Mayor Ford pretends to vomit in response to taxes for public transit

TORONTO – Mayor Rob Ford showed his displeasure with Metrolinx’s shortlist of revenue tools by pretending to vomit during a press conference Tuesday morning.

Metrolinx released a list Tuesday of potential ways to fund the next generation of transit expansion in the Greater Toronto Area.

After mimicking the action of vomiting, Ford said he “can’t support any of these new taxes” and instead suggested revenue from a casino in Toronto could supplant any revenue that would be gained from new taxes.

“You want to pay for transit? I’ve got a good idea—it’s a called a casino,” Ford said. “You get a lot of money to pay for a good amount of the transit and you get the private sector involved.”

Among the possible revenue streams the transit planning authority will propose are new taxes on drivers and developers, road tolls, parking levies and transit fare increases.

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Currently, only one-third of the $50 billion project, consisting of 1,200 kilometres of new transit routes over 25 years, is funded.

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Metrolinx CEO Bruce McCuaig says the agency needs to come up with revenue tools that could generate approximately $2 billion a year.

Metrolinx will help finance transit project in Toronto, Mississauga, Hamilton, Halton and Peel.

The downtown relief line and the extension of the Yonge-University-Spadina line into York region are included in Metrolinx’s plan.

The suggested revenue tools:

  • – Development Charges
  • – Employer Payroll Tax
  • – Fuel Tax
  • – High Occupancy Tolls
  • – Highway Tolls
  • – Land Value Capture
  • – Parking Space Levy
  • – Property Tax
  • – Sales Tax
  • – Transit Fare Increase
  • – Vehicle Kilometres Travelled Fee

Tuesday’s announcement is a preview of the agency’s full investment strategy, which is due to be presented to the province in June.

Metrolinx has said its plan, The Big Move, will put 80 per cent of GTA residents within two kilometres of a transit line.

Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak warned that Ontarians shouldn’t trust the governing Liberal party to spend the new revenue on public transit.

Poll: How should Metrolinx pay for public transit?

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With files from The Canadian Press

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