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Why are we talking about bridge tolls?

Montreal’s new mayor has brought up the idea of putting tolls on all bridges around the island of Montreal as a means of footing the bill to replace the aging Champlain Bridge.

There is no doubt that this move would have a major effect on the island of Montreal.

But let’s look at what it would mean locally if tolls went up on the Galipeault Bridge on Highway 20 to Ile-Perrot and the Ile-aux-Tourtes Bridge on Highway 40 to Vaudreuil.

Off-Island motorists will be the group who will be most directly affected. The money would be coming out of their pockets.

But what about the West Island?

Tolls would have a direct effect here. They would automatically create a deterrent to all Off-Islanders from wanting to travel into the West Island. Businesses will be affected, both by becoming less attractive destinations and, over the long term, being less attractive as employment options. As development continues to cruise along in the Off-Island, that region’s economy will reap the benefit. But West Island business will be hurt.

But here’s the other thing: After months of listening to testimony from the Charbonneau commission into corruption, why is Montreal so quick to just target taxpayers – individuals in all regions off the island of Montreal and businesses on the island – to foot a bill it cannot afford? When will the debate shift to finding ways for the city of Montreal to better manage its affairs?

Public funds are not being managed properly. Have we not established this yet? So why should the first option be to allow the same crew, minus a few who have been arrested or have resigned in shame, be allowed to delve even deeper into our pockets?

Tolls just create a pool of cash and put it in the hands of those who cannot be trusted to manage it, while hurting the island’s economy and isolating it from its surrounding regions.

Let’s look at other options.

Brenda O’Farrell

To read Brenda O’Farrell’s blog on the same topic, but from an Off-Islander’s perspective at offislandgazette.com, click here.

5 comments

  1. Pingback: Bridge tolls: Just another half-baked idea from Montreal | Off Island Gazette

  2. I couldn’t agree more! We pay enough tax, so much so that we should not be paying for tolls on our roads. The US has many tolled roads, but that is because they pay way less tax. It doesn’t make sense, our government is ripping us off! Every year, they just find ways to add more taxes on to our bills, when will it ever end?

  3. This is long overdue. If bridge tolls had been put in place a couple of decades ago urban sprawl of the magnitude we are seeing now would never have occurred and there would be far less pollution from cars.

  4. What makes you so sure that the all or even any of the tolls collected would go towards projects for the public good?

    Last time I checked the Champlain Bridget was Federal project, not financed out of Montreal’s budget.

    Lets not forget that many West Island residents regularly travel to Ile Perrot, Dorion, and beyond, for sports, shopping, work, etc. would be paying tolls as well.

  5. In reply to Laura’s comments: It will never end unless citizens start banging pots and pans and start putting an end to being pushed around like we are clueless. Let’s ask the right questions also. Like, where are the LOTO profits going? Where are the transfer payments from Ottawa going? Where in tarnation are our tax dollars going? Accountability? Anyone? Let’s get our pots and pans and put an end to the greedy, power seeking, total idiots that are elected by US. It just doesn’t seem to matter whom we elect , does it? Where are our true leaders? Please step forward and be counted.

    “Just sayin’ – “

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