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Road tolls preferred over tax hikes to pay for infrastructure projects: poll

Vehicles make their way into and out of downtown Toronto along the Gardiner Expressway in an undated file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

With the City of Toronto pushing the province for the approval to set up road tolls on the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway, there’s a new poll out on the issue.

And it supports the city’s plan.

The Nanos Research survey suggests most Canadians – 64 per cent – would rather pay road tolls or go into debt than paying higher taxes to cover the cost of infrastructure projects.

The survey, which was commissioned by the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships, also found that 60 per cent support a larger role for the private sector in financing and managing infrastructure projects.

National support for public-private partnerships remains near an all-time high at 70 per cent, the survey found.

The poll surveyed 1,000 adult Canadians via telephone and online between Dec. 16-19, 2016. The margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Views of Canadians on Public-Private Partnerships by CityNewsToronto on Scribd

Last month, Toronto city council voted to further study Mayor John Tory’s proposal to implement road tolls on the Gardiner and the DVP. During the next phase of study, Toronto and GTA residents can expect to hear more about pricing.

While the cost of the tolls has not been decided, Tory said a $2 fee would bring in more than $200 million every year. All drivers would pay the toll, not just those living outside Toronto.

Tory has said money raised from the proposed fees would pay for infrastructure projects including his SmartTrack transit plan.

Related stories:

Road toll proposal passes at Toronto city council

Road tolls, hotel tax needed to fund $33B in projects: Tory

Video: Tory and Mammoliti get into heated debate about road tolls at council