April 14 2015
I am calling on the government in the strongest terms to provideincreased stable long-term funding to our municipalities in theupcoming federal budget. Currently despite providing increasedservices municipalities receive only eight to nine cents of each taxdollar. In public meetings I have held in communities across our riding providing increased funding to the municipal level of government wasraised by local residents time and time again. I have also been meetingwith local municipal councillors who have been unanimous in identifyingthe need for increased predictable funding. Additional federal fundswould help with the next phase of the community centre at Ward Park inNorland for example and the new fire hall in Millbrook. More federaldollars provided directly to our municipalities would increase servicesin Brock Township given its smaller tax base and go to fixing sewers inLindsay and roads throughout our area. Funding would also help enhancerural transit in Haliburton County and Kawartha Lakes and be used toaddress homelessness. But how do we pay for it? For starters the NDPwould provide one cent of the existing gas tax to municipalities.Budgets are a matter of priorities. The current government is goingahead with income splitting at a cost of $2 billion. We can also goafter off-shore tax havens which would put up to $8 billion back in thepublic purse for the common good. People in our area have also told methey want political advertising by the government stopped. I haveestimated this would save close to $1 billion. Municipalities aregovernments accountable to voters. They should not have to spend thetime money and uncertainty of applying for federal grants to fundprojects. I therefore call upon the Harper government to use Budget 2015 to provide increased stable long-term funding to municipalities tohelp us build our local communities.