NEWS

Kathleen Wynne rules out gas tax, HST hike for transit

03/13/2014 11:20 EDT | Updated 05/13/2014 05:59 EDT
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says her government will not hike the HST, raise gas taxes or increase personal income taxes to pay for transit expansion in the Greater Toronto Area.

Wynne made the announcement Thursday at a news conference held inside the kitchen of a private family home in Toronto, touting the move as a way to protect "middle-income earners."

"We need investments in transit, but whatever we do has to be fair," said Wynne. "I’m not going to ask the people in North Bay to pay for transit in the GTA."

The news comes as the minority Liberals get ready to present a budget that will require opposition support to pass and avoid triggering a provincial election.

While Thursday's announcement ruled out what tools Wynne would use, she did not specify which ones she would consider, saying only there will be more details in the budget, which is expected to come in the next few weeks.

Gridlock on roads and overcrowding on public transit in the Greater Toronto Area is a pressing concern, with estimates that congestion is costing the region billions a year. 

Wynne has said the province needs dedicated revenue tools to pay for transit expansion in the GTA and the Toronto Region Board of Trade has suggested a mix of revenue tools that include fuel taxes, parking levies and toll lanes. 

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