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Welcome to "Take Action"

This is the COPA political feedback page.
The Canadian Owners and Pilots Association launched this section for aviators to be proactive with political issues affecting general aviation.

It is COPA's experience that its influence is more effective when members send a large number of "individual messages" to the people in power.

This web page makes it easier for COPA members and other aviators to add even more volume to COPA's voice.

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Make your voice heard! Contact your Parliamentarian and show your support for COPA and general aviation issues locally and nationally.

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Current issues 

Questions for our politicians/Questions que vous pourriez poser à vos candidats

Q1. Knowing that the federal government has constitutional responsibility and authority for aviation in Canada, how would you rate its effectiveness in executing this authority and  responsibility? Do you see any weaknesses, failures or shortcomings? Do you have any suggestions or recommendations for the federal government in this matter?

Q2. In 1994, the federal government began to divest itself of ownership in many local Canadian airports. The vast expanse of Canada demands an efficient aviation system to service its many far-lying regions and the cost of maintaining an airport is a huge burden for many small local governments. Does your government have any intention of aiding the local governments to keep local airports functional to help in servicing the vastness of Canada? And if so, what will you and your party do to ensure that Canada has a National Airports Policy that supports small community airports?

Q3. A number of municipalities have recently stepped up their efforts to stop the establishment of new aerodromes, and the improvement of existing ones, by passing so-called “site-alternation” or “fill” by-laws and thereafter aggressively prosecuting aerodrome owners for alleged violations of same. This strategy of attempting to control indirectly what municipalities cannot control directly under the constitution (aerodrome development) has been openly discussed and promoted by some members of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. This effort is widespread and has resulted defending aerodrome operators in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec challenging the constitutional applicability of such by-laws as an encroachment on the federal aeronautics power. The Attorney General of Canada has been noticeably absent from all. In a recent case before the Ontario Court of Appeal, the appeal panel expressly asked why the Attorney General of Canada, although duly notified of the constitutional question, was absent and not defending the federal jurisdiction over aeronautics.  In Quebec, another aerodrome operator, who successfully challenged the constitutional jurisdiction of subject by-law, is facing an appeal by the combined legal resources of both the municipality and the province while the Attorney General of Canada remains, again, conspicuously absent.  Will your government increase its efforts to defend the federal jurisdiction over aeronautics in such cases? 


Q1. Sachant que le gouvernement fédéral a l’autorité et la responsabilité constitutionnelles en matière d’aviation au Canada, comment évalueriez-vous son efficacité à exercer son autorité et sa responsabilité? Remarquez-vous des faiblesses, des lacunes ou des défauts? Avez-vous des suggestions ou des recommandations à faire au gouvernement fédéral à ce sujet?

Q2. En 1994, le gouvernement fédéral a commencé à céder la propriété d’un grand nombre d’aéroports locaux du Canada. La grande expansion du Canada requiert un système d’aviation efficace pour desservir les nombreuses régions éloignées du pays et le coût de l’entretien d’un aéroport représente un énorme fardeau pour beaucoup de petits gouvernements locaux. Votre gouvernement a-t-il l’intention d’aider les gouvernements locaux à garder les aéroports locaux fonctionnels pour les aider à desservir l’immensité du Canada? Si oui, que ferez-vous – votre parti et vous – pour veiller à ce que la Politique nationale des aéroports du Canada appuie les aéroports des petites communautés canadiennes?

Q3. Plusieurs municipalités ont récemment intensifié leurs efforts pour freiner l’établissement de nouveaux aérodromes et l’amélioration de ceux qui existent déjà en adoptant des règlements de « modification de terrain » ou de « délestage de matériaux », et ont, peu de temps après, poursuivi de façon agressive les propriétaires d’aérodromes pour des présumées violations de ces règlements. Cette stratégie visant à contrôler indirectement ce que les municipalités ne peuvent pas contrôler directement en vertu de la Constitution (le développement des aérodromes) a été ouvertement discutée et promue par certains membres de la Fédération canadienne des municipalités. Cet effort est très répandu et a conduit au dépôt d’une défense des exploitants d’aérodromes en Alberta, en Ontario et au Québec qui contestait l’applicabilité, sur le plan constitutionnel, de ce genre de règlements considérés comme des empiètements sur le pouvoir fédéral en matière d’aéronautique. Le procureur général du Canada a brillé par son absence dans cette affaire. Dans un cas traité à la Cour d’appel de l’Ontario récemment, le bureau d’appel a demandé expressément pourquoi le procureur général du Canada, même s’il était bien au fait de la question constitutionnelle, était absent et ne défendait pas la compétence fédérale à l’égard du secteur de l’aéronautique. Au Québec, un autre exploitant d’aérodrome, qui a contesté avec succès la compétence constitutionnelle du règlement visé, a été appelé à la cour par les ressources juridiques conjointes de la municipalité et de la province, tandis que le procureur général du Canada demeure, encore une fois, remarquablement absent. Votre gouvernement augmentera-t-il ses efforts pour défendre la compétence fédérale en matière d’aéronautique dans des cas semblables?

Archived issues 

February 27, 2015 l 27 février 2015

Transport Canada has just sent a New Strict Proposed Regulation for all aerodromes. A consultation requirement with 27 x "onerous’’ Public Notification steps estimated by TC to cost, new or existing aerodrome owner up to $60,000.

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Transports Canada vient tout juste d’envoyer une  nouvelle réglementation stricte proposée pour tous les aérodromes nouveaux et existants. Une exigence de consultation avec 27 x étapes de Notification/Avis publique '' onéreuses '', TC estime cela coûtera jusqu’à $60,000.

» français

Your airport or private aerodrome is at risk! Amendments to the Aeronautics Act, Regulations  

Updated November 20, 2014

By Kevin Psutka, President and CEO 

When I took this job in 1996, the number one issue that occupied my time was aerodromes, from the right to have an aerodrome on your property to ensuring that a system of airports serving GA remains and that our sector continues to have access to larger airports with minimal fees and restrictions.

After all these years, with new issues being introduced such as privatization of the air navigation system and the security aftermath of 9/11, aerodromes remains the number one issue facing COPA.

» Continue reading
» COPA submits brief to Parliament
» Speech to Senate Standing Committee
» Background

Thank you all who have sent comments and email responces expressing agreement with COPA's submission and the need for a focus group to Transport Canada!

Intervenez: votre aéroport ou aérodrome privé est à risque!

Amendements à la Loi sur l'aéronautique, Règlements - Besoin de consulter lors de la construction d'aérodrome

Merci à tous ceux qui ont envoyés leurs commentaires et leur accord à la soumission de la COPA et en particulier du besoin d'un groupe de travail thématique.

Call to Action for Ontario members - Contact your MPP now

By Kevin Psutka, President and CEO | 17 October 2014

The most recent election in Ontario was triggered by a budget, which included a 4 cent per litre increase in the tax on aviation gasoline, making Ontario the highest taxing province for this fuel. There was no consultation with our sector and furthermore the budget clearly stated that the money generated from our sector would be spent on priorities other than aviation.

The government that proposed the tax increase won the election and proceeded with the increase in four one-cent increments, starting in September 2014.

It is clear that action will only be taken when the Ontario government fully understands the tax increase’s consequences from a broad and diverse group of stakeholders. COPA is combining its efforts with other industry Associations but it is very important for individuals to also take up this issue. As the Ontario Legislature begins a new session this Fall, it creates an opportunity to again press for a reconsideration of this flawed attempt to raise revenue. I call on all Ontario members to contact their MPPs with a copy of a letter that was sent to Premier Wynne. If possible, meet with your MPP and hand the letter to him/her and back it up by putting in your own words why this tax increase will damage the economy. If you cannot have a face-to face meeting, at least call your MPP and send a copy of the letter then follow up and press for action.

MPP contact information can be found here.

It is important to emphasize that there are two facets to this issue. Others, like the National Airline Council of Canada, are pressing for relief from taxes on jet fuel (see Ontario Budget Throws Wrench in Province's Economic Engine). COPA fully supports their efforts but we also want to emphasize that the tax on aviation gasoline will hurt an equally important sector of transportation and the economy.

Background on this issue, including previous correspondence and responses from the Premier, are below.

Supporting Documents

Related background information

Call to Action - Oppose wind farms near airports

By Kevin Psutka, President and CEO

COPA is not opposed to Wind Energy but we are very concerned about the lack of protection for virtually all aerodromes and airports in Canada. An excellent example of the consequence of this lack of protection is the proposal for a wind farm near the Collingwood, Ontario airport. There is no federal policy to protect aerodromes and airports from encroachment and provincial initiatives to encourage alternative forms of energy, such as Ontario’s Green Energy Act, pave the way to significantly affect Canada’s air transportation infrastructure because, contrary to COPA’s strong position during the development of the Act, there is insufficient direction in the Act to study and mitigate the impact on aerodromes and airports.

As highlighted in a story on the front page of COPA’s web site entitled “Wind turbines and aviation leads to heated debate in Ontario Legislature” the lack of knowledge on the part of Ontario’s Minister of the Environment was made apparent in his response to a question from MPP Jim Wilson. COPA’s letter in support of Mr. Wilson’s position was copied to the Minister of the Environment to encourage him to educate himself on this matter and take action to protect the air transportation infrastructure. The story also asked members to get involved by contacting their MP and MPP to make them aware of this issue.

As the proponent of the wind farm near Collingwood airport continues to plan for placing turbines very close to the airport, relying on Transport Canada and Nav Canada “no objection” statements, COPA is continuing to educate the politicians, federally and provincially, about a fundamental flaw in the understanding of who, if anyone, is responsible for protecting our airport infrastructure and that consideration of the impact on the safety, financial and social aspects is insufficient with the current processes for evaluating proposals.

This is not an issue unique to Collingwood or Ontario. As wind farms increase across Canada, similar attitudes are being taken by many proponents and provincial governments in their zeal to progress with wind farms.

I ask every member to read the letter written by the Ministry of the Environment and my response to it and then put COPA’s concerns into your own words and contact your MP and MPP to express your concerns about the lack of federal and provincial policy to protect Canada’s air transportation infrastructure.

Council votes to close Waterville, N.S. airport this year

By Gary Dunfield

The local municipal council voted March 10 to close the Waterville, Nova Scotia airport at the end of September 2014. There is a fair amount of distress in the local aviation community as the nearest all weather airport usable as a base for the 25-plus airplanes at the airport is 130 km away and the nearest summer only strip is about is 65 km. There are questions being asked as to whether this is legal and whether they can actually make such a decision.

» Continue reading