Editorial cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday April 23, 2015
Federal Budget Offers ‘Crumbs’ For Transit Needs: Ontario Finance Minister
Ontario’s Liberals were quick to express disappointment Tuesday at the federal budget, saying the money Ottawa is promising for transit projects amounts to “crumbs” compared to the needs of Canada’s largest province.
“When it comes to transit, they’ve kind of missed the train, and they’re not even in the station,” Finance Minister Charles Sousa said shortly after his federal counterpart introduced the budget in the House of Commons.
The federal budget promises a new infrastructure fund that allocates $750 million over two years, followed by $1 billion a year “ongoing thereafter.”
“The amount that’s being brought forward, frankly, is only crumbs of what we need,” Sousa said.
The Liberal government has pledged to spend $130 billion on infrastructure over 10 years, $31 billion of which will go toward transit infrastructure.
The province has been calling on the federal Conservatives to match its infrastructure investment, but Ottawa’s election-year budget provides only a “small step in the right direction,” said Sousa.
The new fund doesn’t kick in until 2017-18 — the same year the provincial Liberals have promised to eliminate Ontario’s $10.9-billion deficit.
After the initial two years of the transit program the money will rise to $1 billion a year, “ongoing thereafter,” to help finance public-private partnerships, or P3s, to pay for projects and upgrades with a combination of public and private investment. (Source: Huffington Post)