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CPR loses its 1881 tax break

The Western Standard: 'Railway lobbyists were granted the perpetual tax holiday under the 1881 Canadian Pacific Railway Act and subsequent bills as a concession for the building of the nation’s first transcontinental line. The act also awarded the CPR 25 million acres of free land, $25 million in cash grants and a 20-year monopoly on Prairie rail service.


'Parliament repealed the tax holiday to pre-empt any outcome in favour of a CPR tax claim pending in Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench. Any court ruling in favour of the railway would have cost Saskatchewan $341 million, by official estimate. The railway has paid since the introduction of corporate income tax in the Second World War, but sued for a partial refund.'

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