About the Blog:

Guelph Politico is locally sourced and dedicated to covering the political and cultural scene in the City of Guelph. Est. 2008.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Layton Says "Get on the Bus"

Jack Layton returned to Guelph for what was the 30th time (The Mercury's Rob O'Flanagan's guess, not mine) today to make a major policy announcement. Under a NDP government, Layton said, one cent of the gas tax would be dedicated for public transit for a total of $12.8 million in new money, the equivalent funds for 30 new buses, according to an NDP press release.

"The NDP believes that its very important to invest in public transit because if we're going to tackle the problem of climate change, if we're going to make our cities more livable, and if we're going to allow people to get around in an affordable fashion, we've got to invest in transit," declared Layton.

Layton said it's important to work harder to make transit affordable, to offer better service while avoiding fair hikes. The NDP leader went on to say that he and King had a meeting with Guelph's Mayor and Council members about issues facing the Guelph community. Naturally one of the bigger issues mentioned was transit. "It's very important that Canadians, in community's like Guelph, have the choices to be able to have less of an environmental impact, and that's what the NDP approach is all about," he said.

"I think that the more we can get into public transit and away from privet cars I think it will affect the environment in a positive way," added King. "I think Guelph is the type of community where those ideas are important, all it takes is some leadership and the political will to make those things happen."

King went on to say that he's dedicated to work on a local and national level to secure more transit funding and not just "make promises to make things happen." Layton reiterated that Federal cash will give municipalities a steady and regular source of income to insure service and funding. It will be part of a national transit strategy that will be legislated by a potential Layton government, outlining a Federal role in funding transit.

The NDP leader went on to say that the Liberal's Green Shift plan will end up having a negative impact on transit because diesel is one of the fuels that will be taxed under the plan. "Transit systems across the country now are grappling with how they're going to play the carbon tax charge and there's no element of the Liberal proposal that would compensate the municipalities for that," said Layton.

Layton continued with his Guelph tour by helping to officially open King's campaign office on Woolwich and then later went canvasing with King.

Quote of the Day: "We're not just in opposition, we're in proposition. We're bringing ideas forward that will improve the daily life of the people of Guelph and we're happy to be a part of it." -Jack Layton

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