Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mayor Mussallem commiserates with Fort St. John over Air Canada flight passes

Prince Rupert's Mayor appears to be in sympathy with his counterparts across Northern BC on the topic of air charges, this after a recent policy change by Air Canada when it comes to the issuance of flight passes.

The policy change on the passes, which will see the price for such passes double in some areas of the province and change the number of people that can qualify to use them to 25 people instead of 300, has raised the ire of municipal officials across Northern British Columbia, with the Mayor of Fort St. John leading the charge for redress and hopeful reversal.

Mayor Bruce Lantz explained the nature of the changes to a Fort St. John news service and directed his concern over them in a letter to Air Canada.
Mayor Lantz outlined how he had been in contact with the Mayor of Prince Rupert, who had also advised that Prince Rupert had been impacted by this policy change as well. Though there were no details as to the nature of the impact on Prince Rupert in Mayor Lantz's report on the air fare concerns, one would imagine that they would be along the same lines as those of the northeast.

Municipal government officials and northern business travelers use the passes for much of their frequent travel requirements.

The changing nature of the policy could provide problems for cash strapped municipalities, who may have to reduce the amount of travel they make on city business, or increase budgets allocated for city business travel.
The move by Air Canada was something that Lantz called geographic discrimination, and it was a change that he intends to keep pressuring Air Canada about.

The website energycity.ca offered up some background on the issue, including a copy of the Fort St. John Mayor's letter to Air Canada.

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