Airport Aid Woefully Inadequate

For Immediate Release

May 12, 2021

Kram: Airport Aid Woefully Inadequate

Michael Kram, Member of Parliament for Regina-Wascana, described the federal government’s latest airport aid announcement as “a drop in the bucket”.

“I suppose it’s slightly encouraging that the federal government hasn’t forgotten about airports entirely. However, these funds are so token in nature that they do not come close to rescuing our air transportation infrastructure,” Kram said.

Kram noted that yesterday’s press release from the Ministry of Transport did not even involve new funds.

“This is a classic re-announcement. This is the same $65 million they announced in November. It’s taken them five months just to decide how to divide that amount amongst the various airports. Even now, the funds won’t be made available to airports until September.”

Kram observed that the Regina Airport’s share, $2.6 million, represents approximately two months worth of the facility’s normal operating budget.

“Not to put too fine a point on, these relief funds will not even cover the Regina airports losses from now until September, much less make any dent in the debt they’ve incurred over the past year. In contrast, the US provided extensive airport transportation relief within weeks of the outbreak of the pandemic.”

Kram said that the announcement was all the more disappointing because it did not include any plan for reopening the air transportation sector.

“The Liberal’s approach to air transportation has been like a step or two back from that old line in the movie Field of Dreams, only instead of ‘build it and they will come’, their attitude is ‘don’t build it and they will come’. They seem to think the air sector will simply recover on its own with only token assistance despite that it was a sector that was among the hardest hit by the pandemic.

“In the US, airports have already rebuilt to 60 per cent of their pre-COVID capacity. The Regina Airport and others are still at 10 per cent pre-COVID capacity. The Liberals have presented no plan for how to encourage travel once it is safe to do so. Without such a plan, Canada’s air transportation sector could be stagnant and losing money for years.”

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For more information, contact:

Nigel Sharp
Constituency Assistant for MP Michael Kram, Regina-Wascana