Hon. J. W. Pickersgill (Minister of Transport):
Mr. Speaker, may I make a brief statement about assistance for airports in heavily populated areas. The federal government has for many years assumed full responsibility for capital expenditures in connection with main line and other airports required to support scheduled air services in Canada. It has also provided cost sharing grants to assist in the development of local airports, and outright grants for airstrips in remote areas.
For some time it has been apparent that the policy of grants to local and remote airstrips needed review because of changes in costs and in requirements, as well as changes in technology. The Department of Transport has had this whole matter under intensive review for some months, and I hope soon to be in a position to make a general statement.
Meanwhile, because of problems at certain airports in heavily populated areas which have substantial traffic although they are not served by scheduled air lines, action has already been taken to improve local airports by provision of additional facilities. This has
taken place with regard to Sherbrooke and Hamilton-Mount Hope-airports. The government has today decided to take steps at once to meet urgent situations at Sarnia; at the Niagara regional airport at St. Catharines, and at the Waterloo-Wellington airport by providing additional facilities at these air fields as well. Officials of the department will be getting in touch with local officials in the next few days.
Subtopic: PROVISION OF ADDITIONAL FACILITIES IN HEAVILY POPULATED AREAS