Nov 24, 2016

By Jane Brown

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It’s a controversial idea that’s been debated for years – applying road tolls to use Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway.

Now, it appears Toronto’s mayor is ready to propose tolls as a way of funding public transit and roads, including the upkeep of the two city highways.

John Tory is planning to give a speech at Toronto’s Board of Trade over the lunch hour today. In it, he’s expected to outline a proposal to charge drivers who use the DVP and Gardiner about 2 dollars, potentially raising $150-million to $200-million a year, much of that from drivers who live outside Toronto and don’t pay property taxes in the city.

Tory is also expected to propose a hotel room tax, but is backing off on the idea of selling Toronto Hydro.

City Councillor Joe Cressy agrees it’s time to find new ways for desperately needed funding.

“The bottom line is, we need revenue. Road tolls have proven to work in other cities, not just from a revenue generation point of view but also from an environmental point of view, and so that is good start, but it’s just the start,” said Cressy to CP24.

The plan would need to be approved by full city council and the city would have to ask permission from the governing Liberals at Queen’s Park to impose tolls.

Would YOU pay $2 to drive the DVP or Gardiner? Have your say today on Zoomer Radio’s Fight Back with Libby Znaimer, guest hosted by Jane Brown, after the noon news. Call in at 416-360-0740 or 1-866-740-4740.

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