Port council protests airline security problem

  • Mar. 18, 2009 9:00 a.m.

It is completely unfair for the provincial government to expect Pacific Coastal Airlines or its passengers to pick up the cost for extra security required during Vancouver’s 2010 Olympics, Port Clements council said Monday night (March 16). Council voted to write a letter to the provincial government protesting the situation, which came to light last week in the Legislature. The RCMP’s security plans say that all passengers arriving in Vancouver must go through federal security screening – which is not available in Masset or several other rural communities. That means Pacific Coastal will have to fly passengers from Masset to Port Hardy and put them all through security there before proceeding to Vancouver, during a two-month period next winter. “They’re expecting Pacific Coastal airlines to eat the cost or pass it on to passengers and that’s not fair,” said councillor Wally Cheer. Councillor Cam Traplin agreed the situation is unfair but said writing a letter won’t change anything. “We’re going to get it because it’s the Olympics, that’s power,” he said. Mr. Cheer said writing a letter was better than doing nothing. Mayor Cory Delves agreed. “It may not do anything but it will make you feel better,” he said, adding that the provincial government obviously has lots of money to spend on the Olympics and it’s possible some could be found to cover the extra security costs.