Regina is being short-changed by the government’s flawed transit funding model.
The Liberal government has allocated less than 1% of transit funding to Saskatchewan, even though it comprises over 3% of Canada’s population.
Erin Weir and the NDP have argued that due to Saskatchewan’s population, our per capita share of the $3.4-billion Public Transit Infrastructure Fund should have been more than $100 million.
Instead, the Liberal budget only allocated $29 million of it to Saskatchewan, leaving Saskatchewan taxpayers with a shortfall of over $70 million. This shortfall will neglect everyday people right herein Regina while their tax dollars go to benefit other provinces.
The Liberals chose to allocate the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund based on existing ridership, favoring regions that already have extensive transit systems. By contrast, virtually all other federal-provincial transfers are based on population.
This means that important transit projects are being put on hold while Regina’s funds are being allocated to bigger cities with already expansive transit systems.
Erin Weir and the NDP have advocated for a transit funding model that works for all Canadians, and not just those living in big cities, taking the common sense approach that the government needs to ensure Regina has an effective transit system to begin with, will stimulate growth among the ridership.
By contrast, virtually all other federal-provincial transfers are based on population.
Erin Weir and the NDP have argued if the federal government is serious about upholding campaign promises to reduce congestion and carbon emissions, the Liberal government should strive to expand public transit in cities like Regina that are currently under-served.
Allocating future funding according to 2014 ridership fails to extend transit options across Canada and shortchanges Saskatchewan. New Democrats will keep pushing for Regina’s fair share!