Mr. Speaker, I am sure the honourable member will appreciate, because he has been very co-operative on this issue, that I have chosen my words this morning quite carefully. We are not formally negotiating and saying that either we stay in Heathrow or such and such a thing will happen. I am most anxious, in the interests of good relations between Canada and the United Kingdom, to deal with the Heathrow issue on its own merits. Consequently, we have not in a sense imposed any threats or any hints of sanctions of that nature in a formal way.
I reiterate the point that if there is no response to this quite reasonable and, I think, fair representation made by our High Commissioner and now by the president of Air Canada, clearly we will have to look at alternatives. That should make it clear to the hon. member that an examination has been made of what are those alternatives. He can be assured that Canadian interests in this matter are being very, very carefully looked at.
I emphasize once again that I still have confidence the British government will recognize that Air Canada was one of the first airlines to use Heathrow, that there is a strong, centuries-long relationship between us and that consequently, as a senior member of the Commonwealth, we deserve better treatment than to be tossed out of Heathrow.
Topic: ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic: EXTERNAL AFFAIRS