Thursday, March 23, 2017

Can we save the tax credit for public transit?

It doesn't hurt to try.

During a press conference this morning, the Prime Minister defended the decision.

“(The public transit tax credit) was very complex, there was extremely low take-up and the money is better spent actually investing in opportunities for more people to take transit,” he said, continuing, “I think what is important in transit is investing in new transit lines, investing in new buses, making sure we’re responding to the needs that municipalities are putting forward.”

I did an interview with City News today and I don't know if it will air tonight, but I am going to ask Mr. Trudeau to put his money where his mouth is because I said that the government needs to do more to encourage Canadians who have access to public transit to use it. The TTC used to advertise. Have you ever seen an advertisement for transit in your city? How about for Durham Transit or Hamilton Transit? In my own neighborhood I'm often told by my neighbors they would take transit if they were told how to use it. I know it sounds crazy, but in the suburbs, this is the kind of hand-holding that is sorely needed. So Mr. Trudeau, let's help these transit agencies boost ridership. Get on board!

But many of us who know all about public transit relied on that credit to ease the cost of commuting.

So, what can you do? Well, you can start by emailing your MP. Tell him or her why the tax credit is important to you.

Find your MP's email address online at


Unknown said...

Well, I haven't seen any ads, but I do not have cable or satellite. I also use an ad-blocker and when it works, I don't see those ads either.

I get the hand-holding for the suburbs. People can go months and never see a bus at a particular stop. Plus, the routes can be convoluted or the times are weird.

It may not be practical as well. I did a year without a car. To do 2 simple errands, I needed 5 different buses by the time I made it home afterwards. Why take them when it isn't convenient.

But for basic to/from the GO station, it can be very straight-forward.

Will email my MP about it, though I really was never able to claim it in these last few years.

C.J. Smith said...


Anonymous said...

As someone who takes the GO bus from Stoney Creek to Burlington, and then boards a LSW train, I am disappointed. The money I got back helped make my transfer possible, and I never really saw an increase in my travel.

Now, it looks like I'll be driving to Burlington. I rather spend money on gasoline, instead of helping Metrolinx give out bonuses.

Nahid said...

Just saw you on citynews! This credit being eliminated doesn't really matter for me since I don't use transit anymore, but I can see how this would be the final straw to get people to switch back to driving.

Bicky said...

Saw the clip online.

I did see where Charles Sousa, ON Fin Minister, said they would see about keeping it at a provincial level but the savings would be a fraction of the federal level amount.

WarningU2 said...

I was very disappointed to see this credit cancelled. As a regular commuter to Toronto on The GoTrain, the credit was a welcome relief. Public transit despite all the hyperbole, continues to be more expensive, over crowded and mismanaged i.e. the never ending construction at Burlington GoTrain station.

Please reconsider the decision to cancel the credit.

My email to my MP.

Ed said...

Just another grab by the federal Lieberals to extract as much money from the middle class as possible to fund their 28 billion dollar deficit.

Who voted for this clown anyway? Keep those appliance boxes handy, you may need a place to live after Justin works his financial wizardry on the gullible voters.

Oh wait the budget will balance it self(ie). The anointed one said so.

Anonymous said...

I've emailed my MP as well (thank you for the suggestion!)...

I am writing you today to express my extreme disappointment in the 2017 federal budget and the decision to eliminate the public transit tax credit.

I live in Burlington and I work in downtown Toronto. I commute via GO transit. I don't love taking the train, it's expensive (for me, $3744/year), it's crowded and can be a bit unreliable. However, I care about my environmental impact and truly believe that public transit can help in the GTA. Eliminating the public transit tax credit is a huge mistake! It is/was a financial incentive for many of us to take public transit to work (for me, a reimbursement of $560/year). For myself, and many others, driving to work is quickly becoming the more affordable option! I truly believe that transit will soon become unaffordable to the middle-class living in Burlington. Prime Minister Trudeau and the Liberal party made promises to the middle-class and I feel like this tax credit was eliminated without proper research into who it benefits most (ie - the middle class!). I hope that your party will reconsider the elimination of the public transit tax credit.

Anonymous said...

Done !! I've sent an email to my MP, and to Mr.'s Trudeau and Morneau. Disgusted that they've axed this tax credit ... it really made transit affordable for me.

CJ Smith said...

Awesome guys!