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Open Skies agreement

November 01, 2005

November 1, 2005


The Honorable Jean Lapierre, PC, MP
Minister of Transport
Place de Ville, Tower C, 29th Floor
330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N5

Dear Minister Lapierre:

Re: Open Skies

The Vancouver Board of Trade is pleased to hear that talks between Canada and the United States for a new Open Skies agreement are scheduled to begin in November 2005. A new agreement with the United States, including fifth freedom rights, is one of the cornerstones required to build Vancouver into a successful gateway between Asia and North America. Without it, it will be impossible to maximize the economic benefits that Vancouver as Canada’s Pacific Gateway will bring to this country.

The Vancouver International Airport generates a total economic output of nearly $5.2 billion and employment of close to 60,000. As the airport grows, so does its economic contribution. For every extra one million passengers traveling through the Vancouver airport, roughly 1,200 additional person years of employment are generated.

Canada recently signed new, more liberal aviation agreements with China and India; these too are essential building blocks for developing an Asia Pacific Gateway. But, as you are aware, the Canadian market is in many cases not large enough for air services to and from specific Asian cities to be commercially viable. This is particularly true for start-up services and services to secondary markets. Fifth freedom rights with the United States eliminate this problem — carriers can combine traffic destined for Canada with traffic destined for the United States, making a successful route.

The new agreement with the United States should be an agreement that accommodates all of Canada’s foreseeable needs and does not require constant renegotiations. In addition to fifth freedoms for passengers, a United States-Canada agreement should include: unlimited fifth and seventh freedom rights for all cargo services; pricing freedom for Canadian and United States air carriers; and liberalized charter regulations.

The Board of Trade urges you to continue your efforts to liberalize Canada’s international aviation agreements. To support the Gateway strategy, Canada should also open talks with Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, and United Arab Emirates, among others.

Again, we congratulate you on moving Canada to a more liberal aviation agreement that will facilitate the efforts of Canadian business to be even more competitive in today’s global economy.


Daniel F. Muzyka
Chairman and Chief Elected Officer



The Honourable Jacob Austin, PC


 The Honourable D. Ross Fitzpatrick


The Honourable Mobina S. B. Jaffer


The Honourable David Emerson, PC, MP


The Honourable Ujjal Dosanjh, PC, MP


The Honourable Stephen Owen, PC, MP

The Honourable Raymond Chan, PC, MP

The Honourable David Anderson, PC, MP

The Honourable Hedy Fry, PC, MP

The Honourable Keith Martin, PC, MP


Mr. Don Bell, M.P.


The BC Liberal Caucus

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