If the Harper government had tried to privatize Canadian airports there would be a huge outcry from the Liberals and no doubt the New Democratic Party (NDP) as well, but now it seems the Liberals are seriously considering doing so.
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|As the Metro news puts it:|
The federal government is looking at whether Canada’s major airports should be sold off to private investors as a way to raise tens of billions of dollars in new cash to fund other infrastructure projects.This move would give the Liberals cash for financing new infrastructure projects, which no doubt they could also sell off at an attractive price to allow investors to profit from public investments. This could ensure as well that investors will see the Liberals as a private-sector friendly party and generate more donations perhaps at the expense of the unpopular Conservatives.Transport Canada bureaucrats are reviewing the ownership structure of Canadian airports, now operated by not-for-profit airport authorities, to assess the possibilities of transferring them to for-profit enterprises — and collect a windfall in the process.
“If you went to this model, my experience tells me in five years you would not recognize Canadian airports. You would see cutbacks on maintenance, cleaning, you would see them become much more crowded because (of) the pressures on the management to deliver that return.”Mark Laroche, the CEO of the Ottawa International Airport Authority said the change would likely give rise to higher fees and travelers would be required to pay more even as airlines are also jacking up fees to help their bottom line.
Emerson is a former Member of Parliament for the riding of Vancouver Kingsway. He was first elected as a Liberal and served as Minister of Industry under Prime Minister Paul Martin. After controversially crossing the floor to join Stephen Harper's Conservatives, he served as Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics, followed by Minister of Foreign Affairs.
"Asset recycling is a way to attract private-sector investment into activities that were formerly, exclusively, in the public realm. It’s something that we should pay a lot of attention to and I’m really pleased to see the federal government is looking seriously at it.”Apparently to specialize in the public sector is to find ways to turn the sector into a source for private profit. Coincidentally, Fenn happens to be a board member of Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) which invests in public infrastructure around the world.