On September 23, a draft slate appeared on Sly in Official Gazette of the Government of Quebec. The Minister of Justice, responsible for the Office of Consumer Protection (OPC) that administers FICAV, announced the return of the 0.35% tax on tourism services purchased from 1He is November – or $3.50 per $1,000.
This contribution goes to FICAV which, as its name suggests, works to compensate travel agency clients when paid services are not provided. It has been on hold since 2019 since the fund was then, at $142 million, with sufficient capital.
Potential drain of more than $100 million
Simon Jolin-Barrette wants to change the rules because of the tens of millions of dollars that will have to be compensated for more than 35,000 passengers. According to its regulations, for a pandemic only, up to 75% of FICAV can be used for, according to his company,
Allow better compensation for eligible claims. Currently, the cap is set at 60%.
A simple calculation can conclude that the cost of repayment could exceed hundreds of millions of dollars. The massive hole will lead to a significant decrease in the value of FICAV. So it will have to be saved, and then the tax back.
The problem is that the consumer has not yet been compensated for the claims submitted to FICAV, which regrets the president of the Association of Travel Agencies of Quebec, Moscow Cote. It was due to start in September.
This is unfair. […] There, consumers are required to pay again before they even receive the interest provided by the fund. […] It really puts the cart before the horse.
According to him, the majority of files should
treat and compensate Before making a 0.35% contribution again.
Draft list discarded
At the last minute, Moscow Kote learned of the existence of the draft regulation published on September 23 and the deadline for submitting comments to the government, 10 days later.
Mr. Côté then mobilized his members to demand a postponement of the tax entry date.
The Minister of Justice is expected to make his official decision soon.
Was there at least one recovery?
The Consumer Protection Bureau reports that
Work has intensified since September to process thousands of compensation claims, more than
Unfortunately most of them are not completed. The agency declined to say whether the passengers had been compensated so far.
Over the next few weeks, contacts with claimants to update their files will increase.
For customers who are victims of the pandemic, FICAV deadlines have become a real epic. The Office of Special Operations was waiting for funding agreements between the federal government and airlines to process orders, in order to avoid double repayments. These agreements came in the spring and nearly all clients received their dues.
But transfers, hotels and other tourist activities – not covered by the agreements – may have been paid for with a travel agency.
A customer who preferred to remain anonymous told us, for example, that she got her reimbursement for her Air Canada flight, but was waiting to process her file with FICAV for a cruise during the same flight.
Processing time, the OPC explains, will depend on how quickly contacted claimants submit the missing items in their file.
Said customer is still waiting for the call.
December 31, 2021: the end of the epidemic
Minister Simon Jolin Barrett’s draft regulation also limits the eligibility period for pandemic-related compensation.
This draft regulation sets December 31, 2021 as the end date of the COVID-19 pandemic event-Can we read? We couldn’t get more explanation for this.
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