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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 15, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta Friday, February IS, THE LETHMIDOE HERALD 5 Ottawa laying groundwork for new small air carrier policy .OTTAWA (CP) tfcif federal, government is laying the groundwork for a new SlFpoGcytOl small air carriers at a time when there is growing pressure to improve local and regional air service. Responding to many complaints, the Canadian transport commission held hearings in the Atlantic provinces this week to review regional air operations. And Transport Minister Jean Marchand will meet in Regina March 1 with western provincial ministers responsible for air matters. These meetings will provide fuel for government planners working on an air policy designed to strengthen local air carriers. These carriers provide a link between smaller centres and the bigger cities served by regional and national airlines. Many of the carriers have been demanding a government .policy to give them, stability. They say government policy statements have helped the nationaUlrllnes, CP Air and Air Canada, and the five regional airlines. In these policies, the government has parcelled out geo- graphical areas to the regional airlines and limited competition among the national air carriers. D. E. Melliship, a Winnipeg consultant who died recently, said in a report to the Canadian transport commission published in November that these small carriers are financially insecure. This was one reason they sought federal guides to growth in the "third-level" area. Third-level refers to air carriers feeding national or re- gional airlines in the populated southern strip across the country or serving remote areas. It is a term heartily disliked by many small air carriers because they say it sounds like "third-class." This group has grown phenomenally in the last few.years. These carriers transported passengers on regular routes in the first quarter of 1973, up from in the same period in 1972 and in the first quarter of 1971, says Sta- tistics Canada. This group is also heavily involved in charter traffic, about half its total passenger business. Their revenue is growing too, though not quite as fast. Revenue from passenger traffic on regular routes rose to million in the first quarter of 1973 from in the same period in 1971. While the government is interested in the economic strength of the small carriers, it is principally concerned about good air service. The regional expansion.department, for example, wants good transportation air or develop government remote or slow-growth areas. Service to remote areas raises the qi subsidies as these operations are somefiSes uneconomic. The regional expansion department official said the gov- ernment must decide whether these communities should have regular air service. Then it must decide whether these operations should be subsidized Mr. Melliship said the most stable third-level carriers are those which operate in the more heavily-populated areas in southern Canada. He says carriers like Time Air of Leth- bridge, Alta., North West Territorial Airways of Yellowknife, N.W.T., Air Gaspe in Quebec and Air West in British Columbia are "mini-regionals." Some of them, like Time Air, have developed such successful route networks that they may easily draw attention from the regionals, Mr. Melliship said. ROY FARRAN ACT tax plan said illegal EDMONTON (CP) Calgary city council's proposal to tax. Alberta Government Telephones (ACT) revenue is beyond the council's jurisdiction, Roy Farran, Minister of Telephones and Utilities, said Thursday. 1 "The City of Calgary cannot impose a 10-per-cent utility tax on AGT revenue derived from the minister said in a news release. AGT is "an agent of the crown" and not bound by the Municipal Government Act. The companyiiinakes a grant in lieu of property tax bj virtue of special enabling legislation. The possibility of a special corporation tax on AGT reyenue had been raised by city council's finance committee. Aldermen had not proposed a municipal income tax on other corporations within the city but selected AGT "as a possible target because of its close connection with the provincial Mr. Farran said. Mr. Farran said even if such a discriminatory tax was legal, "which it is the cost would have to be passed on to consumers. AGT operates as a private utility corporation and receives no subsidiary from the provincial treasury. Its rates are set by the public utilities board to give a six-per-cent rate of return. Motor homes registration plan revised EDMONTON (CP) A revised procedure in registering motor homes will be effective March l, Clarence Copithorne, Alberta minister of highways and transport, announced today. In the past, motor homes were registered on the basis of information pertaining to the chassis on which the home is mounted, the minister said in a news release. This manner of registration, however, was not totally accurate in that the year model of the chassis might not always match that of the motor home. Under the new which will apply to all _... homes not previous! registered under the ol, system, the motor borne anil and chassis will be desc and recorded separately Meeting set OTTAWA (CP) A federal provincial environment ministers meeting is scheduled here month, Environment Minister Jack Davis's office announced Thursday. The meeting, March 12-13, is a "routine liaison a spokesman said. 1974 D OF 10 to win a million Provinces: ;