Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ignatieff promises national transit strategy

We're still very early in the 2011 federal election campaign, but already Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff has stated his commitment to establishing a national public transit strategy for Canadian cities. As quoted on CBC's Inside Politics blog:
Ignatieff: I think it's crucial to have a national strategy on this, if you go to the lower mainland, Vancouver they need dedicated transit money, you go to Calgary, Winnipeg, you go to Toronto and especially Montreal. We have to sit down. I got a $56 billion deficit I gotta bail you out of. But the key thing here is to give people choices. The thing that bothers me most about the way we live is people are locked! They gotta be in their cars and we gotta renew public transport. We've got to have a plan. Ottawa can't tell Montreal how to do this stuff but...

Norris: Are you prepared to commit to a dedicated, recurring, reliable source of federal money for public transit?

Ignatieff: I'm prepared to commit to federal investment in public transit. You'll see it in the next platform.
It's really the first I've heard of public transit so far in the very young campaign. We can probably assume the NDPs will outline a national transit strategy because, well, they're always talking about transit funding and just last month they tabled one, and the Greens would likely have something in their platform, as well. The Conservatives didn't include any notable public transit promises in their recent (failed) budget, but time will tell if it forms part of their platform for the 2011 campaign.

We'll see which party ends up as the top choice for transit funding, but Ignatieff got a head start.