Mr. Speaker, changing foreign ownership limits is about increasing competition and allowing the creation of new ultra-low-cost airlines in Canada. The Minister of Transport granted an exemption to Canada Jetlines and Enerjet in December 2016 based on these objectives.
With regard to (a) through (e), as a private company, Jetlines is responsible for its own business decisions, including the purchase of its aircraft fleet. As such, no guarantee or contract was sought with regard to its fleet procurement.
The link between increased foreign ownership and increased competition was documented in various reports. In 2008, the competition policy review panel report, “Compete to Win”, recommended that the Minister of Transport modernize investment restrictions in Canadian air transport to 49% of voting equity. In 2016, the Canada Transportation Act review report called for Canada’s limit on foreign ownership of voting shares to be raised to at least 49%, unilaterally, for all carriers offering commercial passenger services. The report also noted that Canada does not have an ultra-low-cost carrier and was rated relatively “less trade friendly” for air transport in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s services trade restrictiveness index.