Selling off public assets that yield steady and lucrative revenue streams is rarely a good idea. In Ontario, Kathleen Wynne did just that with 60% of Hydro One so she could claim a balanced budget. It is a betrayal I will never forgive her for.
As I have written previously, Justin Trudeau would like to do the same thing, for similar reasons, with our major airports. It is a very bad idea, as are most of the schemes promoted by neoliberals.
Happily, the possibility of relief from such madness is shimmering on the horizon:
A Parliamentary committee is recommending against the Liberal government’s plan to sell off Canada’s airports to raise billions in capital to be used towards other public infrastructure projects.The committee's report, Driving Inclusive Growth: Spurring Productivity and Competitiveness in Canada
“Limit rising passenger and operational costs by preventing the privatization of Canadian airports,” the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, said in its report of the Pre-budget consultations in advance of the 2018 federal budget.
summarized the strong opposition to airport privatization by various stakeholders, including the Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC), which believes that the sale is near-sighted and will result in significantly higher costs for airlines and passengers.Empirical evidence like this should carry much weight, but the Trudeau government is refusing to release the privatization study by Credit Suisse Group AG that it commissioned. Therefore, whether such disquieting facts were even considered is unknown. This unwholesome secrecy is opposed by the National Airlines Council of Canada, which is calling for open and public discussion around the entire issue.
“Recent experience in such projects, for example in Australia, has resulted in costs per passenger to increase by 50% in the decade following airport privatization,” ATAC told the committee in a briefing. “To add insult to injury, the government would impose a huge new burden on our industry and its passengers while not reinvesting one penny of the billions generated back into aviation.”
I seem to recall Justin Trudeau, upon taking office, promised an open and transparent government. What a difference two years in office have made to that promise, eh?