TORONTO June 1, 2020— The Amalgamated Transit Union Canada is extremely disappointed in the announcement made today by Prime Minister Trudeau on the funding of municipalities. While the $2.2 billion in funds sounds like a big number to the public, when divided among so many Canadian municipalities across the country – it’s a drop in the bucket! Also, this is not new money – it’s money that cities would be getting in six months anyway, funds that may already be spent or allocated. Furthermore, it fails to allocate any funds specifically to public transit.

“The Federal Government has failed to take ownership of the funding crisis faced by public transit agencies across the country,” said John Di Nino, President of ATU Canada. “This government continues to do the ‘not my responsibility dance’, instead of leading the charge to ensure Canadians will continue to have a reliable transit system.”

Since the pandemic began, we have heard numerous times that Transit Agencies across the country have suffered losses of up to 85% declines in ridership and farebox revenues. This is unsustainable and many cities are at risk of transit services being cut or shut down completely – at a critical time when cities will be trying to reopen. Yet the Federal Government has ignored ATU’s repeated calls to save public transit with a stimulus of $5 billion in emergency funding.

“The Prime Minister has been asked numerous questions by reporters about the shortfall in transit funding and why a solution is taking so long but he avoids answering these questions and simply points back to the responsibility of the Provinces,” said Di Nino. “This is not good enough, and it’s a huge insult to millions of transit riders who depend on public transit. This government must find a way to get it done. Public Transit is a critical service and it needs emergency funding now.”

ATU Canada points out that grossly underfunding transit is bad for economic recovery and will leave millions of Canadians with an inadequate transit system, whereas every dollar invested in transit results in three dollars of economic growth. As people start getting ready to go back to work, we need more reliable transit, not less.

The Amalgamated Transit Union is made up of 34,000 transit professionals in nine Canadian provinces. They represent vehicle operators, maintenance staff, paratransit operations, clerical staff, dispatchers, administrative professionals and workers in the over-the-road motor coach industry. The union was founded in 1892 and represents workers in Canada’s urban, suburban and rural communities.


Media Contact:
John Di Nino ATU Canada President
Phone: 416-938-0746