ATAC calls upon government to eliminate the Air Travellers Security Charge in light of continued surplus

    Canadian travelling public is overpaying for security

    OTTAWA, Aug. 17 /CNW Telbec/ - The Air Transport Association of Canada
today expressed its profound disappointment with the federal government's
continued over-taxation of the Canadian travelling public through the Air
Travellers Security Charge (ATSC). Audited financial statements released by
the Department of Finance today show a surplus of revenues over expenses of
$80 million.
    "Clearly aviation security is important to - and affects all - Canadians
whether they are flying or not and should be funded accordingly, not just by
our passengers", said ATAC President and CEO Sam Barone. "Governments have
consistently drawn surpluses from the security fees paid by air travellers. We
call upon the government to eliminate this charge and fund aviation security
the way it does all national security initiatives, out of general revenues. At
the very least, it's clear that this charge needs to be immediately reduced."
    The released financial statements cover the fiscal year that ended on
March 31, 2005. In their statement the Government of Canada promises that the
ATSC surplus will be drawn down in future years by the higher costs of
improvements to Canada's air transportation security infrastructure.
    "It is clear that governments can always find ways to spend money they
shouldn't have collected in the first place but that doesn't make this tax
grab any more appropriate. This over-taxation is unfair to Canada's passengers
and should stop." concluded Barone.

    Le français suivra

For further information:

For further information: Fred Gaspar, Vice President, Policy and
Strategic Planning, (613) 233-7727 (ext) 314

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Air Transport Association of Canada

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