2008 Special Examination Report - Cover Letter

The Office of the Auditor General of Canada (OAG) recently submitted to the Board of Directors of VIA Rail a Special Examination Report. On March 23rd, the Board of Directors of VIA Rail accepted that report.

VIA Rail Canada acknowledges the constructive approach taken by the Office of the Auditor-General in this report, and supports the report’s conclusions.

VIA is pleased to note the improvements cited since the previous report by the OAG in 2003, notably that VIA’s Board continues to improve its governance practices and that VIA has successfully transformed the Human Resources function. VIA is also pleased to note that the report finds that the management of the Corporation’s financial, human and material resources is economic and efficient, and VIA’s activities are carried out effectively.

VIA agrees with the OAG regarding the risk to VIA’s investment plan inherent in the Corporation’s negotiations to improve access to the freight infrastructure for increased passenger train frequencies. VIA has since assessed the impact on funding requirements of not increasing frequency in the Québec City-Windsor Corridor. Furthermore, VIA has developed an alternative plan, which is referenced in the Corporate Plan for the years 2009-2013.

Discussions are well advanced with the operating railways regarding improvements and enhanced access for VIA that would allow for both better trip times and additional frequencies.

VIA believes that the above steps have appropriately addressed the concerns of the OAG in this area.

VIA has taken note of those other areas where further improvements can be made and has already taken action to implement the suggestions made in the report.

If you have any questions on the Special Examination Report – 2008, please communicate with VIA Rail’s Corporate Communications department at 514-871-6119.

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