Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Tax credit for Canadian travel applauded

Poll respondents like MP's idea

  • Print

OTTAWA -- Canadians are prepared to embrace the idea of a tax incentive for travelling within Canada, a new poll suggests.

A private member's bill tabled in the House of Commons by Liberal MP Massimo Pacetti proposes a tax credit for air, bus or train fares on non-business trips that cross at least three provincial borders.

Some 70 per cent of respondents to a recent Canadian Press-Harris/Decima poll expressed support for the idea. Regionally, almost eight in 10 respondents in Atlantic Canada liked it, with 75 per cent of those in British Columbia and Alberta in favour.

About four of every 10 people surveyed said they would be more likely to travel within Canada if the tax break was in place, the poll found.

"I think it's certainly well intentioned and I think we'd certainly like to see Canadians travelling in Canada as opposed to outside the country," said Kevin Desjardins, vice-president of strategy and public affairs for the Tourism Industry Association of Canada.

Pacetti's Discover Your Canada Act would allow an income tax deduction of 100 per cent of bus fares, 75 per cent on train tickets and 50 per cent for domestic flights, up to a maximum of $2,000.

As a private member's bill, the proposal is unlikely to become law, but Harris-Decima vice-president Patricia Thacker said a tax break of some kind could help reduce the country's big travel deficit. That deficit -- the difference between what travelling Canadians spend abroad and what foreign visitors spend here -- hit $4.2 billion during the second quarter.

"Our survey results show that Canadians need just a small push to consider -- or to reconsider -- travelling within Canada," Thacker said.

"With Canada's international travel deficit on the rise, the magnitude of increased domestic travel spending cannot be ignored."

Chisholm Pothier, a spokesman for Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, said the government has to consider the cost of such focused subsidies.

"In an era where governments are trying to get back to balanced budgets, fiscal responsibility suggests costly, new, novelty subsidies are not the best use of taxpayers dollars," Pothier wrote in an email.

Desjardins said domestic travel has been strong in recent years, but the proposed tax break could help if it got people to forgo travel abroad for travel at home. "The question is whether or not you're converting Canadians travelling internationally into Canadians travelling domestically, which would be really the way that would reduce the travel deficit."

The survey, part of an omnibus phone poll of just over 1,000 people during the first week of November, carries a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 16, 2012 A17

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Faron Hall honoured by Mayor Sam Katz - May 6, 2009

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A one day old piglet glances up from his morning feeding at Cedar Lane Farm near Altona.    Standup photo Ruth Bonneville Winnipeg Free Press
  • JOE.BRYKSA@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Local-(Standup photo)- Humming Around- A female ruby -throated hummingbird fly's through the bee bomb  flowers Friday at the Assiniboine Park English Garden- Nectar from flowers are their main source of food. Hummingbirds wings can beat as fast as 75x times second. Better get a glimpse of them soon the birds fly far south for the winter - from Mexico to South America- JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS- Sept 10, 2009

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you agree with the mandatory helmet law for cyclists under 18?

View Results

Ads by Google