Wednesday, April 3, 2013

By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Wynne says it’s time to make up for ‘long gaps’ in funding

Premier Kathleen Wynne says GTA residents are willing to pay more to relieve gridlock by building more transit as long as they understand things will improve.

After touring an executive jet refurbishing facility, Wynne reacted positively to a Metrolinx gridlock report saying it at least shows the problem is finally about to be tackled with a short list of options for raising $50 billion over 25 years for its “Big Move” plan.
Wynne said people naturally don’t want to pay more on first blush “but if the question is ‘do you want to have the transit that is needed in this region?’ . . . the answer is yes. Everyone wants that.”

“And the next question has to be ‘how are we going to pay for that?’And it is a combination of investments that the government has made . . . but it has to be in combination with the federal government and other revenue streams. There just isn’t any other way to continue to build,” she told reporters at the end of her tour of Flying Colours Corp.

Wynne said she was glad that there are people turning their minds “to how we can have an infrastructure transit building plan going forward” with potential revenue measures such as an employer payroll tax, gas tax, parking space levy, development charges, property and sales tax increases under consideration by Metrolinx.

“I really believe there have been long gaps in our infrastructure building, particularly transit building,” Wynne added. (Source: Toronto Star)