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OT: "Unfair Double Standard," Canada's Airports Decry Continued Subsidization of Via

OT: "Unfair Double Standard," Canada's Airports Decry Continued Subsidization of Via

Old Oct 11, 07, 7:00 pm
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OT: "Unfair Double Standard," Canada's Airports Decry Continued Subsidization of Via

http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/a.../11/c3120.html

OTTAWA, Oct. 11 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Airports Council (CAC) today
decried the continued subsidization of Via Rail to the tune of nearly
$692 million while Canada's aviation sector suffers from competitiveness
challenges.
"Canada's civil aviation sector already suffers a serious competitive
disadvantage to other modes of travel and airports across the border in the
U.S. due to airport rent and other forms of high taxation," said CAC President
and CEO Jim Facette. "Canada's airports generate some $30 billion in economic
output and employ more than 150,000 people while facilitating international
and domestic trade and tourism. To pump millions of dollars into a competitor
is inexplicable."
The statement comes after it was announced today that the federal
government will provide $691.9 million in capital and operating funding to Via
Rail. While shouldering the financial responsibility of more than $9.5 billion
in capital improvements over the past decade, Canada's airports pay nearly
$300 million a year in the form of rent to the federal government.
In addition to rent, which is passed on to airlines and their passengers,
the government burdens civil aviation with fuel excise taxes, the air
traveller's security charge and other tax and regulatory costs.
"Canada's 100 million air travellers a year will pay nearly $300 million
in rent this year while the government pours nearly $700 million to benefit
Via Rail's 4.1 million passengers, said Mr. Facette. "This is a double
standard that clearly must end."
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Old Oct 11, 07, 7:54 pm
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Pouring money into VIA is basically burning money.

Until I see high-speed trains operating, VIA is still the little train that couldn't.

What the government should have done is scrap the rents they charge to the airports!
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Old Oct 11, 07, 8:36 pm
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We in the west get zero benefit from VIA.
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Old Oct 11, 07, 8:59 pm
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Originally Posted by Altaflyer View Post
We in the west get zero benefit from VIA.
Zero? The semi-annual media gabfest about a high speel rail link between Calgary and Edmonton is surely worth something.
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Old Oct 12, 07, 8:44 am
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Originally Posted by tcook052 View Post
"Canada's civil aviation sector already suffers a serious competitive disadvantage to other modes of travel and airports across the border in the U.S. due to airport rent and other forms of high taxation," said CAC President and CEO Jim Facette. "Canada's airports generate some $30 billion in economic output and employ more than 150,000 people while facilitating international and domestic trade and tourism. To pump millions of dollars into a competitor is inexplicable...This is a double standard that clearly must end."
Last time I tried to fly Toronto to Aldershot, I couldn't find any decent flights...

Does the CAC complain when the government does road repairs as well? Paving the 401 is subsidizing the competition as well, isn't it?
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Old Oct 12, 07, 9:39 am
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Just more instances of an uneven playing field, IMHO, GregW, like today's news that the Alberta government is moving the Alberta Treasury Branch, a crown corp. at-arms-length financial institution, pay taxes which it's been exempt from until now. AC is also regulated by it's federal legislation which other airlines are not. That Via probably couldn't survive without being subsidized is another debate for another thread on another day...
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Old Oct 12, 07, 12:53 pm
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Originally Posted by GregWTravels View Post
Last time I tried to fly Toronto to Aldershot, I couldn't find any decent flights...
HAHA!!

The airports have more money than they know what to do with. The federal rents are a bit of a problem, but I have a hard time believing we'd see an elimination of the AIFs if the rent charges disappeared.
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Old Oct 12, 07, 1:57 pm
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Originally Posted by GregWTravels View Post
Does the CAC complain when the government does road repairs as well? Paving the 401 is subsidizing the competition as well, isn't it?
I think there is a difference. All road users pay multiple fees to the gov't extracted through licensing to fuel taxes. If the gov't however gave a direct subsidy to XYZ Trucking Ltd. that would be a comparable situation. However, I do believe the airlines and airports have also made similar complaints that the air travel infrastructure is paid proportionately more directly by the end users than through gov't channels when compared to road, rail or ship. I think it is a legacy of air transport being regarded as some sort of high-end luxury option rather than a commodity transportation method. An idea that was probably true 50 or even 30 years ago, but not now.
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