The humble little bicycle can do a lot for a country.
When it comes to the average Canadian’s ability to ride a bike safely, conveniently and in comfort, federal support for cycling really matters. Canada Bikes takes a “bike partisan” approach and that’s why we asked all of the the party leaders for their positions on two important issues.
Leadership matters. Canada is one of the few developed countries without a formal national cycling policy. As the European Cyclists’ Federation notes, “these national strategies and/or action plans set clear activities and precise goals for the development of cycling at the national level.” With the benefits of cycling so well-known, a strong strategic direction makes sense.
Infrastructure matters. Over the last 20 years in the US, $7.2 Billion in federal funding has gone towards the construction of 22,000 dedicated bicycle and pedestrian projects. It can happen in Canada too. Examples like the $20 Million in commuting infrastructure that helped kickstart Winnipeg’s bike boom, the support for the North Shore Spirit Trail in BC or the new pieces of the Trans Canada Trail clearly demonstrate that federal government plays a role in building the country we want to ride in. The reality, however, is that Canada is far from being an international leader on cycling infrastructure funding. We can change that.
Read the letter including a synopsis of the benefits to Canada and see the two questions we have asked the federal leaders(ENG/FR).
Get involved. Email, tweet or facebook your local candidate. Ask her/him the same question we are asking the leader. Mention a specific project you’d like to see. It’s important and it only takes a minute. You can use the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ online candidate lookup tool to find your candidate. Then send them a message linking to the two questions. Ask them to weigh in. Show your support on twitter with a custom Twitter profile ribbon.
Vote. Hundreds of thousands of Canadians ride bicycles every day. Many more wish they could. On October 19th, make sure to vote and remember to give due consideration to your candidate’s position on cycling (among the many issues that may matter to you) when you make your choice.