Canada's transport minister meets European Commission counterpart to advance Canada-European Union transport issues

    OTTAWA, June 20 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister
of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and Mr. Jacques Barrot,
Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for transport, met in
Ottawa this morning to discuss joint transportation initiatives between Canada
and the European Union.
    Understanding the importance of aviation relations for linking the
economies and citizens of Canada and the European Union, Minister Cannon and
Vice-President Barrot welcomed their leaders' Declaration at the
Canada-European Union Summit on June 4, 2007.
    "I am pleased that initial discussions have identified common ground in
viewpoints and approaches," said Minister Cannon. "I look forward to
continuing and expanding upon this positive dialogue."
    At today's meeting, both parties reaffirmed their commitment to launch
formal negotiations on a comprehensive air services agreement this fall.
Minister Cannon and Vice-President Barrot updated each other on the work
currently underway by officials in preparation for negotiations.
    "Following our very successful EU-Canada Summit in Berlin on June 4th, I
welcome the progress towards the beginning of negotiations on an Open Skies
agreement," added Vice-President Barrot. "This will be a very important step
in building a closer economic partnership between the EU and Canada."
    Canada currently has bilateral agreements with 19 of the 27 European
Union Member States. Under a Canada - European Union agreement, Canada's air
transport relations with Member States would be governed by a single regime.
The successful conclusion of a comprehensive air services agreement would
provide a framework to further strengthen the bilateral aviation relationship.
    These discussions are in line with the recently announced Blue Sky
policy, which was developed to help Canada's air industry continue to
contribute to our country's growth and prosperity. The new policy reflects the
evolving nature of the global aviation market.
    A proposed Aviation Safety Agreement (Treaty) to formalize Canada's
relationship with the European Commission was also discussed. The Treaty, once
in place, would promote cost-efficiency for the Canadian aerospace industry
and avoid duplication of approval processes.

For further information:

For further information: Natalie Sarafian, Press Secretary, Office of
the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (613)
991-0700; Kirsten Goodnough, Communications, Transport Canada, Ottawa, (613)
993-0055; Transport Canada is online at Subscribe to news
releases and speeches at keep up-to-date on the
latest from Transport Canada.; This news release may be made available in 
alternative formats for persons with visual disabilities.

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