When Transport Canada tabled its new infrastructure strategy last fall, it hinted that privatizing critical infrastructure, such as airports, was up for discussion.
Unifor reacted quickly to oppose the trial balloon and made a submission in April to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure, and Communities to express the union’s concern.
“Canadians get incredible value from publicly-owned airports,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “From rent revenue to good jobs, airports are massively important infrastructure hubs that should remain public.”
Airport authorities pay the federal government approximately $305 million per year in land rental charges; the revenue helps to pay for important public services that Canadians use every day. To date, airport authorities at Vancouver, Calgary, and Ottawa have strongly opposed the privatization, and the list is growing.
Privatization is a major concern because historically is has led to higher costs for the public, lower-paying jobs, and reduced public oversight. Privatizing airports only brings risk and uncertainty to services that are indispensable.
Unifor is encouraging members to write Transportation Minister Garneau at unifor.org/publicairports.