Closed skies frowning at me

Back in 2006, the Harper admistration announced a new international transportation policy to "pursue the negotiation of open skies-type agreements when it is in Canada's overall interest." But the British Columbia government is now questioning the success of that policy - which is meant to liberalize the airline industry. According to documents posted on BC Bid, the Campbell administration "feels that progress in securing such agreements has been limited." So it's hiring a contractor to "develop options for, and make a recommendation on, potential strategies for effectively communicating B.C.'s position to Federal authorities." The following is a complete copy of the relevant portions of that document.

Summary Details:
AMENDMENT #1
FEB. 8, 2008
ADD SAMPLE CONTRACT DOCUMENTS
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The purpose of the contract is to provide expertise on bilateral air transport agreements, including Open Skies agreements, in order to provide the International Aviation Issues Group with educational materials for various audiences on bilateral air transport agreements and a well thought-out strategy for influencing related Federal international
aviation policy.

Research will be carried out on bilateral air transport agreements, and their effects on economic development and tourism, including market share analyses. Additional research topics will include the Canadian process for establishing negotiating priorities and mandates, negotiating such agreements, a focus of Federal measures for transparency and accountability on this process, and comparison between the Canadian and U.S. approaches to such negotiations. The Contractor will develop options for, and make a recommendation on, potential strategies for effectively communicating B.C.'s position to Federal authorities.

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3.2 Background

In November 2006, the Federal government released their "Blue Skies" policy which indicated Canada's willingness to liberalize the federal approach to bilateral air transport agreements with the aim of entering into Open Skies agreements. Since this time, the Province feels that progress in securing such agreements has been limited. There are indications that restrictions on bilateral air transport agreements have had and continue to have economic consequences for British Columbia.

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