FCM President Clark Somerville issued this statement following changes to Ontario Gas Tax Program (27/01/2017)
The Ontario Gas Tax Program is a model transit funding mechanism for local governments as it provides long-term, predictable investment, enabling cities and communities to plan accordingly. The Ontario government's decision to double the municipal transfer will mean cities and communities can better meet the transit needs of commuters and families.
However, while predictable transfer programs are essential, we cannot escape the fiscal realities that limit our progress as a country. Property taxes alone can no longer support the growing levels of investment required of local governments to meet pressing national challenges.
Across the country many, including Toronto, are ready to champion ways to grow and diversify municipal revenues. All orders of government will need to engage in a mature conversation about the role of cities and communities in nation-building, and how to meaningfully enable that role into the future. Respect for local decision making authority must be central to this conversation. FCM stands ready to work with our federal and provincial partners on innovating a sustainable fiscal framework for Canadian cities and communities.
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) is the national voice of Canada's local order of government, with nearly 2,000 members representing 91 per cent of the population.
For more information
Michael FitzPatrick, FCM Media Relations: firstname.lastname@example.org or 613 907 6346