OAKVILLE, ON, Dec. 13, 2013 /CNW/ - The release of the Government of
Ontario's Transit Investment Strategy Advisory Panel's final report
provides a welcomed opportunity to renew the discussion about how
Ontario and its 444 municipalities intend to finance the renewal and
expansion of Ontario's civic infrastructure and transit systems.
The Ontario Good Roads Association (OGRA) agrees with the findings of
the report, most of which seem matters of fact. However, OGRA is
disappointed that the province continues to limit its consideration of
revenue tools to provincially-managed options for transit. The need for
investment in transit is beyond question. This reality places transit
on the same footing as roads and bridges, water mains, waste water, and
social housing; all of which are core asset classes that suffer from
chronic under investment.
Since 2011, OGRA has maintained that the appropriate response to
addressing our infrastructure deficit and expanding transit
opportunities is for the province to amend the Municipal Act so that
municipalities are given the opportunity to implement revenue tools
where they are determined to be warranted locally. The support was
contingent on the following objectives:
Revenue derived from this new authority must be dedicated back into
Transparency must govern the collection and distribution of revenue; and
The cost must be distributed and the funding allocated fairly.
Municipal government is the order of government that best understands
and reflects local needs. As such, it is reasonable to expect that
affording municipalities the opportunity to implement revenue tools
would also ensure more effective responses to local issues.
The economic imperative for making investments in civic infrastructure
is compelling. The quality of municipal infrastructure is often a key
determinant to attracting investment and talent. Effective
transportation networks and water assets corresponds directly with the
potential to grow businesses and reach markets.
"OGRA is very pleased that the report has recognized that funding
transit infrastructure means funding transportation infrastructure
province wide" said OGRA Executive Director Joe Tiernay. "Small and
rural municipalities that don't have transit systems have long felt
left behind due to being ineligible to receive gas tax funding."
OGRA President Joanne Vanderheyden added "Allowing all municipalities to
consider other revenue tools would even the playing field while placing
accountability at the local level". She went on to say that "Locally
elected councils know best what is important to their residents."
Founded in 1894, the Ontario Good Roads Association (OGRA) represents
the infrastructure interests of municipalities through advocacy,
consultation, training and the delivery of identified services.
SOURCE: Ontario Good Roads Association
For further information:
Ontario Good Roads Association
1525 Cornwall Road, Unit 22
Oakville, ON L6J 0B2
PHONE: 289-291-OGRA (6472)