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e-2999 (Transportation)

Initiated by Bill Powell from Toronto, Ontario

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Minister of Transport

  • Many Canadian airports are named after politicians. In Edmonton, however, an opportunity exists to rename the international airport in recognition of a Canadian aviation pioneer;
  • Maxwell William Ward began his aviation career in the RCAF, training pilots during World War II;
  • After the war, he went on to fly bush planes in Canada's far north, demonstrating his lifelong love of flying, adventure, enterprise, and the Arctic, and contributed to mapping the Canadian north;
  • In 1953, he established Wardair and grew the company into one of Canada's largest scheduled carriers with a route network that provided his airline’s signature “Wardair Class” service to leisure and business travellers alike;
  • Max Ward was recognized with the Order of Canada, the Alberta Order of Excellence, the Order of Polaris and the Order of Icarus, and seven honorary degrees from Canadian Universities;
  • He was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame and was one of the original inductees into Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame;
  • Max’s persistence, mechanical mind, affability, respect for others, and his dedication to service, defined his business and personal interests;
  • Most importantly, he was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, and a revered leader to his legion of loyal employees; and
  • Sadly, Max passed away on November 2, 2020 in Edmonton. He was 98.
We, the undersigned, Citizens of Canada, call upon the Minister of Transport to request that the Edmonton Regional Airports Authority board considers renaming the city’s international gateway to Edmonton Max Ward International Airport (colloquially, Edmonton-Ward International), in honour of a truly remarkable Canadian, Albertan and Edmontonian.

Response by the Minister of Transport

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

The Edmonton Regional Airport is the property of the federal Crown, but it is leased to the Edmonton Regional Airports Authority.   Although the Edmonton Regional Airports Authority is responsible for the management, operation and development of the Airport, any changes to the name of the Airport cannot be made without the Minister of Transport’s consent.  In addition, in accordance with the Government of Canada’s Policy on Naming Government of Canada Structures, final approval of any change to the naming of an airport rests with the Minister of Public Services & Procurement.  

Transport Canada’s policy is to name federally-owned airports after the principal geographic area the airport serves.  However, under special circumstances, the name of an airport may be changed to honour a great Canadian.

Transport Canada has an established process for considering formal requests to rename an airport. This includes reviewing the merits and significance of the proposed name change.

This petition to rename the Airport will be reviewed by Transport Canada in accordance with this process.

Open for signature
February 2, 2021, at 10:53 a.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
March 4, 2021, at 10:53 a.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Mike Lake (Edmonton—Wetaskiwin)
March 23, 2021 (Petition No. 432-00705)
Government response tabled
May 6, 2021
Photo - Mike Lake
Conservative Caucus