The Trudeau Government is considering selling the nation's airports to private corporations. Linda McQuaig writes:
Turning our airports into profit-making business ventures will almost certainly drive up the costs for air travellers, and the government insists that it has not yet made the controversial decision to proceed.But the fact it’s seeking advice from Credit Suisse, a giant investment bank with fingers deep into the privatization business, suggests Ottawa has already moved well down that road.
The corporations, of course, are encouraging the move. However, those who run the airports are raising red flags:
In a joint article published this week, Mark Laroche, CEO of Ottawa International Airport Authority, and Craig Richmond, CEO of Vancouver Airport Authority, dismissed the notion that privately owned airports would manage to make profits simply by, for instance, “selling more lattes.”Instead, Laroche and Richmond insisted passengers could expect higher parking costs, airport improvement fees, cuts in cleaning staff and the end of services such as free Wi-Fi.Privatization would also mean our major airports would be run by corporate boards, whereas they’re currently run by non-profit airport authority boards that include local community representatives, who are focused on more than profit-making.
It's the same direction the Wynne government has taken in Ontario. It is selling Ontario Hydro into private hands in order to get the money to pay for infrastructure. Wynne's predecessor, Mike Harris, followed the same path when he sold Highway 407 into private hands.
The basic tenet of neo-liberalism is that all taxes are bad.The way to find the money is to sell off public assets. The faces change. But the agenda is still the same.
Image: Fight Back Canada