Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Wendell FOX

Province could install temporary tolls on highways

Should tolls be installed on Toronto highways?  

3 members have voted

  1. 1. Should tolls be installed on Toronto highways?

    • Yes, they should be installed permenantly but fund only road maintenance
      0
    • Yes, they should be installed permenantly and fund transit
      1
    • Yes, they should be installed, but only temporarily
      0
    • No, there shouldn't be new tolls
      1
    • No, get rid of the 407 tolls too
      1


Recommended Posts

The province's premier McGuinty is considering placing toll booths (maybe automated collection like the 407), most likely on the Gardiner/DVP which lead to downtown Toronto, as a method of relieving the transportation deficit. He promises that the tolls will be removed once they're paid for, though.

This could also be a golden opportunity to pay for transit improvements, but is it ethical for highway users to be paying for a service that they don't plan on using?

---------------------------------

More toll highways coming

Premier promises tolls will be removed once routes are paid for

BY JAMES MCCARTEN

CANADIAN PRESS

Highway tolls are in the cards for Canada's most populous province as the cash-strapped Ontario government struggles to upgrade its crumbling network of roads and highways, Premier Dalton McGuinty said today.

It is going to be up to everyone to shoulder the burden as the government tries to balance a $5.6-billion deficit with trying to rebuild the province, McGuinty told more than 3,000 party faithful who paid $750 a plate to attend the Liberal party's annual Heritage Dinner event.

"You will see that there will be some exceptions, but as a matter of course, as we build new highways around the province, we are going to need the help of Ontarians to proceed with that construction," McGuinty said after his speech.

"We will ensure that the kind of tolling that is used is regulated, it is reasonable, and that it is removed once the highway is paid for."

David Caplan, the province's minister of infrastructure renewal, is in the process of soliciting public input on exactly how the government should proceed, McGuinty said.

Allowances will be made to ensure that people on low incomes and communities without the revenue base to pay for their own upgrades don't have to shoulder an unfair burden, he added.

"We want to ensure that Ontarians are comfortable with the approach we want to bring," McGuinty said.

"We suffer from a serious infrastructure deficit, and it's not the kind of thing we can recover from on our own. So we want to lay out some principles, some guidelines, so Ontarians have an opportunity to comment on those that will guide us on our way forward."

Observers have already suggested that with McGuinty having promised voters last fall that he wouldn't raise taxes, a user-pay philosophy is likely to be a prominent feature of the forthcoming provincial budget expected in April or May.

"It's going to take all of us, pulling in the same direction, to meet our challenges, and our challenges are significant," McGuinty told his audience.

The province is also contending with $2.2 billion in liabilities that aren't yet on the books, such as hospital and Children's Aid Society deficits, potential pension shortfalls and the financial woes of Ontario Power Generation, he added.

"All in all, we're in a pretty deep hole."

In the specific case of highways, none of the new facilities would be owned privately, McGuinty noted, and tolls would be lifted once the cost of building the roadways is covered.

The province, he said, is already moving towards the real cost of electricity by lifting the rate cap that was imposed by the previous Conservative government, and the same thing will have to happen to ensure safe sewers and clean water.

And as the province continues to try and push energy conservation and so-called green energy initiatives, McGuinty said nothing the government does will eliminate the need to build new generating capacity.

To that end, it would be irresponsible to suggest new nuclear facilities aren't part of Ontario's future, he noted.

"If we are as aggressive as we can be with respect to conservation, and aggressive as we can be with respect to renewables, there will still be a need to build more generation," he said.

"There are no easy solutions in that regard."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Yes, the transit deficit should be paid for by tollways. The tolls not only pay for transit maintainance and expansion (please expand to York and Scarborough Centre!), but also add to the continued expansion of the city and region. To combat sprawl, we need to implement ways to ensure that the health of the city-region continues vis-a-vis compact and dense cities that are also environmentally responsible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I disagree with tolls. They should just raise the gas tax instead, either that or cut back on roadway construction.

Government should be willing to make more general fund investments into transit services.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I disagree with tolls. They should just raise the gas tax instead, either that or cut back on roadway construction.

I agree. If by "roadway construction" you mean widening and/or new roads.

Tolls are not the answer, because creating a system like the 407's costs money to build and maintain. A gas tax increase would be good because it would probably be so small that the consumer would not realize that they are paying it. Plus, if the gas tax was increased, it might increase gas prices to the point where some people may be driven out of their cars and onto transit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.