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Please do your bit to turn motion # 360 into action! Employer-provided tax exempt bus passes
From: Shaw, Amelia [mailto:ShawA@octranspo.com]
Sent: Thursday, January 27, 2000 6:03 PM
Local Campaign Update
Last Call to Action Prior to Budget 2000
The time is drawing near - will TEI be a part of the Year 2000 budget?
There are no guarantees. You CAN convince your MP to insist on TEI's
inclusion, by making one last pre-budget lobby effort. The latest
rumour is that the Liberal caucus's pre-budget meeting will be held February
2nd, 2000. Please take a moment today to fax, phone, or e-mail the Hon.
Jim Peterson, the Hon. Paul Martin, and the Right Hon. Jean Chretien
with this simple message:
"On April 13th, 1999, Motion #360 was passed by the House of Commons.
Please turn this motion into action. I am one of the majority of
Canadians who believe you should make employer provided transit
benefits, income tax-exempt."
The Right Hon. Jean Chretien: Tel: (613) 992-4211 Fax: (613)
The Hon. Paul Martin: Tel: (613) 992-4284 Fax: (613) 992-4291
The Hon. Jim Peterson: Tel: (613) 992-4964 Fax: (613) 992-1158
TEI well received by Finance Committee
On Nov. 25, 1999 the Task Force made a presentation to the House of
Commons Standing Committee on Finance. This year we were well received,
thanks to your efforts at lobbying the MPs on this committee prior to
the presentation. MP Paul Szabo commented on the importance of this
initiative and his support during the House of Commons debates. Transit has
been included in the standing committee's report, which discusses both
TEI and infrastructure funding.
Transportation Issues Table
This table, part of the National Climate Change Process, has identified
and analyzed various measures to reduce transportation greenhouse gas
(GHG) emissions. It produced an "Options Paper" which will be
considered by the government as Canada develops its national policy on
climate change. TEI heads the list as one of the "most promising"
The Options Paper will be presented across Canada during the first two
weeks of February as part of a stakeholder consultation process. The
Task Force requested that the following organizations should be included:
transit properties, CLC environment committee members and others. We need
representatives at these conferences to support the work of the
Options Paper, when it comes to their recommendations to support public
As you all know, Pollution Probe is one of the members of the National
Task Force to Promote TEI. In their last issue of "Probabilities", TEI
was front page news, where members were given the opportunity to
mail-back a postcard of support.
Another member of the Task Force, CUTA has recently received a mandate
from their membership (transit properties and businesses associated with
transit) to aggressively promote transit to provincial and federal
levels of government. Amelia has taken a leave of absence to take on
the job of Manager of Public Affairs for CUTA. While Amelia will remain
heavily involved with TEI, she has expanded her role to advocate for federal
government funding for infrastructure, promoting partnerships to support
public transit etc.
Finance Concern's Reduced to Two
The Hon. Jim Peterson is now responding to letters supporting TEI. In
case you have not yet received his reply, it has changed substantially
from the original "Martin Response". In his letter, Minister Peterson
that "encouraging the use of public transportation is important - in
particular as a way of reducing pollution". However, he continues by saying
his department questions the fairness of allowing a tax-exemption when
most Canadians must purchase their passes in after-tax income. As well
the cost per new rider could be prohibitive as the majority of Canadians
receiving this benefit will be current transit users.
While we are pleased to see the list of concerns dwindling to two, we
plan to once again challenge Mr. Peterson's reasoning when we meet with
him on February 14th.
TEI - Momentum that Continues to Build
It is amazing how people continue to get involved in this issue. Nelson
Riis' office is still answering requests for information on Motion 360;
we continue to hear from individuals and organizations pledging support;
TEI is mentioned in the media consistently when transit issues and
climate change is discussed; and we continue to make new contacts in the
federal government. (Our last meeting included the member of the Privy
Council responsible for Environment and a Senior Policy Analyst from the
Prime Minister's Office.)
We can keep the momentum growing. Take a minute today to call, fax, or
e-mail Prime Minister Jean Chretien, Minister Jim Peterson, Minister Paul
your own MP.
Donna-Lynn Ahee and Amelia Shaw
Project Managers, National Task Force to promote TEI
Manager of Public Affairs
Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA)
1500 St. Laurent Blvd.,
phone: (613) 842-3616
fax: (613) 230-8425
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