Organizations across the Great Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) want more clarity on funding plans
Toronto, ON – Following the release today of the Pembina Institute’s report on public transit, organizations from private, public and not-for profit sectors came together to call on the three major Ontario provincial parties to clarify their plans to fund a regional transportation system.
The groups are responding to the Pembina Institute’s Who’s on track for rapid transit? An interim analysis of GTHA transit investment and expansion plans from Ontario’s major political parties, which shows that despite the pressing need for transportation improvements across the GTHA none of the three political parties has outlined specifically how they would fund new transit initiatives.
“Gridlock is bad for people, business and the environment and it certainly won’t fix itself,” said Toronto Atmospheric Fund CEO Julia Langer. “The Pembina Institute analysis demonstrates why we are asking all provincial party leaders to replace vague statements with concrete funding plans to reduce congestion and air pollution in our region.”
The issue is also striking a chord with healthcare leaders concerned with growing rates of obesity and inactivity-related health problems that have become an increasing cost burden on the provincial health system. “We know the proven, positive impact that public transit and active transportation have on the general health and wellbeing of the public,” said Dr. Doris Grinspun, CEO of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, “and we support strong and decisive leadership to properly fund the much needed transit and active transportation infrastructure in the region.”
Other leaders echoed these views. “Residents of this region are demanding action from all parties,” said Geoff Cape, CEO of Evergreen, “and they will be looking for their political representatives to show leadership on this issue in the upcoming 2014 budget.”
Move the GTHA, a collaboration of more than 30 organizations dedicated to improving public transit in the GTHA, has articulated five principles that must be in place to govern any funding of new transportation improvements. These principles form part of the CivicAction pledge that has been signed by thousands of residents and close to half of all political representatives at all levels of government in the GTHA.
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