● And so it begins… Premier Doug Ford’s government cuts provincial program to support cycling.

Well, it didn’t take long. Doug Ford’s Conservative government has eliminated the Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling Program (OMCCP). The program was to provide $93 million to 120 municipalities in Ontario in 2018, of which Ottawa’s share was $9.7 million.

Cutting this provincial money for cycling is part of Doug Ford’s decision to end the cap-and-trade program, which was designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The result is that Ontario’s efforts to fight climate change have suffered a double whammy – a set back for cycling, which is an excellent tool for reducing carbon emissions – and the dismantling of the cap-and-trade program means less incentive for industry to reduce greenhouse gases.

The frustrating thing about the cut is that the $93 million for cycling was really small potatoes compared to the billions of dollars being spent every year in Ontario on roads, highways, and other infrastructure projects. However, it should not come as a surprise given how Doug Ford often acted in lockstep with his late brother, Rob Ford, when they were both members of the Toronto City Council. Rob Ford was well known for his fanatical anti-bicycle views, and he was largely responsible for having Toronto’s Jarvis Street bike lane ripped out when he was mayor of that city.

The report in the Ottawa Citizen indicates that the Ontario Government currently doesn’t have anything to say about any future funding for cycling programs. If the actions of the federal Conservatives are any indication, we shouldn’t hold our breath. When they were in power, the federal Conservatives budgeted money to develop trails for snowmobiles and ATVs, provided tax breaks for various sports equipment, but did absolutely nothing for cycling. They simply didn’t see cyclists as part of their constituency (despite the fact that an ever increasing number of cyclists fall on the right side of the political spectrum).

The City of Ottawa was lucky insofar that it already received its share of the OMCCP money for 2018 before the program was cut. Nevertheless, Councillor Keith Egli, the chair of the city’s transportation committee, is worried that the lack of funding from the province in the future will hurt Ottawa’s cycling programs. He thinks that progress on cycling infrastructure will likely slow down unless other sources of funding can be found. It’s important to note that this situation also affects other urban centers throughout Ontario, including smaller ones. For example, the Towns of Arnprior, Perth, Mississippi Mills (Almonte), and Carleton Place were each slated to received $25,000 under the OMCCP program.

This demonstrates that all the progress realized in recent years in providing for cycling infrastructure is very fragile. It seems that money budgeted for cycling does not have the same ‘staying power’ as funding for roads, highways and other infrastructure projects, at least at the provincial level. It may be time to contact your MPP, especially if they are part of Doug Ford’s government, to let them know that you expect them to continue to fund cycling on the same basis as other essential infrastructure.

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4 Comments on ● And so it begins… Premier Doug Ford’s government cuts provincial program to support cycling.

  1. America – we are merely addicts (addicted to spending for the most part – hence the debt:

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/24/canadas-household-debt-levels-higher-than-any-other-country-report-says.html

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/national-debt-map-canada-1.3557745

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_external_debt

    using stuff to prove self worth yet working till our death…
    (mostly related to lack of self confidence)

    Hence, ford can play with the stupid, naive, gullible and ignorant cause we’re full of them in america. Like a kid that pooped its pants yet it wants more cake…

  2. of course he is anti-bike: narcissistic, like a big baby that ate too much cake and pooped his pants, he’s all about the almight buck (which is an addiction – people can get their daily dopamine fix off of : person, place, thing – the happy drug).
    He’s gonna cut, cut, cut. Wait until he cuts into education and health care. But, we’ll have 10cents off of gasoline and a buck a beer. Keep people stupid, naive and gullible with ignorance and they’ll keep voting you in. He won this election through fear, false hopes and through habits.
    (see link below)

    picking on cyclists is an easy go – its like picking on the minority out on them roads. we’re the minority (till oil goes up – I hope it does, to 5 bucks a liter then we’ll have to change and many won’t be ready for it – oil is subsidized big time – see link below)

    Anyhow, I suspect those that elected this fool are naive and gullible. Many won’t question his ways as he cuts. Its easy to cut, its like tearing down a building – takes a second to do that. Its more difficult to build something up. Its harder to grow a tree than it is to cut one down, any fool can cut down a tree. Not every fool can grow a tree.

    Thus, he’s merely fools gold that will fill his own pockets for his own gains. Narcissistic types, they will destroy others for their own gains (emotional, financial, legal, physical). They’re good con artists…

  3. look at the size of the guy…

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