By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
Looking for dollars to fix its aging infrastructure, the City of Toronto is looking to implement new tolls on the Don Valley Parkway and the Gardiner Expressway. However, for Mayor John Henry, his counterpart in Toronto, Mayor John Tory, shouldn’t be stealing from the pocketbooks of those across the GTA.
“To put a toll on an existing road and to say publicly, let the 905 pay for it, is wrong,” Mayor Henry says.
The idea, previously rejected by Tory during his 2014 election campaign, received his endorsement last month in order to raise must-needed funds for the city’s infrastructure back log. According to a previous 2015 City of Toronto report, the Gardiner sees an average of 228,000 cars on weekdays, while the DVP interchange saw approximately 110,000. It’s unclear what sort of system would be put in place to charge the fees, but it’s estimated the tolls could raise $200 million to be put toward roads and transit every year.
However, Henry says those dollars should not be coming from those who live outside Toronto, as the city already receives a good chunk of their money from other avenues.
“When the province and the federal government give money to the City of Toronto, the money that they get is from the other parts of Ontario and ultimately all of Canada,” he says.
And just because many drivers only use these roads to get to and from work every day doesn’t mean they should have to pay to use them.
“That’s like saying for every person that lives in Toronto that travels to their cottage, that travels through Durham Region, should they have to pay a toll for using our roads?” Henry says. “That’s just a ridiculous conversation and one that doesn’t need to take place.”