Comment 15109

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted December 04, 2007 at 08:22:45

You're quite right, Genghis. The systematic starvation of cities has been a bipartisan, federal/provincial partnership.

In Martin's defence, he did begin the process of reversing a decade of underinvestment in 2004 when he announced the "New Deal for Cities", which established the gas tax transfer, which Ontario more or less matched in provincial funds. It wasn't nearly enough, but it was an admission that something needed to be done.

Similarly, in Harper's defence, he allowed the gas tax transfer to continue. However, he hasn't built on it and his party refuses to acknowledge any federal role in fixing the municipal infrastructure deficit, even as it doles out a $16 billion surplus in tax cuts.

Essentially, provincial and municipal governments have no choice but to raise taxes, which claws back the cuts from higher levels and makes them look like the 'bad guys' with voters. As citizens we end up borrowing from Peter to pay Paul.

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