Friday, October 28, 2016

The Faces Change. But The Agenda Is Still The Same

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


Lorne said...

And one might add, Owen, that in their craven refusal to raise taxes, people like Wynne and Trudeau are ensuring that we all pay much more dearly down the road.

Owen Gray said...

One of the basic rules of life, Lorne, is: "Pay me now or pay me later." The bills always come due.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

A theme running through the government proceeding with their neoliberal policies Owen is that Canadians are not included in the decision making. Wynne did not have a mandate from Ontarians to sell part of Hydro, just as the provincial/federal government does not have the mandate from Canadians to privatize Pearson Airport.

Remember the days when governments like Pearson's instituted social programs because that was what Canadians wanted? Today our governments no longer govern, they rule.

Owen Gray said...

These days those who win believe they have a mandate to do as they choose, Pam. That's not democracy.

Lulymay said...

It's already expensive to fly out of YVR (Vancouver) and if these sales come to fruition to private corporations, we here in the Lower Mainland have an excellent alternative: its just a short drive across the border to a very user friendly airport in Bellingham. This is expecially true for people who have no need to fly anywhere in Canada and are primarily looking at international flights.

It's really unfortunate that Trudeau looked so promising - especially after that cold eyed character we had for so many years - but he and his crew are turning out to have been vaccinated with the same phonograph needle. Such a disappointment.

Owen Gray said...

The cynicism he deplored is beginning to catch up with him, Lulymay.