Sunday, October 01, 2006

Infrastructure Imbalance

It's not a fiscal imbalance we face in Canada it is an infrastructure imbalance. Inquiry to probe overpass collapse Taxes on gas etc. which was supposed to go to infrastructure, roads, overpasses, etc. don't.

Taxes taken by the province and Federal governments are not passed on to municipalities, or if they are it is crudgingly. Yet it is municpal governments that are expected to provide the infrastructure.

Instead of worrying about provincial fiscal imablances lets look at the real results of the failure of all levels of government to fund our crumbling infrastructure. All the more reason to look at a new form of confederation that includes the municipalities at the table.

And no we don't need more P3's or toll roads that benefit privateers. We have the monies it's a matter of investing them in real physical infrastructure and on going maintenance

n a 2000 study done for the Canadian Federation of Municipalities by McGill University, it was identified that almost 70% of our municipal infrastructure is in need of repair. This includes roads, bridges, sewage collection and treatment, and water distribution and treatment. The study also estimates that it will take over $20 billion to rehabilitate these facilities to year 2000 standards. Between 2001 and 2003, according to their own reports, Infrastructure Canada, a federal department that you would think would address the crumbling infrastructure in Canada, paid out over $4 billion in grants. Of that $4 billion, not a single cent was allocated to fixing existing infrastructure. Of the funds, according to the report, 43% went to new public transit, 7% went to new urban roads, 12% went to tourism, 4% to expansion of broadband Internet, 22% for new highways, 11% for new water projects and 1% to new housing.editorial - Political opinion and review - Politics Canada

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