CAQ rejects idea of raising taxes to improve public transit in Montreal

CAQ rejects idea of raising taxes to improve public transit in Montreal

Chantal Rouleau, the province's junior transport minister, has rejected the idea of ​​raising taxes to fund public transit in the Montreal area, as suggested by the Montreal Metropolitan Community (MMC) in a recent report.

"Basically, we are not so much in favour of raising taxes," said Rouleau, who also serves as the MNA Pointe-aux-Trembles.

"It is up to municipalities to find sources of funding for operations."

This MMC report suggests various ways to get the funding to make the local transit network more attractive to commuters.

The report points out that the proportion of metropolitan funding provided by motorists has dropped since 2001.

It suggests, among other things, new taxes on vehicle registration — taxes that would affect those not just from Montreal, but those living in the surrounding area.

It also suggests increasing the surtax on gasoline.

The Coalition Avenir Québec government, however, said it has no plans to take that route.

Rouleau also rejected claims that the provincial budget, announced Thursday, lacks in public transit funding.

She insisted that several measures will be studied to reduce traffic in the metropolitan area.

"We [are investing] heavily in public transit," she said. "It's a start, because there will be more."