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Canada should boost foreign ownership of airlines, eliminate grain revenue cap, review says

In the airline sector, the review recommends that the federal government increase foreign ownership limits for commercial airlines to 49 per cent from their current level of 25 per cent in order to foster more competition.

Foreigners should be allowed to own a greater portion of Canada’s airlines and a revenue cap on railways’ grain shipments should be eliminated, according to a sweeping review of Canada’s transportation industry tabled in Parliament Thursday.

Led by David Emerson, a floor-crossing minister who served in both Paul Martin’s and Stephen Harper’s governments, the 283-page review proposes a comprehensive reform of the Canada Transportation Act, which governs the country’s railways, roads, airlines and marine transport.

The most notable recommendations address concerns that have been raised by private transportation companies and, if adopted, could affect Canadian travellers, shippers and farmers.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau said he “will carefully consider” the report’s findings and will begin consultations with stakeholders in the coming weeks.

In the airline sector, the review recommends that Ottawa increase foreign ownership limits for commercial airlines to 49 per cent from their current level of 25 per cent to help foster more competition.

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