78% of Ontario Municipalities Missed

WOODSTOCK –Today the Ontario government announced that only 96 municipalities – less than 25% – will be receiving proceeds from the gas tax, despite the fact that residents in all of Ontario’s 444 municipalities pay the tax.

“For people in rural and northern Ontario driving is often the only way to get around, but this government refuses to include these municipalities in the gas tax,” said Ernie Hardeman, MPP Oxford and PC Critic for Municipal Affairs and Housing. “People in these communities don’t have the option of taking transit to work or to get groceries, and this government is penalizing them for it.”

Hardeman also pointed out that the government’s system of only distributing the funding to municipalities with existing transit is holding back municipalities that want to start a transit system.

“We heard from Bracebridge that they want to create a transit system in the next few years, but one of the challenges they face is that they can’t access gas tax money until after they create the transit,” said Hardeman. “It doesn’t seem right or fair that they should be denied gas tax funding that could assist them with the expensive start-up costs when their residents have no choice but to pay the tax.”

The PC Caucus believes that the gas tax should be distributed to all municipalities regardless of whether or not they have transit. The federal government already distributes their gas tax using this model.

“All of Ontario’s municipalities have transportation needs – whether it is new buses, building roads, or repairing bridges,” said Hardeman. “All the people who paid the gas tax should have a right to benefit from it.”

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For more information, contact:
Ernie Hardeman, MPP Oxford
(416) 325-1239