Skip to main content Start of content
Start of content

e-3003 (Transportation)

Initiated by Karen McKenzie from St. Andrews, Manitoba

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the House of Commons

  • The Government of Canada transferred ownership of St. Andrews Airport to the Rural Municipality of St. Andrews, Manitoba, in 1999;
  • The Airport is operated by St. Andrews Airport Inc., a not-for-profit corporation controlled by the Rural Municipality;
  • In 2020, MPR Raceway (privately owned) constructed and operated a racetrack/dragstrip on a decommissioned runway under a five-year lease with St. Andrews Airport Inc.;
  • A racetrack is neither a permitted nor a conditional use on airport lands under the Rural Municipality's Zoning By-Law No. 4066;
  • St. Andrews Airport Inc. has stated that the Rural Municipality has no jurisdiction over land use on airport lands and By-Law No. 4066 does not apply;
  • Transport Canada regulations govern airport operations integral to aeronautics;
  • A racetrack is not integral to aeronautics;
  • The racetrack is in close proximity to residential neighbourhoods and property owners have been negatively impacted by noise, vibrations and odours;
  • There was no public consultation before the racetrack/dragstrip was constructed;
  • St. Andrews citizens petitioned the Rural Municipality Council to stop the racetrack operation as it contravenes the Zoning By-Law; and,
  • The Rural Municipality Council has taken no action.
We, the undersigned, citizens or residents of Canada, call upon the House of Commons to request that the Minister of Transport provide clarification to the Rural Municipality of St. Andrews and St. Andrews Airport Inc. on what activities are allowable inside the airport's property, as it applies to operations of an aerodrome according to federal law, and whether activities falling outside federal jurisdiction are required to meet provincial regulations and municipal by-laws.

Response by the Minister of Transport

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable Omar Alghabra

The Government of Canada has exclusive jurisdiction over aeronautics and has established a legal framework through the Aeronautics Act. This means that only the Government of Canada can directly regulate matters related to aeronautics.

The Aeronautics Act establishes a legal framework for the regulation and supervision of all matters connected to aeronautics including the location, design, certification, registration, licensing and operation of aerodromes and airports, whether they are located on public lands (federal, provincial, or municipal) or privately owned lands.An otherwise valid provincial or municipal law of general application affecting an airport could be a valid exercise of provincial/municipal jurisdiction, provided that it is not concerned with aeronautics. However, such a law cannot be applied in a manner where it would “impair the core” of the federal power. For example, because the location of airports is an essential part of the federal aeronautics power, municipal laws cannot apply in a way that would restrict where airports can be built.

Where there is a conflict between an otherwise valid provincial or municipal law and federal one, the federal law will prevail to the extent of the conflict. A conflict occurs if it is impossible to comply with both federal and provincial laws at once, for example where a province forbids something required by a federal law. A conflict will also be found to exist if the operation of the provincial law would frustrate the purpose of the federal law.

In the case of the St. Andrews’ Airport, the runway in question is closed for aviation purposes and is marked as such. It is not uncommon for airport operators to lease their land for non-aviation-related purposes. The issue regarding racing at the airport is not an aviation activity that falls to the Minister of Transport to administer. As such, provided the racing activities are not being conducted in a manner that negatively impacts aviation safety or security, it could coexist with the aeronautical activities at the airport.

Transport Canada developed Land Use Planning in the Vicinity of Aerodromes (TP 1247) to assist planners and legislators at all levels of government in becoming familiar with issues related to land use in the vicinity of aerodromes, which can be found at: .

Open for signature
November 26, 2020, at 4:15 p.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
January 25, 2021, at 4:15 p.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
James Bezan (Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman)
February 4, 2021 (Petition No. 432-00485)
Government response tabled
March 22, 2021
Photo - James Bezan
Conservative Caucus
Disclaimer regarding petitions