CFS sued over Travel Cuts ownership

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By Lucy Nerseian

Travel Cuts is having a bit of an ownership crisis.

The University of Western Ontario’s student council launched a lawsuit to determine who owns the discount travel company, a group of student councils or current owner, the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) lobby group.

Western’s University Students’ Council (SC) says shares of Travel Cuts were improperly transferred to CFS a decade ago.

But the CFS says it owns Travel Cuts.  “The paper trail is very clear,” said Joel Harden, chair of CFS-Ontario.  “We own the company.”

Travel Cuts was owned by the Association of Student Councils-Canada (AOSC), a business group representing student councils including Western, Ryerson, York and U of T.

“It is my understanding that the AOSC delegated the responsibility of Travel Cuts to the National Union of Students,” which became the CFS in 1981, said Harden.

“It wasn’t a legal transfer,” said USC president Ian Armour.

The lawsuit asks for a declaration that the transfer of shares to CFS is void; a transfer of shares back to the AOSC; repayment of Travel Cuts’ profits to AOSC; legal costs and other claims.  If these conditions aren’t met, the USC is asking for $100 million in damages.

The lawsuit was filed in October, 1997, and is now in the discovery stage.

No other AOSC members, including RyeSAC, a member of CFS, have joined the lawsuit yet.

“Suing [CFS] would be like suing ourselves,” said RyeSAC president David Steele.

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