Minister Lebel will meet with officials from around the world to promote Montreal as the best city to host ICAO

OTTAWA, May 17, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, will meet with officials from member countries of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) at the International Transport Forum Summit in Leipzig, Germany, to promote the benefits of keeping ICAO's headquarters in Montreal.

"Canada is committed to maintaining its current relationship with ICAO and all of its member states by keeping the headquarters in Montreal, where it belongs," said Minister Lebel. "We have demonstrated our commitment by negotiating a generous new 20-year agreement and will ensure member countries understand the importance of maintaining ICAO's stability."

Minister Lebel's participation in the International Transport Forum - the only international conference of its kind - will include bilateral meetings with officials from China, Chile, India, Norway, Japan, and Germany.

Minister Lebel will highlight how Canada's aviation sector is a recognized leader worldwide. "We have one of the safest air transportation systems in the world and have been proud to host the UN's International Civil Aviation Organization in Montreal since 1947," said Minister Lebel. "Canada is committed to keeping ICAO in Montreal, the global centre of international aviation organizations, and a leader in research, development and manufacturing."

This year's Forum, to be held from May 22 to 24, focuses on the theme Funding Transport.

"The International Transport Forum provides a unique opportunity to discuss transportation challenges and implications for the global economy with my international counterparts," said Minister Lebel. "It allows participants to share innovative solutions to improve our transportation systems and to ensure their safety, security and efficiency."

Summit participants will explore in depth, models of transportation infrastructure funding, including through new sources of private financing, such as public-private partnerships.

"Our government invests to serve the transportation needs of individual Canadians and businesses looking for trade opportunities in global markets," added Minister Lebel. "Economic Action Plan 2013 encourages greater involvement of the private sector to provide public infrastructure and to ensure better value for Canadian taxpayers."

The International Transport Forum's annual Summit brings together 54 countries and up to 1,000 participants, including transportation ministers, senior officials from the business community, private sector stakeholders and researchers, and members of the international media. It aims to find solutions to global transport-related issues and foster a deeper understanding of the integral role transportation plays in the world economy. The broad range of participants makes the forum unique among multilateral organizations.

Minister Lebel will host a media availability to share highlights from his participation in the International Transport Forum's 2013 Summit, Funding Transport, on May 23, 2013 at 12:30 (EDT time). To join the call, media must pre-register with Transport Canada's media relations by calling 613-993-0055.

SOURCE: Transport Canada

For further information:

Marie-Josée Paquette
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec,
and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
Ottawa 613-991-0700

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

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