Re: "Council, it's time to keep your promise," Letters, The Gazette, June 23, and "City gives $145,000 to support Edmonton International Airport," The Gazette, June 23.
This past week I had a chance to talk to many seniors like myself who struggled this year to pay my annual tax bill, and I want to join cranky senior and letter-writer Myron Sanderson.
The real problem for this council is their failure to curtail spending. I raise the recent decision to fall for the Edmonton Global con job of getting municipalities to donate millions to the air services opportunities fund – a project that has a weak case for public support. A flimsy case was presented, yet our council is going to hand over $145,000 to this project without even a serious consideration of the case.
I spent 25 years of my life in the airline business, beginning with Canadian Pacific Airlines, and I can assure you that service to any city or country was based on serious investigative research. For example, before we extended flights to a new destination, our reservations systems used to log final destinations. When the potential passenger load was equal to 50 per cent of our smallest aircraft – which at the time was the 28-passenger DC3 – then we would try a new service with support of local governments and travel agencies.
I used to put these applications together, so I know what I am talking about. Local municipalities can donate $30 million to this ill-conceived project and not add one single flight, because destinations are decided by the airlines based on hard data, not speculation.
Time to dump some of the spenders on this council.
Robert (Bob) Russell, St. Albert