FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Transit All But Completely Left Out of 2021 Ontario Budget, Says ATU Canada National President


TORONTO - ATU National President, John Di Nino has called the Ford budget disappointing as it once again leaves transit workers and riders on the sidelines in terms of financial priorities. 

The Ford government announced its 2021-2022 budget today and out of its $186 billion worth of commitments the Finance Minister did not once mention public transit. Public transit workers and riders have called on the government to include more funding for transit operations but the government has remained silent and today has been yet another example. 

“This budget is yet another example that the transit industry is not the priority of Doug Ford or his government.” said President Di Nino. “For months, we have been asking the federal and provincial government for stable, operational funding but it is nowhere to be seen in this budget today.” 

Along with community organizations and transit experts across the country, the ATU has been asking the federal and provincial governments for emergency operational funding to make up for the shortfall as a result of lost fares. Governments did come to an agreement last year and put forward the Safe Restart Agreement that led to over $2 billion in emergency operational funding. This funding, however, is due to run out next week. Without it, experts have warned that the transit industry could continue to be in a lot of trouble. 

“Operational funding is what the transit industry needs to survive right now during this critical recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic especially with the massive loss in farebox revenue and the impending end of the funding for the Safe Restart Agreement,” said Di Nino. “The government knows this and this is what transit workers and transit allies have been demanding since the beginning of the pandemic.”


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