I was pleased to see that Coun. Ashley came up with a number of ideas to improve the budget and reduce taxes.
One thing I learned a long time ago is that the big things will take care of themselves, but the little things will kill you. All the $5,000 and $10,000 savings add up. There is one idea I do not agree with her on. Although I am in favour of user fees in general, sometimes this is not possible.
Her math is correct that it would cost more than the $15 user fee increase for the ferry, which she has suggested, to go to Terrace to catch a WestJet flight.
Yes WestJet will eventually raise their prices. The downside to the councillor’s logic, in my view, is this: Once you lose a customer it is very hard to get that client back and most people do not sit down and calculate the cost differential in that way. I call it psychology 101. People are adverse to paying higher fees and taxes in general, mostly when they are already overtaxed. They will spend $50 to save $25.00.
For example, in Prince Rupert it is cheaper to use the services of a taxi rather than owning a car, if you consider gas, insurance and maintenance, yet you would be hard pressed to find someone who would forfeit their vehicle.
I truly believe that Mr. [Don] Scott has the right idea: The Provincial government and the Federal government should be made to foot the bill. Both levels of government want LNG development, let them step up to the plate.
Although the airport belongs to the city, we should be looking at engaging the other levels of government and even looking at getting a partner in this asset.
It will never show a break-even point, let alone a profit, until the actual structure and ownership of the airport changes.