June 7, 2002

CAA opposes proposed road tolls

Ottawa, Ontario – The Canadian Automobile Association expressed strong opposition to three proposals in the recently released federal government Discussion Paper on Canada’s Contribution to Addressing Climate Change. The Paper proposes new road tolls on major inter-city and urban highways, an increase in parking fees in Canada’s three largest cities, and a surtax on higher fuel-consuming vehicles.

“Under this plan, Canadian motorists and commercial trucking would be charged three cents/km for intercity travel and 15 cents/km for urban travel,” said CAA

President David Flewelling. “It would create a financial hardship for Canadians who rely on urban and intercity roads and will have a significant negative impact on Canadians living in rural areas who do not have the benefit of alternative transportation options.”

The second measure would see the introduction of increased parking pricing of $3.00 to $5.00 in Canada’s three largest cities. “Aside from being a restrictive measure to motorists, a parking pricing strategy might simply shift travel from one location to another by increasing travel to outlying areas. This measure would fail to achieve an overall reduction in greenhouse gases and result in a loss of business to the core of cities,” says Flewelling.

The third measure relates to the energy efficiency of light-duty vehicles. This policy would levy surtaxes on higher fuel consuming vehicles and provide a rebate for lower fuel-consuming vehicles. The CAA says that it encourages motorists to use more fuel-efficient vehicles but is opposed to any form of motor vehicle taxation that would restrict the use of private motor vehicles or force motorists to change the type of vehicle they drive.

Representatives from the CAA will be expressing the association’s views during the stakeholder consultations taking place in Ottawa today.

The CAA is a federation of 11 automobile clubs serving over four million members through 130 offices across Canada.

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