Airports Coalition of Canada (RCACC) accepted a resolution to seek the abolition of user fees for Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) services. The Chair of RCACC, Mr. Curtis Ross, stated, “The imposition of CBSA user fees in a highly discriminatory fashion as is now done, is a strong deterrent to economic development at regional and community airports across Canada. RCACC believes that the provision of customs and immigration services is a fundamental service of the Government of Canada. No group of Canadians should be expected to pay directly for these services when the net benefit is the economic growth of Canada.”
The CBSA decided in 1997 that service levels were to be frozen. Any additional service from that point on was to be provided on a cost recovery basis. The outcome of that decision is that communities hoping to attract international flights to stimulate economic growth face a tremendous challenge as air carriers must carry additional costs for customs clearance versus the airports where it is provided for free.
The CBSA decision effectively precludes growth in international traffic destinations. Further, this policy also inhibits economic growth at many communities across Canada. In the case of expanding services, CBSA must be prepared to react to natural business growth by using a valid and verified business planning system.
RCACC believes that the following must apply to CBSA services:
1. The provision of customs and immigration services is a national program that affects all Canadians, not a narrowly defined sub-group.
2. The cost of providing customs and immigration services must be a Government of Canada responsibility because the service affects all Canadians.
3. The ability to expand the delivery of CBSA services must be based on verified business plans that see the benefit to Canada.
4. CBSA must clearly articulate the cost inputs for their service and provide detailed statements of requirements for their facility so that a business plan can be based upon known cost inputs.