Greens call for New Revenue for Municipalities and Reliable Funding for Cycling

Toronto, Ontario – The Green Party of Ontario is calling on the McGuinty government to listen to the call from Ontario municipalities for reliable funding and additional sources of revenue to close the infrastructure funding gap.

“Municipalities need funds to address the $5.9 billion infrastructure deficit, and the Green Party would start by providing all local governments with the same power that the City of Toronto has to levy vehicle registration fees,” says Deputy Leader Kevin O’Donnell. “We need to empower municipalities to address their infrastructure deficit without relying solely on property taxes.”

The GPO is also calling on the McGuinty government to dedicate 1% of the transportation budget to cycling infrastructure and 1% for pedestrian. Cycling and pedestrian infrastructure can help tackle gridlock, make our roads safer and is cheaper to build and maintain than vehicular roadways. Shifting to active transportation also has health benefits that will reduce pressure on our health care budget.

“Ontario needs infrastructure if we are serious about making our streets and roads safe,” says GPO leader Mike Schreiner. “A small investment to support cycling and walking will reap big rewards — combating gridlock, reducing health care costs and supporting local businesses.”

Two Danish studies showed that when 1% of car drivers switched to riding bicycles, health care costs were reduced by 1%. Copenhagen saves $300 per person per year on health costs because almost 80 percent of its population bikes regularly. Cycling and walking projects create 11-14 jobs per $1 million spent, compared to just seven jobs created per $1 million spent on highway projects.

Media Contact:
Rebecca Harrison