VIA comments on OAG report



    - Special examination report by the Auditor-General of Canada
    - VIA pleased to note improvements
    - Actions taken in response to concerns -

    MONTREAL, May 5 /CNW Telbec/ - The Office of the Auditor General of
Canada (OAG) recently submitted to the Board of Directors of VIA Rail Canada 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
Quebec 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.

    As Canada's national passenger rail service, VIA Rail Canada's mandate is
to provide efficient, environmentally sustainable and cost effective passenger
transportation services, both in Canada's busiest corridor and in remote and
rural regions of the country. VIA serves more than 450 communities with a
network of inter-city, transcontinental and regional trains.

    To obtain a copy of the report, go to the link to Auditor-General's
Reports at http://www.viarail.ca.




For further information:

For further information: VIA Media Contact: Malcolm Andrews, (514)
871-6604


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