Throne Speech Leaves Out Transit Workers and Riders as Operational Transit Funding Completely Left Out, Says ATU Canada


OTTAWA – ATU Canada National President, John Di Nino, is voicing his frustration and disappointment with the federal government saying that the Throne Speech given this afternoon “completely leaves out transit workers and riders.” The federal government gave its Throne Speech Tuesday afternoon as Parliament resumed yesterday following the last federal election that took place earlier this Fall. Just like the federal budget announcement in April, there was no mention of additional transit funding for struggling transit agencies.

“The Throne Speech spoke a lot about getting our economy back on track – how are we supposed to do that without functioning public transit systems?” Said Di Nino. “Not receiving any operational transit funding means that essential services, including paratransit for seniors and people with disabilities, will be interrupted; this will harm the health and quality of life of our most vulnerable citizens as well as the local economy.”

ATU Canada has been demanding the government invest in emergency operational transit funding since last year. Their demands were somewhat met when in late 2020, the government came to an agreement with provinces that saw $2.3 billion flow into the coffers of municipalities for transit. This came to an end for many cities at the end of March 2021 however and many transit agencies are struggling.

According to a new report released by the Canadian Urban Transit Association, for every 10% drop in ridership transit agencies across the country lose $470 million a year.

“Our transit agencies are in crisis and everyday are bleeding money fast without any operational funding.” Said Di Nino. “If the government wants to get serious about tackling the multiple crises we face like the climate crisis and the pandemic, they need to commit to massively investing in maintaining and expanding public systems across this country.”


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