As anticipated, the question of federal funding to small and rural airports came up at this week’s Q&A session featuring four of the five election candidates in Timmins-James Bay.

Capital funding has been 38-million dollars a year ever since the feds downloaded the airports to communities.

Because she’s running for the Liberals, Timmins councillor Michelle Boileau couldn’t vote at the last meeting on a resolution calling on the feds to increase the  funding.

“I’ve seen firsthand, again travelling throughout the region and going up to the coast how important our airports are for our communities and for our region,” she told the business crowd.  “Funding coming from the federal government hasn’t been increased in decades and it is time for that.”

Victor M. Power Airport in Timmins is the acknowledged hub for this region.  Conservative candidate Kraymr Grenke said that while City Hall operates it… other cities formed not-for-profit corporations… making those airports eligible for other sources of funding.

“Working with the city to ensure that that can be the possibility of becoming a much larger northern hub for regional transport is something that we’d have to look forward to on the airport front,” said Grenke.

Renaud Roy of the People’s Party  and incumbent NDP MP Charlie Angus agreed that funding must be increased. Angus said finance minister Bill Morneau doesn’t understand the importance of the airports.