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Transport Canada cuts funding for airport policing

April 9, 2010, Ottawa - Transport Canada has quietly eliminated funding to Canada's eight busiest airports to offset the cost of hiring police officers to patrol terminals.


April 9, 2010
By The Canadian Press

It's a move likely to hit travellers in the wallet.

The decision to cut the funding of $15.6 million a year was made in a vague reference in last year's federal budget.

Since federal regulations require an armed police presence in the terminals, the airports are on the hook to cover the cost.

Paul Benoit, the president and CEO of the Ottawa International Airport Authority, predicts "higher costs for the travelling public.''

Benoit says Transport Canada and politicians often comment on the importance of security, adding "maybe they should put their money where their mouth is.''

The Canadian Airports Council also says passengers will have to make up for the funding shortfall.

The council says airport costs are already so high, about 2.5 million people a year avoid Canadian airports by taking cheaper flights from American border cities.