Ford’s First Cuts: $1 Billion From Roads, Transit, Infrastructure
Doug Ford hasn’t assumed office yet, but as Premier-Designate of Ontario he has already indicated he plans to move ahead with big cuts to infrastructure, including roads and transit.
Ford indicated at a press conference earlier this week that one of his top priorities will be changes to the gas tax that will cost Ontario approximately $1 billion in revenue each year.
Last year, Ontario’s gas tax generated $2.7 billion for the province. The bulk of this revenue is allocated to transit and spending on infrastructure, like roads and bridges.
Ford’s plan calls for a reduction in the gas tax from 14.7¢ per litre to 9.7¢ per litre, a 34% reduction. Accordingly, a 34% reduction in gas tax revenues represents approximately $918 million per year in lost funding for transit and infrastructure. To put the figure in perspective, that is nearly equal to the entire annual operating budget of Metrolinx, the agency which runs GO Transit, PRESTO, and various rapid transit services across the province.
Doug Ford’s campaign promises come with real consequences in the form of big cuts, and as the Premier-Designate moves ahead with his first big round of cuts it’s likely that drivers, transit riders, and commuters will suffer from worse service and infrastructure.