By Nicholas Kevlahan
Published April 15, 2014
Today's Spectator editorial on Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne's transit plan says this about Ward 9 Councillor - and mayoral candidate - Brad Clark:
Clark has already said he won't support LRT unless the province comes up with adequate funding, and it has to be new money, not money from someplace else.
Assuming the Spectator is not misrepresenting Clark's position, this seems ridiculous.
Is Clark saying that he wants the Province to implement new taxes to fund LRT, not redirect revenue from existing taxes and fees? He also said he would refuse to accept any new "revenue tools" to pay for it.
Where exactly does he imagine the money will come from, if he refuses to support any new revenue tools and also opposes redirecting money from existing taxes, i.e. the gas taxes and HST mentioned in the editorial?
Where would the province have to find the money to satisfy Clark? They apparently can't use any existing taxes and they can't implement any new taxes or fees. Or does he just want a guarantee that no Hamiltonian will ever have to contribute anything, through any channel, toward our own LRT?
Money is fungible, so the notion of no new taxes/no old taxes/no contribution from Hamilton taxpayers is nonsensical.
I wish he would at least be intellectually honest and to come right out and say he doesn't support any money going to the Big Move transit plan, including the Hamilton LRT, under any circumstances.
At least then we wouldn't have this misleading debate about what it means for the province to cover the upfront costs of Hamilton's LRT. Apparently Clark would only accept the funding if somehow it came entirely from taxpayers outside Ontario - and doubtless he would then complain about LRT disrupting drivers and try to get the money funneled into new freeways.
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