Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise this morning to speak to Bill C-20, an act respecting the commercialization of civil air navigation services, at third reading.
Since 1994, the Bloc Quebecois' position has been pretty much the same. The principle of privatization has always been acceptable to us, but we question how it is being applied. With the creation of Nav Canada, a not for profit organization, profitability obviously becomes the main concern. The objective of the Bloc Quebecois is to put the safety of passengers, staff, air carriers and the public ahead of any other consideration when business decisions are made by Nav Canada.
As I mentioned in the speech I gave in this House on this bill on May 17, this corporation bears a striking resemblance to ADM, a corporation which is not for profit and has no capital stock. For those who do not know it, ADM means Montreal airports, namely Mirabel and Dorval.
On August 1, 1992, ADM signed a lease with Transport Canada giving it the mandate to manage, run and develop Dorval and Mirabel airports. ADM is headed by a board of seven directors representing businesses in metropolitan Montreal-when I say metropolitan Montreal, I should really be saying Montreal, because there is only one director from the Lower Laurentians on the board-and by a CEO appointed by the seven agencies making up SOPRAM, the body responsible for promoting Montreal airports.
Mirabel airport is located in my riding, and I am very concerned by ADM's decision to transfer flights from Mirabel to Dorval. This
decision is a source of grave concern for me as we are wondering about the safety of passengers, staff, air carriers and the public at large. The CESAMM, a wide coalition in support of Montreal-Mirabel airport, has voiced its opposition to ADM's decision to transfer international flights from Mirabel to Dorval.
Even the Quebec transport minister, Jacques Brassard, disapproves of ADM's decision. He said that the arguments presented by ADM since it made this decision have many flaws.
According to Mr. Brassard, the Quebec government noted "no environmental impact assessment for the long and medium terms, making it impossible to judge this aspect of the issue". Second, he points out how uncertain the new future reserved for Mirabel is. He says that "a study conducted in 1994 by SNC-Lavalin for the Quebec transport department concluded that the lack of profitability of general freight services shows that the development of air freight strategies cannot be based on this sector. Analysis conducted by the MICST, the trade and industry department, yielded no decisive results regarding the impact in Canada of the free zone concept as suggested by ADM".