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Liberals Promise to make Transit Gas Tax Permanent

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unimaginative2

Guest
Martin promises permanent gas tax revenues for citiesLiberal Leader also says he'd create a new $350-million fund for building local sports facilities
Sunday, January 15, 2006 Posted at 11:34 AM EST

Canadian Press

Laval, Quebec — Liberal Leader Paul Martin is promising to make gas tax revenues for municipalities a permanent fixture, and would create a new $350-million fund for building local sports facilities.

Mr. Martin made the campaign announcement in Laval, a suburban city just outside Montreal, surrounded by local mayors.

The gas tax deal would be extended "forever" says infrastructure minister John Godfrey, while the new sports money would go to municipalities over five years.

Mr. Martin says his plan is sharply different from that of Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, who has committed only to honouring the current five-year gas tax deal for cities.

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Mr. Martin claims the Conservative platform doesn't add up and cities could suffer. Something's got to give, says Mr. Martin.

Mr. Martin is visiting two more Montreal ridings — bringing to eight the number of once-safe Liberal seats he blitzed on the weekend. From Montreal, the Liberal leader is en route to Vancouver via North Bay, Ont., and Edmonton.
 
C

cdl42

Guest
"In the guise of election reform many ruling administrations instead bring in fixed election dates, which keep them in power for years as in the US. Lack of worry over nonconfidence votes means there is less need to compromise or please the electorate for a few years."

Huh? It's four years after the previous election unless the government falls for some other reason, such as a non-confidence vote. That's part of the basis of the Canadian/British system - deadlock is impossible.
 
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green22

Guest
I was referring to what happened in Ontario under McGuinty. There has been a lot of talk about proportional representation to increase democracy, so that votes are not wasted, or people are voting for their first choice rather than for lesser evils.
As a proposed fix for these kinds of problems a government may instead put in a fixed system and say that it has reformed the system as promised. Since voters know that there will be an election in 4 years there is less pressure for votes of nonconfidence, which allow voters to express their frustration with the government.
There is a reason why governments do not want to accurately reflect the views of voters. When a government is elected they have the power whether they recieved 60% of the vote or 40% of the vote. Compromising and reflecting the views expressed by the other 40 or 60% of voters would lessen your influence.
Better to set up a 'nonpartisan committee' that will reccommend what you want. If the committee still reccommends something else you can ignore them and either enact nothing or something else. If you think that you are likely to lose power before 4 or 5 years time, then enacting fixed election dates may lessen the pressure of facing the voters as well as allowing you to tell the voters that you have enacted voting reform as promised.
 
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green22

Guest
The conservatives have now agreed to keep this and the Layton-Martin 2 year agreement that allocates funding for transit on the basis of ridership in place as well as the prinicipal 5 year program. On the negative side Harper is allowing all funding to be spent on whatever cities wish. In Ontario cities under 500,000 can already spend the money on whatever they want. There are only 4 cities over 500,000, Toronto, Ottawa, Mississauga and Hamilton. Both Toronto and Hamilton will spen atleast this much $ on transit anyway, Mississauga hard to tell, and Hamiliton under DiAnni does not want to spend the money on transit. So the tory proposal will probably only have an effect on Hamilton and perhaps a minor effect in Mississauga.
Of main interest to cities with high transit ridership, (Toronto, Ottawa and Hamilton) is extending the Layton-Martin 2 year agreement. If there is a minority government in 2 years with NDP support the result would probably be yes. Minority with BQ support, not sure. Conservative majority- very doubtful, Liberal majority, probably not. All this is just speculation of course, things are always changing. If there were an election in 2 years for example the Liberals might offer extending the program to win back urban seats if they were lost or vulnerable.
In the guise of election reform many ruling administrations instead bring in fixed election dates, which keep them in power for years as in the US. Lack of worry over nonconfidence votes means there is less need to compromise or please the electorate for a few years.
 
F

FutureMayor

Guest
Mississauga will spend gas tax on Transit

To clearify, Mississauga has budgeted all of the Federal Gas Tax towards Transit.

Louroz
 
G

green22

Guest
Re: Mississauga will spend gas tax on Transit

All cities of over 500,000 in Ontario were required to spend all of the gas tax money on transit: Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton and Mississauga. It is the conservatives who are changing the rules. Unlike the other 3 cities, Hamilton (Larry DiAnni) has tried to find every way of not putting the money into transit. Toronto and Ottawa already put more money into transit than the gas tax would provide, so all that was required was to reallocate funding. Depending on Mississauga's budget it is likely that this will also be the case, or atleast very close.

That's why I think that the Conservative plan to allow all municipalities to spend the "environmentally friendly" gas tax funds on whatever they want will probably only affect Hamilton, as the rest of Ontario is already spending on what they want, and the big cities already spend on transit (except Hamilton).

In other Provinces where many cities were required to spend the money on transit, this will make a big difference and reduce transit funding. Unfortunatly in Ontario the Federal government (John Godfey) negotiated funding requirements with Association of Municipalities of Ontario (Roger Anderson) who aquired exemptions to environmentally friendly infrastructure for roads, briges, water mains, sewers and even incinerators. Roger Anderson, also the chair of Durham region is the same person who told McGuinty that people who move to the suburbs don't want smart growth, they want low density single use housing.
 

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