Portion of GST demanded for cities
Tracey Tong/metro ottawa
Municipal politicians from across Canada joined their city counterparts to make some history yesterday, by holding the first national rally by municipal politicians on Parliament Hill.
More than 75 councillors and supporters of the One Cent Now campaign lobbied for the federal government to give one cent of GST back to the municipality in which it was generated.
“This is our Boston Tea Party,” said Ottawa Coun. Clive Doucet. “We want that one cent.”
With 80 per cent of Canadians living in cities, municipalities should be the benefactors of money to improve the local roads, sewers, transit and housing that they depend on, said Coun. Diane Deans.
“We have a $123-billion gap,” she said. “We don’t care how it flows, as long as it flows.”
Other councillors also spoke in support of the campaign. “We’ve got to get Canadian municipalities into the modern era,” said Coun. Jacques Legendre.
Ottawa doesn’t have the money to serve the needs of industries that are in or are looking to relocate into the area, said Coun. Marianne Wilkinson.
“The federal government is destroying our economic wealth. We need to have them take responsibility and one cent will do it.”
The rally was called last week and although councillors said the city’s $2.6-billion budget is experiencing pressure to deliver services and programs, Ottawa isn’t alone. While cities currently only receive one cent of every tax dollar, they deliver 60 per cent of the services.