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Ontario Liberals Propose PST Exemption on Bicycles and Helmets

September 5, 2007 (Toronto, ON) – The Bicycling Trade Association of Canada (BTAC) supports a Provincial Sales Tax (PST) exemption on bicycles and helmets, which the Ontario Liberals are expected to include in their election platform.

BTAC has identified two key factors to increase participation rates of bicycling as a mode of urban transportation and recreation:

1. Reducing taxes on bicycles and bicycle helmets, parts and cycling accessories to provide a direct incentive to buy and ride bicycles; and

2. Investments in cycling infrastructure both by governments (i.e. dedicated bicycle lanes, secure parking, and the ability to take bikes onto public transit systems) and by private sector employers (i.e. lockers, showers, and secure cycle storage).

“PST relief on bicycles and helmets will give potential cyclists a direct financial incentive to ride, while sending an important message to Ontarians that cycling has an important role to play in improving human health, addressing climate change and reducing urban congestion,” said Paul Nielsen, President of the Bicycle Trade Association of Canada.

Bicycles have many proven benefits:

They are the most energy efficient vehicles on the road – a bicycle can cover a given distance using one-thousandth of the fuel and one-thousandth the greenhouse gases than does a typical car.

Assuming only a 2% conversion of automobile trips to bicycle trips in Ontario, greenhouse gas emissions reductions would be in the order of 330,000 CO2e /year.

Bicycling reduces the risk of serious conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity and the most common form of diabetes; and bicycle transportation reduces urban congestion and pollutions contributing to smog.

BTAC has a major industry trade show ExpoCycle starting this Saturday in Montreal. Media can register via www.expocycle.ca.

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