Canadian mayor seeks help from federal government to make up for transportation shortages

Jordan Press, Canadian Press

Published Wednesday, October 13, 2021 at 9:38 pm EDT

Ottawa-Canada’s largest city is calling on the Trudeau government to help make up for tens of millions of transportation shortfalls to prevent a stagnation in the country’s economic recovery.

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit local government vaults hard as cities monitor fare revenues as well as declining transport passenger numbers.

At the same time, cities feel that their success is limited due to increased costs and budget holes for the mayor to repeatedly seek and fill federal cash.

So far, the mayors of the country’s largest cities have helped with transportation costs to avoid reducing services that hurt essential workers who depend on the system, patients in need of medical assistance, or those who need to go. Say you want to focus on getting COVID-19 for testing.

Halifax Mayor Mike Savage said Wednesday that transportation losses in his city ranged from $ 2 million to $ 4 million per month. In Toronto, the country’s largest city, transportation system revenues fell by about $ 700 million last year.

“These losses continue and cannot be done while making up for the shortfall while making sure that there is a transit that people need, such as electrifying the fleet and updating routes. The fare box, “said Savage, chairman of the Caucus of the Mayors of the Canadian Municipal Union.

“There are still many operational costs that local governments need help with.”

He said it could take at least three years for ridership and income to return to pre-pandemic levels.

Without support, the mayor said it could be difficult to update the system that the Commonwealth Liberal Party promised to support funding as part of its broader economic and environmental planning.

Shortly after Savage spoke on Wednesday afternoon, the mayor met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, with some of the city’s leaders in person and others in effect.

The first confab for city leaders since last month’s elections was also intended to present local government priorities for the upcoming parliamentary session. The transit money request was made in addition to the existing requests and promises from the Liberal Government on the campaign trail.

Some of Trudeau’s promises to voters helped mitigate the affordable housing crisis as prices soared nationwide during the pandemic.

The Liberal Party has promised to tweak a program for first-time homebuyers, calling it a $ 4 billion “Housing Acceleration Fund” to help big cities speed up home planning. , Mr. Savage is a rapid housing fund by the mayor.

This program helps cities build new properties quickly or buy existing properties that can be easily converted into affordable units.

“For the first time in my life, housing was a problem for all major political parties in the first week of the campaign,” Savage told reporters outside the hotel’s conference room in downtown.

“There is a lot of support throughout this minority parliament to support housing, including the homeless. I think we can find an active partner with the federal government. That is our hope.”

Mr Savage also said the mayor was equally interested in seeing the dollar behind a federal promise to end the most difficult chronic homelessness in housing.

This report by Canadian Press was first published on October 13, 2021.

Canadian mayor seeks help from federal government to make up for transportation shortages

Source link Canadian mayor seeks help from federal government to make up for transportation shortages

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