Trains For America

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Whose ox is squealing now?

The Air Transport Association of Canada wasted no time springing to its’ own defense with a desperate and shrill declaration of self-interest. Here is the whole thing.

Canadians Travelling by Air Deserve Fair Treatment!

    OTTAWA, Oct. 11 /CNW Telbec/ - The Government of Canada today announced
$691 million in new funding to VIA rail. This simply the latest in a long line
of bottomless subsidies to Canada's ailing passenger rail company. On average,
every VIA passenger is subsidized by taxpayers by approximately $45 per trip.
    "Today's announcement is an insult to the hard-working Canadians who fly
for work, to visit family or take a hard-earned vacation", said ATAC President
and CEO, Sam Barone. "We support the need to ensure viable transportation
infrastructure, we simply can't understand why air passengers are getting
ripped off while rail passengers are getting the royal treatment", he
    Fuel taxes, security charges and, most significantly, airport rent are
draining half-a-billion dollars out of the air transportation sector each year
- on top of all the other taxes that all companies operating in Canada must
pay. This year, The CD Howe Institute, The Montreal Economic Institute and
Economist Dr. Fred Lazar all issued studies that stressed the heavy tax burden
on air passengers in Canada compared to other industries and other modes of
    Mr. Barone also pointed out the important role of air transportation in
Canada's economic, and cultural life.
    "Its air transportation that gets the business person from Toronto to
Vancouver or the pipeline worker from St. John's to Fort McMurray and the
grandparents from Victoria to Toronto to see their grandkids", said Barone.
    "Canadians want high-quality, low-cost, air service, so why is our
government doing everything it can to undermine that goal", he asked?

Filed under: Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy

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October 2007


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