NDP supports over-burdened cities in fight for fair funding

May 29, 2012

OTTAWA - What do Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, NDP MP Olivia Chow and the President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities have in common?

They’re each calling on the federal government to give back some of the tax dollars taken from cities and communities and invest it in public transit, infrastructure, more police officers and affordable housing.

Across Canada, cities and communities are facing an unsustainable funding base that leaves them with 8 cents out of every tax dollar but with the tab for half of our country’s infrastructure. Today, New Democrats backed the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ (FCM) call for diverse, creative and responsive funding sources.

“With a broken tax system that leaves cities at the mercy of provincial and federal governments, it’s no wonder our cities are falling apart,” said NDP Transport and Infrastructure Critic Olivia Chow.

“The Conservative government kept making empty promises to consult, but it's all talk and no action. Neither a timeline nor investment volumes have been set out by the Conservatives – undercutting communities’ ability to plan and invest in badly needed projects.”

With more than 1,000 communities coping with unsafe tap water, and with concrete raining from major highways and bridges in cities like Toronto and Montreal, Chow says it’s time to address our $123 billion infrastructure funding gap.

“Instead of supporting cities, the Conservative budget slashed important funding sources like the Green Infrastructure Fund while making no commitment to long-term infrastructure investments,” said Chow.

“The FCM has outlined viable options to create more funding fairness. Shifting existing Gas Tax dollars to our municipalities would be a sensible step in the right direction. Now, it’s up to the Conservatives to act and provide long-term help.”