Gas tax fund option for funding

For smaller municipalities, the cost of building and maintaining recreational facilities can be a challenge

My appreciation for recreation facilities was increased last week when I listened to the inductees into the Lake Cowichan Sports Hall of Fame talk about how important the local rink was in their lives.

For smaller municipalities, the cost of building and maintaining recreational facilities can be a challenge. Safety repairs and construction, like maintaining bridges and roads, always takes first priority, as it should.

A municipality has to service any new development that it approves and that can eat away at available infrastructure dollars.

Add in emergency repairs, rising costs and changes to building codes that call for retrofits and it isn’t hard to see why many municipalities often have to delay infrastructure plans for years.

That’s why New Democrats brought forward a motion in the House of Commons this session that proposed increasing the transfer of gas tax money by one cent.

The Gas Tax Fund was created in 2005 and five out of every 10 cents of federal tax on gas goes into the fund. The NDP proposed increasing that to six cents which would result in $500 million per year in additional revenue for infrastructure.

Our motion also called for a legislative framework, with clear targets, to provide sustainable, predictable and long-term infrastructure funding agreements with provinces, municipalities and First Nations communities.

The construction and maintenance of public infrastructure plays a vital role in the creation and protection of jobs in every community.

The federal government collects half of all taxes paid by Canadians but it is the municipalities and provinces that provide the majority of services and infrastructure. We need a more effective way of using tax dollars to provide the funding those bodies need.

The Gas Tax Fund is one option but New Democrats are interested in hearing about alternative funding mechanisms to ensure municipalities, large and small, have the long-term capacity to build and maintain public infrastructure.

Our motion failed in the House of Commons but New Democrats continue to explore options to support public infrastructure spending at the levels necessary to advance economic opportunities for residents, improve their safety, and better their quality of life.

And I hope to hear more young athletes talk about their local rink and how it made a difference in their life.

 

Just Posted

Editorial: Permanent state of drug crisis is unacceptable

No indication that the opioid crisis is waning says that what we’re doing isn’t working.

Rubgy keeps Mill Bay’s Ciaran Breen moving

Shawnigan student on national squad for World School Sevens and XV California tour

Candy Cane Cabaret in Duncan an adult show featuring Passion and Performance students

“Our audiences cheer, hoot, holler and enjoy a raucous environment”

Prosecution in Colin John murder trial wrapping up in Duncan

John on trial for stabbing death in Chemainus in 2016

VIDEO: Close encounter with a whale near Canada-U.S border

Ron Gillies had his camera ready when a whale appeared Dec. 7

Vancouver Island man runs 500 km for anti-trophy hunting campaign

The 13-day run saw Giordano Corlazzoli run nearly a marathon a day

B.C. Lions hire DeVone Claybrooks as head coach

Former Stampeders DC succeeds CFL legend Wally Buono

France shooting: 2 dead, several wounded in Strasbourg

A world-famous Christmas market was put on lock down on Tuesday

Canadian warship witnesses possible violations of North Korea sanctions

Crew members on HMCS Calgary took photos and collected other information

Christine Sinclair named Canadian Women’s player of the year again

This is the 14th time Sinclair has been named player of the year

B.C. man wants trapping laws changed after dog killed

Louis Seguin’s 10-month-old Australian shepherd died in a body-gripping trap last month

Nearly 8,000 homeless in B.C., first province-wide count reveals

Twenty-four seperate counts in B.C. cities found there are thousands of homeless in all corners of province

Most Read