August 05, 2005

Ringing Endorsements for Conservative Public Transit Policy

The Policy: excerpts

Conservative Party: Transit Policy Questions and Answers 04 August 2005

1. DETAILS OF OUR PLAN

Why has the Conservative Party introduced a tax credit instead of investing directly and more heavily in public transit systems? . . . .

What is the cost of this program, and where will the money come from? [. . . . ]

How will the average commuter benefit from this program?

• For the average commuter paying $80 per month for a transit pass, this will mean $153 savings in transit costs. For users of more expensive commuter services, like GO Train in Ontario, this tax credit could mean up to $485 per year. . . . .

2. PUBLIC TRANSIT STATISTICS

What effect do you think this will have on overall public transit rider-ship? Do you have any statistics to back up your claim? [. . . . ]

3. ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECTS

How does this policy fit within your overall climate change strategy? What other steps is the party taking?

• The Conservative Party has always supported initiatives that have a real impact in making the air cleaner for Canadians to breathe.
[. . . . ]

Why does the Conservative Party not support the Liberal Climate Change Plan?

• The Liberals have dedicated money towards buying hot air credits from other countries – instead of dealing with pollution and other causes of smog here at home; they’ll simply pay other countries for the right to pollute in our country. Everybody knows that this is buying time instead of providing real solutions.

• Instead, the Conservative Party will provide concrete action that tackles pollution and actually improves the air Canadians breathe. We are committed to Made in Canada solutions that reflect our geography, our history and our own needs as a country.


4. CONSERVATIVE URBAN POLICIES

How does this fit in with the Conservative Party’s overall urban policies?

• The Conservative Party is developing policy options that will benefit Canadians wherever they live. In this context, we have been leading the way in promoting policies that benefit Canadians who live in large and small municipalities.

• We were the first party to support transferring the gas tax revenue to cities, so that they could build better infrastructure to serve their citizens.

• We advocate lower personal and corporate taxes.

• We are developing a child care plan that offers choice to parents.

• A Conservative Government will provide long-term funding for the clean-up of federal contaminated sites, and remove roadblocks that discourage the private sector from cleaning and developing contaminated sites and brownfields.

• We will work cooperatively with provinces and municipalities on policy relating to settlement support for immigrants as well.





The Endorsements

REALITY CHECK - Conservatives’ public transit announcement receives ringing endorsements from experts, commentators

Sent: Thursday, August 04, 2005 3:07 PM

Office of the Leader of the Opposition

OTTAWA – Conservative leader and Leader of the Opposition Stephen Harper announced the Conservatives’ Public Transit Policy in Toronto, Ontario today, but even in days leading up to the announcement, the endorsements started pouring in…

“I think it’s a very good move on the Conservatives’ part.” (Sierra Club Member, John Bennett – The Province, August 3, 2005)

“It’s a good step.” (Toronto Budget Chief, David Soknacki – Toronto Star, August 3, 2005)

President of the Canadian Urban Transit Association, Michael Roschlau, ‘welcomed the proposal.’ (The Province, August 3, 2005)

“It’s one the measures that we defended for many years.” (Transport 2000 Chair, Jean Leveille – Montreal Gazette, August 3, 2005)

“Stephen Harper’s Conservatives are said to be considering a neat little trick that would help build municipal transit systems’ ridership without stepping on provincial toes and without creating yet more lucrative work for constitutional lawyers.” (Montreal Gazette editorial, August 3, 2005)

“Seriously, kudos to Harper… it’s to his credit that he’s trying to make clear to urbanites – particularly in the GTA – that he’s interested in their concerns.” (National Post columnist, Adam Radwanski – http://www.adamradwanski.com/blog.html, August 2, 2005)


Real policy speaks for itself.


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