The Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau, has launched public consultations on what will go into the Liberal Government’s first budget. To this end, the Department of Finance has provided an online form where people can indicate what they think should be included in the budget.
Given this opportunity, it may be a good idea for the cycling community to join in the public discussion an make its views known.
For example, with all the talk about the need to take action on climate change, and the fact that one of the most cost effective ways of reducing greenhouse gas emissions is to get more people cycling, it may be time for the federal government to:
► allocate a portion of the infrastructure money that the federal government will be making available to provinces and municipalities for cycling projects and initiatives,
► provide tax breaks to people who cycle to work, and/or to businesses that take concrete steps to encourage their employees to do so, and
► set an example by establishing a large scale program to encourage federal employees to cycle to work.
Moreover, there is a need to correct the situation leftover from the previous government about high bicycle tariffs. In 2013, the Conservatives eliminated tariffs on a wide range of recreational equipment, and, at the same time, increased tariffs on most bicycles imported into Canada from 8.5% to 13%. What’s more, these tariffs are no longer needed. Even the Canadian International Trade Tribunal believes “that there is no longer significant bicycle manufacturing in Canada to warrant trade protections”.