Monday, March 17, 2014

Ontario premier affirms transit fund

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Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has pledged that the province's upcoming fiscal budget will include a dedicated transit fund, though sources for such a fund remain unclear, given that Wynne has said no taxes will be raised for such a purpose.

"It is still ongoing. We are committed to building transit," Wynne said Monday, March 17, 2014, to local media as she defended the decision to reject any tax increases, a move many Ontario rail advocates have sought.

Wynne insists any increased taxation would affect middle-income earners most severely, though she has avoided defining the parameters of such earners. "But will there be a dedicated fund? Will it be transparent what those dollars will be used for? Yes absolutely," she said.

At present, Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area agency Metrolinx is trying to advance its C$50 billion "Big Move" plan, including light railt transit (LRT) for numerous provincial locations, subway expansion for Toronto, and increased GO Transit regional rail service frequency and expansion efforts.