|Couriers get tax cut
Montreal Mirror, March 17, 2005
By Kristian Gravenor
Tom Ostreiko can now lunch on even more of his favourite soup from PVM
and stew from a Polish joint on St-Mathieu, because the feds now allow
non-motorized couriers to write off $15 of food-fuel, up from $11 a day.
The idea is that food is to couriers what gas is to drivers. "Everybody
has to have lunch in order to be productive," says Ostreiko, a
counsellor at the Montreal Biker Messenger Association. "In the case of
a courier, if you don't eat you slow down so much it becomes not cost
The news means an extra $1,000 per year for non-motorized couriers,
according to Wayne Scott, head of Toronto's Hoof&Cycle Active
Transport Workers Guild. Scott started fighting for the deduction in
1981 before the feds finally relented in 1998. The $11 total was based
on a similar total for train workers, and when that recently got hiked,
Scott demanded and received a similar new deal for couriers.
His crusade has made him popular among his colleagues. "I haven't had
to pay for a beer in years," says Scott.