Only Dedicated Operational Funding for Municipalities Will Meet the Needs of Ontarians

January 8 — The Minister of Transportation released gas tax transfer figures today, but Amalgamated Transit Union Canada President John Di Nino thinks that the Ford Government is not going far enough on funding public transit.

“The gas tax money for public transit is helpful in reducing congestion to a degree, but without a provincial strategy and dedicated operational dollars, there is no certainty this money will meet the transit needs of Ontarians,” says the President.

ATU Canada has been pushing for a nationalized transit strategy at the federal level since July 2018. This includes dedicated operational funding and a national taskforce comprised of riders, First Nations representatives, the Government of Canada, rural communities, cities and transit professionals.

The union says a lack of dedicated operational dollars is the core reason for infrequent service and the provincial government should step in to fill the federal void.

“These gas tax transfers might go toward funding operations, but there are no guarantees. It is only through dedicated funding for operation costs that we can be certain we will actually have drivers to get the vehicles to the station on time,” says Di Nino.

“The money provided by the Ford Government today could be put into the large capital projects that many municipalities are struggling to fund. That’s important, but it won’t address the issues of delay and frequency that is the result of chronic underfunding,” Di Nino continued.

ATU Canada argues there should be a provincial transit strategy in Ontario, in addition to a national transit strategy across Canada.

Media contact: John Di Nino 416-938-0746

Source: ATU Canada