FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
KAMLOOPS: Next week in the House of Commons MP Betty Hinton (Kamloops, Thompson and Highland Valleys) will be calling on the Minister of Transportation Hon. David Collenette to give back an equitable portion of gas taxes to the province to maintain their highways without leasing out taxpayer’s assets.
Mrs. Hinton said she cannot condone the leasing of the Coquihalla Highway by the provincial government but does not lay all of the blame for this situation at their feet.
“Ottawa gives back to B.C. less than a nickel for every dollar it collects from B.C. motorists in gas taxes. If the federal Liberals were giving B.C. its fair share of federal fuel tax revenues we would be able to maintain our highways and wouldn’t even contemplate giving up control of our roads,” said Hinton.
Hinton said she realizes the federal government has other highway responsibilities they have to fund but even 50% of the gas tax would give the province an annual influx of about half-a-billion.
In 2002 B.C. motorists paid Ottawa roughly $750 million in federal fuel taxes and an additional $378 million in GST on that fuel, giving Ottawa just slightly more than $1.1 billion in revenue. In return, Ottawa transferred to B.C. coffers $37 million for infrastructure improvements.
Hinton said she’d be pleased to take any petitions to Ottawa that constituents may want to initiate to make the minister aware of their anger over the federal appropriation of gas tax paid by B.C. motorists.
“Between the paltry amount returned from the gas tax and the fact this province has to use 40% of its provincial budget for health care, the Liberals are squeezing us into a situation where we have all the responsibility and too little of the revenues. I think we need them to hear what we think of that,” she said.
It’s time they heard us speak with one loud voice.”
The Canadian Alliance MP welcomes all to join her in bringing this to the transport minister’s attention. Interested parties should call her office for assistance in wording any petitions they may be contemplating.
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