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VIA Rail

Fritter

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How so? Could you explain further? What do you mean by inputs?
I am not an accountant, and I stand to be corrected if I'm way off on this, but I believe the GST system works this way.
A business collects GST on all it's sales, subtracts the GST paid on all its inputs to make those sales (In VIA's case Diesel, cleaning supplies, food and beverage sold onboard etc) and pays the government the net amount. If a business did not collect GST, then costs on inputs would be higher without the negating GST collected.
In other words, GST is paid by the final customer not each time along the procurement line.
 

EnviroTO

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That is correct. The amount of the GST collected that a company needs to remit is how much it collected from sales minus the GST it paid on supplies that make up the product they sell. However, I believe if the product you sell is non taxable the tax you pay on inputs directly related to the product still get claimed resulting in a GST refund. Because the value is usually added through the supply chain most industries a refund doesn't happen, but if what you make is nontaxable but relies on taxed items that can happen.
 

roger1818

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I am not an accountant, and I stand to be corrected if I'm way off on this, but I believe the GST system works this way.
A business collects GST on all it's sales, subtracts the GST paid on all its inputs to make those sales (In VIA's case Diesel, cleaning supplies, food and beverage sold onboard etc) and pays the government the net amount. If a business did not collect GST, then costs on inputs would be higher without the negating GST collected.
In other words, GST is paid by the final customer not each time along the procurement line.

How do transit agencies get around this, or do they have to cover the GST on their supplies? As for food and beverage sold, they would still be charging GST on those items.
 

reaperexpress

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Guys, I think we may be getting a bit off topic here with the GST/tax remittance transit discussions...

Let's try to get back to VIA/HFR, etc. :p

Well we are talking about whether there should be HST on VIA tickets, so I'd say that's VIA related...

Anyway, to sum up: If I understand correctly, my statement should have been that VIA tickets (and other intercity tickets) should be deemed non-taxable, and VIA (and other operators) should receive a GST/HST credit for the HST they spend directly operating the service (fuel, parts etc).
 

jelbana

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Given that both VIA and the CIB are crown corporations, is it normal to have this little in publicly available documentation? We've reached the stage of the HFR project having funding allocated in a federal budget, so I'd expect at least a modicum of scrutiny on what the funding is actually being used for? I'm surprised at the fact that any report from the JPO will come after the budget proposal.
 

DirectionNorth

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Given that both VIA and the CIB are crown corporations, is it normal to have this little in publicly available documentation? We've reached the stage of the HFR project having funding allocated in a federal budget, so I'd expect at least a modicum of scrutiny on what the funding is actually being used for? I'm surprised at the fact that any report from the JPO will come after the budget proposal.
I can see a few interpretations to this.

The most generous one is that they don't want the airlines to lobby against them, so they're keeping it quiet.

The other interpretation is that it would be a failure in some way (too expensive, too slow, not enough passengers) and they don't want us to know.
 

innsertnamehere

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The feds in general are notoriously secretive in almost all their work. The province is an angel of open book government by comparison. I'm sure it'll be released eventually, but they are in no rush.

Someone should be filing an FOI for the info.
 

jelbana

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The feds in general are notoriously secretive in almost all their work. The province is an angel of open book government by comparison. I'm sure it'll be released eventually, but they are in no rush.

Someone should be filing an FOI for the info.

Actually, a FOI was filed, and was not complied with. Office of the Information Commissioner said the following:


Recommendations​


On October 7, 2020, I provided the President and Chief Executive Officer of VIA Rail my initial report setting out my findings and recommendations:


  • Release all information in the records at issue which do not meet the criteria for exemption, including the information set out in the Appendix;
  • Reasonably exercise its discretion with regard to the remaining information that does meet the criteria for exemption;
  • Engage in a severance exercise pursuant to section 25 of the Act;
  • Email a copy of the response to the OIC’s Registrar (Greffe-Registry@oci-ci.gc.ca).

On November 9, 2020, the President and Chief Executive Officer of VIA Rail responded and indicated they would be open to consider implementation of the OIC’s recommendations at a later date, likely by mid-2021. This is an unacceptable response which fails to respect the quasi-constitutional right of access set out in the Act. This is rendered even clearer by the fact that the access request in question was made more than 3.5 years ago, and VIA Rail continues to refuse to disclose the records at issue (hundreds of pages) in their entirety – when it is obvious that the Act does not permit this.


Although recent amendments to the Act authorize me to order the disclosure of records, this is only with respect to complaints received as of June 21, 2019. As this complaint was received prior to that date, I unfortunately have no authority to order that VIA Rail respond to the request by a specified date. Having made my recommendations to VIA Rail, I must conclude my investigation as I have exhausted my jurisdiction under the Act.
 

roger1818

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I can see a few interpretations to this.

The most generous one is that they don't want the airlines to lobby against them, so they're keeping it quiet.

The other interpretation is that it would be a failure in some way (too expensive, too slow, not enough passengers) and they don't want us to know.

My interpretation is they don't want to compromise the negotiations for acquiring the ROW. If VIA were to release the price the expect to pay for the ROW, that would then tell the owner how much VIA is willing to pay and make it more difficult for VIA to negotiate effectively and get the best possible price.
 

jelbana

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My interpretation is they don't want to compromise the negotiations for acquiring the ROW. If VIA were to release the price the expect to pay for the ROW, that would then tell the owner how much VIA is willing to pay and make it more difficult for VIA to negotiate effectively and get the best possible price.

OIC investigation already mentions that anything that can compromise contract negotiation can be excluded from a FOI request. Clearly they aren't interested in publicly releasing anything yet, not just sensitive material.
 

crs1026

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^ I can’t imagine that land acquisition is the issue. It might be if there were choices of route, but that isn’t the case. Landowners largely know whether or not their property will be affected. The owner of the biggest parcel is CP which can afford lawyers and will ask the moon and stars anyways. There isn’t much point in second guessing VIA’s offer. I can’t imagine that bidders on the design/construction phase would be guided by that information either, assuming they intend to bid competitively.

I-have to think that the reluctance was to avoid releasing data that could be seized by either political or lobbyist opposition, especially when government is so ambivalent in the first place. The reports likely outline major risks and uncertainties. And they will likely declare the most likely and best possible performance outcomes. Giving HFR’s opponents that information so they can begin slagging HFR, before Ottawa is ready for a public debate, would be very unwise. Especially if the project has some iffy bits.

I suspect VIA is ready and willing to put its best foot forward.... but the pols sure aren’t. It’s as if they still want it to go away.

- Paul
 

roger1818

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The owner of the biggest parcel is CP which can afford lawyers and will ask the moon and stars anyways.

While I agree that CP will lawyer up and ask for the moon, there is no point giving them more ammunition than they need.

There is also the QGRY between Montreal and Quebec. They may not be able to afford as many lawyers.
 

crs1026

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While I agree that CP will lawyer up and ask for the moon, there is no point giving them more ammunition than they need.

There is also the QGRY between Montreal and Quebec. They may not be able to afford as many lawyers.

G & W ? They have $1.6B in annual revenue. And are themselves owned by someone bigger.

Anyways, that kind of information is protected in any event. I would be more concerned with things like VIA’s marketing plan, and pricing analysis. Wouldn’t Porter and Air Canada love to know all that.

- Paul
 

lenaitch

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I would imagine any corporation involved in a business transaction with a government entity, as well as the government itself, would have confidentiality clauses in place, at least until any deal is signed.
 

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