OTA concerned, not surprised by cuts to Ontario’s infrastructure spending
March 28, 2012
OTTAWA, Ont. -- The Ontario Trucking Association says announced spending cuts to the province’s transportation infrastructure have come as no surprise to the organization, which has been warning motor carriers for months to expect certain...
OTTAWA, Ont. — The Ontario Trucking Association says announced spending cuts to the province’s transportation infrastructure have come as no surprise to the organization, which has been warning motor carriers for months to expect certain budget constraints to highway spending.
In fact, despite reports Premier Dalton McGuinty would take an axe to the budget, total spending will continue to rise 1.4% in the next two years, according to yesterday’s announcement.
However, although the province announced it would increase its total transportation budget from $2.3 billion this year to $2.6 billion in 2012-13, infrastructure spending will fall from $308 million to $278 million next year.
The cuts to highway spending appear to affect construction projects that have not yet begun, such as delaying some highway expansion and HOV projects. Projects already in the works, such as the Windsor Essex Parkway leading to the Windsor, Ont.-Detroit border and a Hwy. 407 eastbound extension, will continue as planned, according to the report.
The OTA says it remains concerned, however, that the previously announced schedule to increase commercial vehicle licence fees by 70% in one year was maintained in the budget.
“Despite the government stating that the licence fee increases would be ‘modest and gradual,’ the aggressiveness and speed of the increases are a lot for motor carriers to absorb in just one year,” said OTA president David Bradley. “We prefer a more incremental schedule of the increases over several years and will continue to discuss this issue with the ministry of transportation.”
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