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Fact Files

Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006



Department: Transport Canada
David Collenette
Collenette at a glance:
• MP for Don Valley East in Toronto
• Transport minister since 1997
• Minister of defence and veteran's affairs, 1993-1996
• Resigned from defence portfolio, ostensibly for an ethics breach, but opposition MPs charged it was really to avoid heat from the Somalia scandal

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David Collenette
Transport or transportation
Airport security

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Transport Canada - business plan, 2001-2004

Minister in charge: David Collenette

What happened: $600-million program will be created to improve infrastructure - like highways, commercial vehicle processing centres and technology - to support major border crossings.

$2.2-billion over five years to make air travel more secure, including armed undercover police officers on Canadian aircraft; better-trained personnel to screen passengers and baggage; new explosive detection systems at Canada's airports and permanent modifications to aircraft cockpit doors.

Air travelers, not Canadian taxpayers, will pay for the new security measures through a new ticket tax of at least $12 for a one-way flight.

Financial details: In the last federal budget, Ottawa earmarked $2.65-billion for infrastructure, although only a small portion was dedicated to rebuilding the country's highway system. Parts of the private sector - especially those involved in trucking and cross-border trade, had lobbied hard for a bigger chunk of the pie but got only $150-million a year starting in 2002-2003, rather than the $500-million annually they were seeking.

Responsibilities: The government department's primary responsibility is developing and administering policies, regulations and services related to the country's transportation system.

What to expect: Look for hard figures related to security in Canada's skies, specifically airport security following the devastating attacks of Sept. 11. Increasingly, cries are going up demanding that Ottawa take full responsibility. Ottawa is already facing a $1-billion this year alone for increased defence and security, including $280-million increased security spending and $200-million in support for airlines.

Critics:
Canadian Alliance: James Moore
Bloc Québécois: Mario LaFramboise
New Democratic Party: Bev Desjarlais
PC/DR Coalition: Valerie Meredith


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