As a leading advocate for transportation, infrastructure and motorists, CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) is pleased that the 2014 provincial budget focuses on many critical transportation issues the auto club has been raising with the province for a decade.
CAA SCO is encouraged that after repeated calls for the province to establish dedicated and equitable funding for transit and road infrastructure projects, the provincial budget includes a commitment to create two dedicated funds and make $29 billion available over the next 10 years for investments in roads, bridges, highways and transit. While redirecting 7.5 cents of the existing gas tax to infrastructure and transit is a good start, CAA SCO believes more can be done. The provincial excise tax currently stands at 14.7 cents on every litre of gas and diesel sold in Ontario, which generated approximately $3.1 billion in 2012-2013.
“We are optimistic that the steps outlined in the 2014 budget are a start to addressing the congestion that is crippling the GTHA. Through our ongoing advocacy and campaigns like Worst Roads, we have called on the province to provide dedicated funding for transportation initiatives,” said Elliott Silverstein, Manager Government Relations, CAA SCO. “CAA remains committed to working with the government to ensure roads across Ontario have access to dedicated funding for urgent repairs and maintenance.”
CAA is also pleased that very important links in the province’s highway network such as the expansion of Highways 407, 427 and the widening of Highway 401 are addressed in the budget, and will come to fruition in the near future. The budget also references the government’s current efforts to regulate the towing industry in Ontario. CAA SCO applauds this effort and is eager to work with the government to help modernize the towing industry, while ensuring there is sufficient consumer protection and an enhancement of safety for tow truck drivers and motorists alike.
“Bill 189 if passed, will not only provide additional consumer protection mechanisms for motorists, but provide additional safety measures that will benefit everyone on Ontario’s road network,” added Silverstein.