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

UPDATE: Closure of St. Joseph’s School trying time for staff, students

Enrollment numbers fall short, resulting in the decision no one wanted

Remains of two people found in Ucluelet

Officials have not said whether or not the remains belong to Ryan Daley or Dan Archbald

B.C. turns up the heat

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for most the province due to high temperatures

Kaatza Lakeside Players could fold if no one steps up to help

Board members, new ideas needed, so why not take this chance to keep the Players going

Canada won’t ‘play politics’ on U.S. migrant children policy

The U.S. government is under fire over its ”zero tolerance” policy

Late goal gives England 2-1 win over Tunisia

At the last World Cup in 2014, England couldn’t even win a game

Canadian military police officer pleads not guilty to sex assault

Sgt. Kevin MacIntyre, 48, entered his plea today at a court martial proceeding in Halifax

Cheers erupt as Federal Court judge approves historic gay purge settlement

Gay military veterans said they were interrogated, harassed and spied on because of their sexuality

Helping B.C.’s helpers cope

The MRT has helped almost 7,000 first responders and street workers in 57 communities in B.C.

Border officials argue B.C. man’s Facebook posts threat to Canada’s security

A B.C. Supreme Court judge acquitted Othman Hamdan of terrorism charges last September

Reena Virk’s mother has died

Both of Virk’s parents became activists against bullying in wake of daughter’s death

Search for capsized fishers near Tofino enters fourth day

“There’s a lot of shock in the community in terms of how we could end up at this place.”

B.C. announces $75M to help friends, family care for seniors at home

Funding will go towards respite care and adult day programs

Most Read