Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for October 11th, 2008

Public transit a key election issue

with 3 comments

Toronto Star

in Toronto suburbs wooed by Tories

It is a shame about that qualifier. And it is also a shame that the opinion seems to be exclusive to Michael Roschlau, president of the Canadian Urban Transit Association.  There is nothing in the article itself to back up the assertion in the headline. No poll, no vox pops. There is a useful sidebar that has the party platforms on transit.

But again we get the same tale about gas tax or, in the case of the Greens, a point on GST. Now I have made the point here more than once that these taxes are all regressive, and predicated taxes are a hostage to fortune. In the case of the gas tax, as gas sales fall (for example when people drive less due to high gas prices) so do revenues. Which is exactly the reverse of what needs to happen. Yes we need federal funding for transit, but it should be based on the consolidated revenues of the federal government not one tax or another. And it should be available to use for both operating and capital spending.

I am sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings but the election has ceased to be about anything but how suddenly we all feel less well off than we did a little while ago. And it would appear from the polls that more people are now blaming the Tories for the stock market debacle. Or perhaps also for being nasty to nice Mr Dion. The behaviour of CTV is beneath contempt – but Harper could not resist the chance of a cheap shot and it has hurt him more than Dion.

Written by Stephen Rees

October 11, 2008 at 8:45 am

Posted in politics, transit

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