Dec 14, 2016

By Jane Brown

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Toronto city councillors have voted overwhelmingly to back a plan by Mayor John Tory to impose road tolls on the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway. The vote was 32 to 9 and approves a motion to explore the option.

“Today we also demonstrated the impact that a much more functional government can make, with 32 councillors, 78 percent on the button, coming together around the foundation of a fair, effective plan to pay for new transit and begin the task in earnest of fixing traffic,” Tory explained after the vote.

If the tolls are ultimately approved, staff have estimated they could be phased in starting in 2019 but would not be fully implemented until 2024. A final decision on imposing the tolls will not take place until next year, and then would need approval from the governing Liberals at Queens Park. Councillor Georgio Mammoliti is vocally opposed to road tolls and told Zoomer Radio’s Fight Back with Libby Znaimer, it’s possible Premier Wynne’s MPPs won’t back her on this.

“Just because the premier says yes to something, it doesn’t mean she has her caucus. It doesn’t mean she has the MPPs and in fact, I don’t think she has her MPPs. I think the 905ers are going to revolt,” Mammoliti insisted.

Also at council yesterday, a motion from Josh Matlow to request the province share a portion of the harmonized sales tax passed 30-12 with Mayor Tory’s support. In addition, council will now consider a 4 percent tax on hotel accommodations and up to a 10 percent tax on short term rentals such as Airbnb.

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