Airport Sell-Off Opposed

Opposition is mounting to the federal government’s apparent intention to sell its interests in Canada’s largest airports.

The CBC reported this week that the government has quietly retained PriceWaterhouseCoopers to advise it on the sale of the airport assets. It’s estimated the sale will yield about $16 billion.

Vancouver, Calgary and Ottawa airport authorities have joined to oppose the sale.

“We are not particularly in favour of privatizing this airport away from the Calgary Airport Authority unless there can be real benefits proven to citizens,” Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi told the network.

He said airport authorities already pay some of the highest rents in the world so to make money any private owners will have to raise costs to airport tenants, which will be passed on to consumers, or reduce services.

“And if cutting the costs means poorer service to citizens, that’s a big problem,” he said.

The government has said it will use the one-time windfall for infrastructure projects.