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

Youth rugby players get national team experience

Cowichan’s U12 and U14 girls teams booming

T.W. Paterson column: Patent medicines: for all that ailed you

No reference to patent medicines would be complete without mention of Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound

Caps miss chance to get past Bulldogs in Island standings

Alberni jumps out to big first-period lead over Cowichan

Documentary reminds of many unanswered questions about Granger Taylor’s disappearance

‘Spaceman’ was the name of the CBC documentary but where, really, did the Duncan man go in 1980?

Fifth pick Braylon Lumb leads Cowichan trio at WLA draft

Junior B players Robertson and Martin also selected

VIDEO: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

Cowichan Coffee Time: New faces and chipping in

• Duncan resident Gianpierro (GP) Denomme is the newest volunteer member of… Continue reading

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Wilson-Raybould resignation stokes anger, frustration within veterans community

Liberals have had three veterans-affairs ministers — Kent Hehr, Seamus O’Regan and Wilson-Raybould

No Center of Gravity festival in Kelowna this summer: organizers

COG organizers said the hope is to return to the Okanagan in 2020

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Most Read