Taxpayers accuse feds of mismanaging fuel tax bucks

CALGARY, Alta. — The Federal government is being accused of neglecting the country’s highways — especially those in the west — despite huge fuel tax revenues.

John Carpay, Alberta’s director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, extended harsh criticism towards Ottawa, on what was deemed the federation’s third annual Gas Tax Honesty Day.

He said they should follow in the footsteps of the Alberta Tories, and reinvest more of the money raised through fuel taxes into Canada’s ailing highway system.

“The federal government is taking about $4.7 billion in fuel revenues every year and only four percent of that is going into the National Highways Program,” Carpay told local media. “The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on the federal government to spend the fuel tax dollars on roads, or cut or eliminate the fuel tax.”

In addition to spending too little of the gas tax money on highways, the government is also accused of distributing funds in an unfair manner. Ninety-six per cent of the spending goes towards regions from Ontario eastwards, says Carpay.

“It’s certainly an injustice that Western Canada, with close to a third of the population, is getting such a small slice of that federal highways money,” he says.

The federation and Sun Media newspapers are holding a Canada’s Worst Highway contest.

“The winner is going to get a free steering-wheel alignment, and we’re going to challenge the federal Transport Minister to drive that stretch of road,” says Carpay.

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