Which is why Tory plans to make public transit passes tax-deductible will likely pass unnoticed this summer, except for this National Post article:
Peter Kent, a well-known former television journalist who will run for the party in the Toronto riding of St. Paul's, said the initiative is ready to go and expected to win the party some interest in Toronto, Vancouver and other urban centres.
''We would make the metro pass and GO pass tax deductible,'' Mr. Kent said of Toronto Transit Commission and GO Transit fares. ''Basically what we're doing is addressing GTA issues of the fiscal imbalance and infrastructure.''
While the rebate would be available to commuters across the country, Mr. Kent believes it would be of particular appeal in the Greater Toronto Area, where the party is desperately trying to improve its popularity before an expected 2006 federal election.
''It's definitely one we're excited about,'' said Mr. Kent, who will attempt to unseat Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett in the next election. ''We're working on a bunch of GTA policies and that one should absolutely resonate with voters and also with the city.''
That's at least $1,200 off every GTA transit pass buyer's taxable income, a boon especially to low-income voters who rely on the TTC and GO to get around the city. It's also attractive to the champagne socialist set, who themselves wouldn't be caught dead in public transit, but like to make a big show of caring for the environment and the plebs.
If there were any plank on the urban platform I'd want to see hammered hard, it's this one. It's much less esoteric to conceive and understand than changing financing arrangements, and it affects hundreds of thousands of voters in the wallet--figuratively and literally--where they carry their passes.