Federal government removes limit on ownership of Air Canada shares

by Canadian Shipper

Transport Minister David Collenette says that the Government of Canada plans to introduce legislation to remove the 15 per cent limit on individual ownership of shares in Air Canada.

“The Government of Canada is confident that this measure will offer the private sector greater opportunities for investment in Air Canada and could contribute to the successful restructuring of Air Canada,” said Mr. Collenette.

Legislation to amend the Air Canada Public Participation Act for this purpose is being prepared, and will be introduced in Parliament as soon as possible. While limits on individual ownership of shares in Air Canada are being removed, the current 25 per cent limit on foreign ownership, which applies to all carriers, will not change.

“The Government of Canada will continue to work with Canadian carriers to mitigate the impacts of the events of September 11 and the ongoing challenges facing Canada’s airline industry,” added Mr. Collenette.

When Air Canada was privatized in 1988, the Air Canada Public Participation Act limited individual share ownership to 10 per cent to ensure voting shares would be widely held by Canadians.

Bill C-26, the airline restructuring legislation which came into effect in July 2000, raised this limit to 15 per cent. The new amendment will completely remove the limit including the prohibition on association between persons holding voting shares that was attached to the limit.

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