By David Reevely, Ottawa Citizen, November 25, 2016
Ottawa and Toronto are talking about charging tolls to help reduce the massive subsidies we give road projects, a conservative idea that is finding little support from professional conservatives.
We made the first tentative move a couple of years ago, when our city council asked for permission to erect toll gates on Highway 174 at the eastern edge of Ottawa. It’s a former provincial highway, forcibly downloaded onto the city in the 1990s, and a meaningful percentage of the traffic on it comes from Clarence-Rockland and points east. Ottawa taxpayers pay for snowplowing and repaving and culverts and some councillors hoped to get the road’s other regular users to kick in.
Brown bangs on about how expensive electricity is these days but has no plan for making it less so, any more than the Liberals or New Democrats do. We had him in our newsroom this week for a sit-down meeting and he repeated what purports to be a plan but isn’t: Stop privatizing Hydro One, stop signing new green-energy contracts and restore municipal planning authority over where new wind and solar farms go. Only not signing new generation contracts has much to do with prices — and at best, it’ll head off future increases.http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/reevely-jim-watson-and-john-tory-become-unlikely-champions-of-road-tolls