Canadian Consulting Engineer

Transportation groups scrap over subsidies

July 28, 2003
By Canadian Consulting Engineer

"Transport 2000 Canada is today asking ATAC to end its campaign against the federal government's passenger rail ini...

“Transport 2000 Canada is today asking ATAC to end its campaign against the federal government’s passenger rail initiatives and instead to work with all public transportation modes to build a better public transportation system for the future,” said David Jeanes, President of Transport 2000 Canada in a press release.
The organization is upset that the Air Transportation Association of Canada has been criticizing the federal government’s support of Via Rail. The organization has been saying that the government’s plans for a high-speed rail corridor between Toronto and Montreal are an unfair intervention in the market that is a threat to their industry.
The rail advocates counter that the air industry and road transportation receive more than their fair share of financial subsidies and so have no grounds to complain. They argue that over the last 50 years the aviation industry has received 10 times the amount of taxpayer money compared to the rail industry. And they point out that ATAC has increased its demands for subsidies for security costs, and for support of Air Canada.
“If ATAC is worried about the skewing effect of subsides on the transportation industry it should look in the mirror,” Transport 2000 Founding President Harry Gow said. “It might also want to take a look at the annual multi-billion dollar subsidization of Canadian roads. The fact is all modes are subsidized. Now is the right time to move the subsides around and shift a little more into rail.”


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