Province announces gas tax funding

MINISTERIAL MEETING- (From Left) County of Prince Edward Mayor Steve Ferguson along with councillors Bill Roberts and Mike Harper meet Ministry of Transportation Caroline Mulroney at the ROMA conference in early 2020. (@ShireHall Twitter photo)
JASON PARKS

STAFF WRITER

The County of Prince Edward will be netting $89,624 in an annual Gas Tax transfer from the government of Ontario.

Ontario’s Gas Tax program supports public transit in municipalities across Ontario by providing two cents per litre of provincial gas tax to improve and expand transit.

In total, Minister of Transporation Caroline Mulroney announced Thursday Ontario is providing $375 million through the Gas Tax program to help 109 municipalities across the province operate and expand public transit.

It’s expected the province will start pumping the funding into municipal coffers as soon as possible in 2021.

“Our government is committed to helping municipalities sustain and improve public transit throughout the province,” said Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. “Supporting transit systems is more important than ever as municipalities across Ontario struggle during the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding will help ensure people have access to safe, reliable transportation to get to work or pick up essential items like a prescription.”

Funding for the Gas Tax program is determined by the number of litres of gasoline sold in the province during the previous year. Municipalities supporting public transit services in their community receive two cents per litre of provincial gas tax revenue collected. This funding can be used to extend service hours, buy transit vehicles, add routes, improve accessibility or upgrade infrastructure.

“Transit systems again thank this government for its unwavering support. From keeping existing service running safely and conveniently to building transit for tomorrow, Minister Mulroney has been an ally of transit systems and our riders. Ontario has placed immense value on public transit to help frontline workers get to and from work each day throughout the pandemic,” added Kelly Paleczny, Chair of Ontario Public Transit Association and General Manager of the London Transit Commission. “This funding is crucial to communities across the province in the fight against COVID-19 and will play an important role in Ontario’s economic recovery.”

This year’s total marks a $7,000 increase over the amount transferred to the County in 2020.