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

Police seek tips in 2015 death of Brown

Four years has passed since the body of Penelakut Island teen was discovered

Lack of consultation on Chemainus Road corridor project irks business owners, residents

Surprise expressed over change to anticipated North Cowichan plans

‘Nearly Neil’ show is coming to Lake Cowichan Legion Aug. 24

Get the gang together and come out for a great night of Neil Diamond songs

VIDEO: Outstanding young performers come forward year after year

Valley’s emerging talent never ceases to amaze local audiences

Experience automotive classics and more at the Vancouver Island Concours d’Elegance

Motorcar Weekend features Show and Shine, high-end Concours division, all for a great cause

VIDEO: Canadian zoos’ captive breeding programs help preserve endangered species

Programs considered last-ditch effort to prevent local extinctions of turtles, butterflies and more

Man launches petition to bring charter schools to B.C.

The move could see up to 20 charter schools come to the province

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

Unseasonable snow forces campers out of northeastern B.C. provincial park

Storm brought as much as 35 centimetres of snow to the Fort Nelson, Muncho Lake Park-Stone Mountain Park

B.C. log export rules killing us, northwest harvester says

NorthPac Forestry says Skeena Sawmills has plenty of timber

Environment groups warned saying climate change is real could be seen as partisan

Talk of climate change could be viewed as advocating against Maxime Bernier, the leader of the People’s Party of Canada

Search crews find 4-year-old boy who went missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Most Read