June 24, 2024

The Queens County Citizen

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Quebec City: Patrick Pocket wants to tax cyclists who enjoy winter cycling

Quebec City: Patrick Pocket wants to tax cyclists who enjoy winter cycling

In the name of “fairness” between road users, Quebec City should decree a tax on cyclists who use their bikes in the winter, suggested Patrick Paquette, the unelected leader of Équipe Priority Quebec (EPQ).

In the context of a tax on registration and (perhaps) another tax on gasoline, we should think about taxing winter cyclists, Mr. Pockett said in an impromptu press release Tuesday afternoon.

According to him, the annual tax is “symbolic” and should not exceed $30. The money raised will make it possible to cover the costs of clearing snow from cycle paths and bridging the deficit of the Capital Transport Network (RTC).

“It doesn't matter. It could be $15 or $20. But why don't we look at cyclists? Why shouldn't cyclists contribute to our roads and transport network? This is the way we have to look at this time, said Mr Pockett. Only the motorist does not understand why. Everyone benefits from roads and highways.

Asked to clarify his suggestion, he said the future tax or sticker would be “voluntary” for cyclists who ride bikes only in summer. On the other hand, it becomes a “must have” for those who use their machine all year round.

“We call it the winter tax,” he proposed, referring to the “question of principle” and the importance of the “consumer pays” concept.

Is it politically smart to propose a new tax to a politician who has been saying for years that citizens are already overtaxed? “Everybody is overtaxed right now. Before we continue the tax, we need to do our own cleaning, not only in the municipal budget, but also in the public transport network,” he replied.

On Tuesday evening, Transition Quebec head Jackie Smith responded in a press release saying “we will not tax bicycles because active transportation helps save taxpayers money”.

Vote on the registration tax

On the other hand, the Quebec City Council voted with a majority on Tuesday evening in favor of the principle of increasing the registration tax from January 1, 2025. The increase will be at least $10 for motorists from Quebec, but the exact amount must be specified by September 15.

In an impromptu press release, Quebec Mayor Bruno Marchand said “we will take the heat together” (his administration and the Quebec government) for the implementation of this tax and possibly a possible tax on gasoline.

For his part, and before the vote in the municipal council, Patrick Paquette noted that the registration tax was voted down thanks to former independent councilors, Jean-Francois Gosselin and Bianca Dassault, who supported Mayor Marchand.

According to the EPQ head, these two municipal councilors were “politically dead. “It is impossible for these two people to regain their districts in the 2025 elections.”

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