BRAMPTON City Councillor Gurpreet Dhillon on Tuesday expressed his disappointment at Council’s decision to deny his motion to be considered in the City of Brampton’s 2018 budget. The motion would have reduced the seniors’ monthly bus pass rate from $52 to $15 with no immediate cost or negative budget impact.
“This proposal was cost neutral and also satisfied an increasing need,” said Dhillon. “With auto insurance, gas prices, taxes, and the cost of living all skyrocketing, this motion would have helped a vulnerable and growing sector of society.”
The motion outlined that the approximate $75,000 annual shortfall for the new rate would have been funded for a period of four years by transferring the 2017 Façade Program’s remaining budget of $300,000, and any costs thereafter to be absorbed by future transit revenue growth.
The Façade Program, which Dhillon has continuously opposed due to it favouring downtown businesses only, funds the cosmetic changes to businesses in the downtown core by providing grants to land and business owners.
“I don’t understand why Council did not see the immediate need for investing in reducing seniors’ transit costs, while they continue to waste millions on initiatives like the Façade Program, raising their own salaries and pensions, and giving $1.5 million to a private hockey team,” said Dhillon. “Our seniors deserve better.”
He added: “With more and more of our seniors being forced to work, or solely depending on Old Age Security and pensions, getting by is becoming a challenge for them. This proposal would have helped their pocket books, as well as allowing them to become more active and socially engaged in the community.”