Social Debate: Toll Routes in Canada?

Essay by poonjabbyHigh School, 11th gradeA, May 2005

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"Be it resolved that toll routes are necessary in Canada." Toll routes are roads which one pays a fee for use and they are needed in Canada. Firstly, we are not debating to impose tolls on all existing highways, nor are we suggesting to build a new set of roads entirely devoted to collecting tolls; rather, toll routes are necessary in that the current method of highway maintenance is not working and toll routes can solve the current problems. With toll routes, drivers who do not use that particular highway or road would not have to pay, they provide better funds for maintenance (which can improve safety on highways), they reduce traffic, and they create employment opportunities.

Toll routes are needed because this encourages a sense of fairness in society. Only those that use the highway would pay; those that do not would not have to pay. This principle is applied in all other transactions - for example, when we ride the bus or subway, we will pay for that service.

It is inequitable that taxpayers who do not drive have to pay for something they do not use. Using ceteris paribus, by imposing toll routes in Canada, taxes can be lowered. This is a model that the United States follow. If the users pay their merit, taxes can be cut - after all, the portion of our taxes that go toward road maintenance will be reduced.

Maintaining roads is very important, especially when they are used daily by thousands of drivers. As established, our tax dollars pay for their construction and maintenance, but gasoline taxes also contribute to their upholding. In the year 2000, $4.7 billion were collected in gasoline taxes across Canada. Only a mere 4% ($191 million) went to the provinces for roads and highways. To...

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