Mr. Speaker, the communities of the Comox Valley authorized local spending of $6 million to build a new air terminal. The sparkling new terminal opened April 16. This will serve to retain direct WestJet connections between Comox, Calgary and Edmonton.
The local communities have a further financial burden now because the plan is to begin international service this fall and as a result they will have to pay $250,000 a year for customs staff.
The Liberal government airport policy creates winners and losers. Federal policy charges customs fees for terminals built since 1994, which discriminates against small communities most in need of economic diversification.
Customs and immigration is a federal responsibility with security implications. The federal government must stop imposing these costs on to local airport authorities.