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Thursday, February 2, 2012

NDP proposes using gas tax fund to improve infrastructure funding

NDP proposes using gas tax fund to improve infrastructure funding
Feb 1, 2012OTTAWA —

An NDP motion on investment in infrastructure will be put to vote today in the House of Commons. The motion seeks to encourage the government to index the Gas Tax Fund and increase the transfer of gas tax money by one cent.

“This is a concrete solution that would effectively support the work of municipalities to maintain and revitalize our highways, viaducts and bridges. We need infrastructures in good condition to attract investors, stimulate jobs and facilitate the transportation of goods,” explained NDP Transport Critic, Olivia Chow (Trinity-Spadina).

Administered by Infrastructure Canada, the Gas Tax Fund was established in 2005. Under this program, the federal government puts five of every 10 cents of the tax on gas into the fund. The NDP proposes increasing this amount to six cents, which would result in $500 million per year in additional revenue for infrastructure.

“Our infrastructures are falling apart across the country and it’s urgent we act. Our solution is pragmatic and will allow provinces and municipalities to have regular and recurrent funding to carry out essential work,” added NDP Deputy Transport Critic, Jamie Nicholls (Vaudreuil-Soulanges).

The NDP motion also recognizes the need to immediately replace the Champlain Bridge. “The Transport Minister committed to building a new bridge on the St. Lawrence, but he remains vague on the timeline and we don’t know anything concrete about the project. Citizens told us during a public forum we organized in January that they want a bridge quickly, and they want public transit,” explained MP Hélène LeBlanc (LaSalle-Ville-Émard), who tabled this motion.

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