On May 27, Metrolinx, the provincial agency tasked with improving public transportation in the greater Toronto and Hamilton area, brought forth its grand plan to help raise revenues needed to bring their “Big Move” plan to fruition. Among some of the “revenue generators,” (love that new talking point) put forth, were raising the HST one per cent from 13 to 14 per cent and levying a five cent per litre gas tax.
The others include a daily 25¢ charge per space for commercial, off-street parking and a 15 per cent increase in development charges- essentially killing an already slowing construction industry.
On average the plans put forth will cost taxpayers $477 per household and God forbid you have two heathen vehicles in your driveway, because then you’ll be on the hook for up to $1000 a year. These of course are government figures and we all know how well they are in forecasting expenditures, (see cancelled gas plant costs ballooning from $230 to $585 million.)
Once again this Liberal government has shown that it’s so out of touch with the taxpayers of this province.
Time after time they have shown that they just can’t be trusted with taxpayer money. We have a gas tax to fund roads. Or we did, until the Liberals (under former Premier David Peterson) rerouted it to general revenues. We also have a health care levy (a.k.a. the Dalton Tax) – which also goes to general revenues, not health. What makes anyone believe that the Liberal government wouldn’t reroute any other “revenue tools,” (love that talking point too) into the bottomless pit? Why doesn’t this government try to find the money in inefficiencies? (See ignored Drummond Report)
Another problem that stems from this plan- why should a person in Thunder Bay be forced to pay $477 a year to fund a transit system that they will never use? Now, we in Cambridge are no strangers to paying for transit that we will have no access too, (see the ION Rapid Transit in Kitchener-Waterloo) but at least we can cross the highway on a field trip and check out our tax dollars in action. People in Northern Ontario will only see these improvements on postcards.
This is all fine, wanting to improve our provincial transit systems, but how about actually improving the transit system that all residents of Ontario use daily, not just the lucky “chosen” ones. This is like asking people to go in on purchasing a new car with their neighbour but then not allowing them to drive the new car.
Revenue generators, revenue tools and revenue solutions, all great talking points that are somehow supposed to give us all that warm fuzzy feeling while distracting us from that hand reaching further into our pockets. Problem is most Ontarians’ pockets contain only dryer lint.
Tags: Big Move, HST, Liberals, new, Northern Ontario, Premier David Peterson, Thunder Bay, Toronto