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Transport committee  Mr. Chair and members of the committee, on behalf of the Canadian Airports Council, thank you for this opportunity to join you today. I'm pleased to speak to our sector's views on supply chain resiliency, a critical file that has become intensely important over the last several months, including for our sector.

April 4th, 2022Committee meeting

Monette Pasher

Transport committee  Yes. Throughout the pandemic.... We need to remember that 60% of our goods were moved through belly cargo. It was a tremendous challenge throughout the pandemic, when we saw a lot of our passenger service eliminated during that time. It will start to build back. We've seen air carriers move to freighters.

April 4th, 2022Committee meeting

Monette Pasher

Transport committee  Thank you, Mr. Chair. Our airports and airline carriers certainly saw a move to freight throughout the pandemic. Our passenger traffic went down 90%. Part of the reason we stayed open was to connect people for essential movement and to move essential goods. We have seen many of our carriers convert their aircraft to freighter, but I think we're going to see more freight traffic moving forward.

April 4th, 2022Committee meeting

Monette Pasher

Transport committee  Yes, Hamilton has seen tremendous growth. It is primarily a freighter airport, and it has had a lot of growth throughout the pandemic. Really, the national trade corridors fund has been helpful in expanding the infrastructure. I think that what we've seen throughout the pandemic is that, because they've expanded that infrastructure, they were able to grow.

April 4th, 2022Committee meeting

Monette Pasher

Transport committee  Thank you for the question. I think the biggest thing we could do is to recapitalize and continue to make permanent the national trade corridors fund. I look at the important role airports have played in the supply chain and will continue to do moving forward. Our airports have taken on $3 billion in debt, and ultimately we need to manage that debt.

April 4th, 2022Committee meeting

Monette Pasher

Transport committee  I think Daniel touched on that. CBSA has been a great partner and a very innovative one. I think they are looking at ways we can move forward working together, working very closely with industry to digitize our borders so that we can move people through quickly. I think that will help.

April 4th, 2022Committee meeting

Monette Pasher

Transport committee  Currently, our foreign trade zones don't provide much benefit, to be honest. They're a cumbersome administrative burden of paperwork without a lot of benefit to our communities in job creation. If we looked at our foreign trade zones to create actual free trade zones, we would probably see a lot more manufacturing and goods coming in, and people adding value to them and exporting out of Canada.

April 4th, 2022Committee meeting

Monette Pasher

Transport committee  It would be less taxes. Right now, when goods come to Canada.... For example, if you have a chainsaw coming from Germany and you want to add parts to it and then export it from Canada as a Canadian product.... Right now, with the paperwork around that and the value-add taxes that go on it, we're not actually creating value for Canada to do this.

April 4th, 2022Committee meeting

Monette Pasher

Transport committee  I'm not sure I fully understand the question. Like Daniel Gooch, I am only two months into this interim position. I might be missing a bit of context on this one.

April 4th, 2022Committee meeting

Monette Pasher

Transport committee  This is certainly not my knowledge. A number of our airports receive goods. I'm not sure if you're referring to seventh freedom rights.

April 4th, 2022Committee meeting

Monette Pasher

Transport committee  I think there are ways to improve, to look at some opportunities. Say you have a carrier from the Middle East and it would take goods to Philadelphia. Then we would have an empty plane coming from Philadelphia, let's say to Halifax, to then pick up lobster and go back to the Middle East.

April 4th, 2022Committee meeting

Monette Pasher

Transport committee  Thank you, Mr. Chair. Members of the committee, on behalf of the Canadian Airports Council, thanks for the opportunity to join you today. It's a pleasure to speak with you about the ways in which our sector could benefit from reduced red tape and the steps that could be taken to ensure that Canadians, in both rural and urban parts of the country, will have access to affordable, competitive and modern air transportation into the future.

May 16th, 2022Committee meeting

Monette Pasher

Transport committee  Thanks for the question. After two years of restrictions, demand is starting to bounce back, and that is good to see. However, certainly in terms of what we faced throughout the pandemic, competitiveness is an issue for aviation in Canada. We only need to look as far as what's happened in the U.S. and how they were supported.

May 16th, 2022Committee meeting

Monette Pasher

Transport committee  It's our cost structure. Airports are required to pay federal rent. In a good year, up to $412 million was the highest we paid annually. That investment that our airports are contributing to the Government of Canada is going back into federal coffers. I think we should be looking at aviation as an economic enabler.

May 16th, 2022Committee meeting

Monette Pasher

Transport committee  Yes. I think there are so many great things about our Canadian aviation model, and I would support it. Do I think there need to be tweaks? Absolutely. I think there could be tweaks to make it less expensive for Canadians, and government is a partner in delivering that. Our national airports are on federal government land, and we've paid over $4 billion in terms of lease payments to the federal government over that time.

May 16th, 2022Committee meeting

Monette Pasher