Here’s Why Burlington is Disappointed With Part of Doug Ford’s Recent Budget

 

On April 11, 2019, the provincial government delivered its first budget since the progressive Conservatives were elected last June.

The budget includes a slew of spending items, as well as familiar lines on previous announcements about ‘fighting the (federal) carbon tax’ and inheriting a $15 billion deficit from the previous Liberal government.

For a more detailed breakdown of what’s included in this budget, click here.

Many people have shared their thoughts on the budget, and now the city of Burlington has also weighed in. In a recent press release, Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward noted that she is disappointed with some aspects of the budget.

Particularly, the decision to cancel the incremental increases in provincial gas-tax funding over the next 10 years,” Meed Ward said in the release.

Meed Ward continued, “In 2017, the Province announced the doubling of the gas tax from the current 2 cents per litre to 4 cents per litre.”

This funding, as noted in the release, was expected to increase to 2.5 cents/litre in 2019-2020, to 3 cents/litre in 2020-21, and to 4 cents/litre in 2021-22.

Currently, the City of Burlington receives $2.2 million, based on the 2 cents/litre model. Over the next 10 years, and based on the former planned increases, this funding would have amounted to an additional $19.25 million. 

This is money that has been taken out of the pockets of our city and residents — funding that could have been used for essential transit projects, such as buying additional transit vehicles, adding more routes, extending the hours of service, implementing fare strategies and improving accessibility,” Meed Ward said in the release.

The provincial government, according to the release, is also planning cuts to the Conservation Authority Flood Forecasting and Natural Hazards Management funding by 50 per cent.

These cuts, which were not disclosed when the official budget announcement was made, are also something that Meed Ward does not see as a good thing.

Cuts to flood mitigation and public safety initiatives are the worst places to make cuts and not where they should be done,” Meed Ward noted in the release. “As a board member of Conservation Halton, I know we continually look for savings wherever possible. The province needs to contribute their agreed upon share to this important work.”

What do you think of the recently released budget?

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