Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek for her question regarding the issue involving the Vancouver Airport Authority, and its decisions surrounding the granting of its operating licences.
Let me begin by outlining the operation of airports in Canada. The national airports policy, established in 1994, provides a framework that defines the federal government's role and the role of airport authorities with regard to airports.
Under that policy, the Government of Canada transferred responsibility for the management, operation, and development of Canada's major airports to the private sector. As a result, this created world-class airports at no cost to the middle class Canadian taxpayer.
Given this, let me point out that the Vancouver Airport Authority is a private, community-based, not-for-profit corporation. Therefore, according to the policy, it is the authority who is responsible for the management and operation of the Vancouver International Airport. This includes granting physical access to the airport.
Transport Canada is responsible for setting safety and security standards for all Canadian airports. This is done through policy setting, airport transfer agreements, airport certification, and regulation.
Second, let me further elaborate that the relationship between the Government of Canada and each individual airport authority is governed by a long-term ground lease agreement. Under the terms of the ground leases, airport authorities are fully responsible for the operation, management, and development of their respective airports.
Furthermore, the ground leases allow airport authorities to enter into subleases with third party tenants, without any involvement from the Government of Canada.
In summary, Transport Canada, in its role as landlord and regulator, is not involved in the day-to-day decision-making regarding the management and the operations of airports. That responsibility lies in the hands of the airport authorities.
Given its role, and the responsibilities of the airport authorities, as established by the national airports policy and ground leases, this government would not be a party to any dispute between airport authorities and their subtenants.
This matter, involving the Vancouver Airport Authority and its decisions related to the management of the Vancouver International Airport, has been referred to the Competition Tribunal. Because it is currently being adjudicated, I trust the member opposite can appreciate that it would be inappropriate for me to comment publicly on the matter.
Having said that, I recognize the important role that airports play in their communities, and as facilitators of global connectivity and economic growth. However, we need to let the tribunal do its job, and allow the parties related to this case make their representations before the tribunal.