Ministry of Transportation pays $30,000 to lobby Ministry of Transportation for new and higher taxes

Author: Renaud Brossard 2020/09/24

MONTRÉAL, QC : Quebec and Montreal taxpayers have paid $70,000 to Alliance TRANSIT for a report recommending massive tax hikes, according to documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

“There’s something self-serving about using taxpayers’ money to lobby the government for new and higher taxes,” said CTF Quebec Director Renaud Brossard. “The next time Alliance TRANSIT writes a report, they should do like everyone else and rely on funding from their so-called 50 supporting groups.”

According to documents obtained by the CTF through freedom of information requests, the Agence régionale de transport métropolitain and the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal have each paid $20,000 towards the realisation of Alliance TRANSIT’s study.

According to documents obtained by the CTF, the Ministry of Transportation approved a $30,000 grant for the report on Nov. 30, 2017. Alliance TRANSIT’s report funding plan indicates governmental organizations would be the sole organizations covering the costs to research, produce and promote the report, with no financial contribution from the “more than 50 groups” it represents.

In its taxpayer-funded report, Alliance TRANSIT is proposing gas tax hikes of 13.8 cents for the Greater Montreal Area and 16.8 cents for the rest of the province, representing a 42.8 per cent and a 57.8 per cent hike respectively.

For the Greater Montreal Area, Alliance TRANSIT is proposing the implementation of a new kilometre tax valued at 15 cents per kilometre driven, on top of its proposed embiggened gas tax.

According to the CTF’s calculations, Montrealers and Quebecers already pay the second and third highest gas taxes in the country, right behind Vancouverites.

 “The last thing we need is a higher tax bill and we hope Transport Minister François Bonnardel understands that,“ said Brossard.

The Ministry of Transportation is expected to unveil its recommendations from the Chantier sur le financement de la mobilité later this fall, which touched upon gas taxes and kilometre taxes.