Tuesday, 26 April 2011

The NDP has a national public transit strategy

National Public Transit Strategy Still Missing from this Election - Torontoist
The Torontoist published this misleading bit of journalism today. Again, like most MSM, they only count the Conservatives and Liberals when speaking about the election. The Torontoist did include a mention of the NDP, who do have a national public transit strategy. So, why the misleading title of the article?

Excperpts from the article:
In addition to the FCM, the Canadian Urban Transit Association has called for a national transit strategy—something that the NDP’s Olivia Chow had put forward in the form of Bill C-615,
which had its first reading on February 3, 2011. The bill (aptly named
an Act to Establish a National Transit Strategy) called for all levels
of government to work together to establish and maintain permanent
federal funding mechanisms for public transportation.
Sadly, as we've already noted, a full slate of urban issues, including transit, is not getting very much airtime in this federal election.
As mentioned, the NDP is calling for an additional cent of the gas tax
to be dedicated to cities, which could be used for public
transportation. However, they are also calling for a National Public
Transit Strategy, and, given that Olivia Chow had proposed a bill
establishing this before parliament was dissolved, we can assume they
are taking this seriously.

Sadly, what is missing is not the platform items and the attention of parties, but the lack of coverage and the lack of attention given to certain topics by the MSM, and sadly, by the alternative media like Torontoist, along with the total discounting of the NDP, who, by the way, are now 2nd in the polls.
I expected better from Torontoist.

The NDP National Transit Strategy:
    * Provide a permanent investment plan to support public transit
    * Establish federal funding mechanisms for public transit
    * Work together with all levels of government to provide sustainable, predictable, long term and adequate funding
    * Etablish accountability measures to ensure that all governments work together to increase access to public transit.
(From the bill tabled in parliament by NDP's Olivia Chow this past winter)
Also, from the NDP platform:
* We will enact a National Public Transit Strategy in order to maintain and expand public transit across the coutnry, with a clear mechanism for sustainable, predictable and long-term funding
* We will immediately allocate another cent of the existing gas tax to public transit funding for municipalities
* We will encourage transit use by providing a tax exemption for employee workplace-based transit passes

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