Tolling Debate Wages on at Empire Club

In December, Toronto Mayor John Tory announced a $2.00 per ride toll on both the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway. This came as a response to a $2 billion price tag put on the improvements to the Gardiner and $33 billion in unfunded infrastructure projects across the city.

Surrounding cities and commuters from the 905 were clear, they did not want to pay to improve transit in Toronto. Tory fired back that 40% of the 230,000 vehicles that travel the Gardiner every day come from outside of Toronto. In December, Toronto Council voted overwhelmingly in favour of pursuing the tolling option.

To proceed, Legislative approval was needed from Queen’s Park. Unfortunately for Mayor Tory, Premier Wynne held a news conference on January 27 in which she nixed provincial approval for tolling the two highways. She took the sting out of it somewhat by announcing a doubling of the municipal share of the provincial gas tax, from 2% to 4% – roughly $170 million additional revenue for the city.

So what’s next? Are there tolls in the GTA’s future? The 2018 election is approaching quickly, will cash strapped governments revisit this debate?

Find out what the experts have to say at the upcoming Empire Club of Canada panel event, For Whom the Road Tolls on February 8 at the Arcadian Court. A blue chip panel will be presenting expert advice not yet heard widely in Toronto, and arguing the pros and cons of tolling. Panelists include: Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, Toronto Councillor Josh Colle, Teresa Di Felice – Director of Government Relations for the Canadian Automobile Association (South Central Ontario) and Mahrokh Arefi – CEO of worldwide tolling technology company Emovis US.

The moderator is Rod Phillips, Chair of Postmedia.

Tickets are available online: https://www.empireclub.org/events/

This event is sponsored by: Residential & Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario, Bestpass Inc., Enterprise Public Affairs and Mr. Discount Ltd. (Enterprise represents Emovis)

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