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September 20, 2004
Hub City Mayors united Agreement reached on formula and timeline for sharing federal fuel tax
  
Saturday, September 18th, 2004 - News Release and Summit Communiqué

(Toronto) - A two-day meeting of Canada's ten hub cities, chaired by Toronto
Mayor David Miller, concluded today with a clear plan for reinvesting in public
transit and urban infrastructure, based on swift delivery of the federal fuel
(gas and diesel) tax.

The mayors unanimously agreed that the federal allocation of the fuel tax
revenue to each province must be based on the following formula: 75% of the
funding will reflect fuel consumption, and 25% of the funding will reflect
transit ridership. A minimum of 25% of each province's share must be dedicated
to public transit infrastructure, where it is a municipal priority.

The mayors also agreed that a schedule for sharing the fuel tax revenue must be
set out in the Speech from the Throne, with at least 2.5 cents/litre in 2005,
ramping up to the full 5 cents/litre by 2007. Each cent of the fuel tax is
equal to about 500 million dollars.

"We've given the federal government the next step in the new deal for Canada's
cities," said Mayor Miller. "This new source of revenue will provide support
for economic development and investment in the country's urban centres. There's
no doubt that this will improve quality of life for the residents of our
cities, and empower the country's economic engines."

Agreements on sharing federal fuel tax revenues with cities must be finalized
by the federal government and the provinces by the end of 2004, the mayors
said.

The full text of the mayors' communiqué and a group photograph is available at
Canada Newswire at www.newswire.ca.

Mayors and representatives at the summit were:
Vancouver - Mayor Larry Campbell
Calgary - Mayor Dave Bronconnier
Edmonton - Councillor Allan Bolstad
Regina - Mayor Pat Fiacco
Winnipeg - Mayor Sam Katz
Toronto - Mayor David Miller
Ottawa - Mayor Bob Chiarelli
Montréal - Mayor Gérald Tremblay
Quebec City - Mayor Jean-Paul L'Allier
Halifax Region - Mayor Peter Kelly

Contact information:

Andrea Addario, Office of Mayor David Miller, 416-738-4329 (cell)
Patchen Barss, Office of Mayor David Miller, 416-527-3486 (cell)
Kevin Sack, City of Toronto Corporate Communications, 416-917-6515 (cell)
Geoff Meggs, Office of Mayor Larry Campbell, Vancouver, 604-315-1737
Marc Henry, Office of Mayor Dave Bronconnier, Calgary, 403-862-2027
Mayor Bill Smith/Councillor Allan Bolstad, Edmonton, 780-721-8555 (cell)
Lisa Wilson-Sturm, Office of Mayor Pat Fiacco, Regina, 306-537-9015
Ryan Craig, Office of Mayor Sam Katz, Winnipeg, 204-770-4005
Alf Chaiton, City of Ottawa 613-286-9467 (cell)
Jean Séguin, Office of Mayor Gérald Tremblay, Montréal, 514-578-4440 (cell)
François Moisan, Communications Officer, Québec City, 418-641-6411 ext. 2527
Mayor Peter Kelly, Halifax Regional Municipality, 902-222-9999 (cell)

Mayors' Summit Communiqué

The mayors of Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa,
Montreal, Quebec City and Halifax Regional Municipality applaud the Government
of Canada for beginning to recognize, in word and deed, the significance of
Canada's major urban centres to the nation's prosperity and well-being.

In particular, we commend the Government of Canada's decision to:

- Provide a down payment on the New Deal for Canada's cities by rebating 100%
of the GST paid by municipalities.

- Provide a voice for the interests and needs of Canada's cities at the
Cabinet table by appointing the Hon. John Godfrey as the Minister of State for
Infrastructure and Communities.

We are similarly encouraged by Prime Minister Paul Martin's commitment to nvest
in children, families and affordable housing.

Yet much more work must be done if Canadians are to secure the full
benefits of a New Deal that appropriately realigns the resources,
responsibilities and roles of the Federal, provincial and municipal
governments.

It is essential for the New Deal to reflect the distinct contribution
that Canada's largest cities make to the nation's well-being as dynamic centres
of economic growth, culture and innovation. Stronger
government-to-government-to-government partnerships between the nation's major
hub cities and the Federal and Provincial governments are needed to strengthen
Canada's position in a highly competitive global economy.

To this end:

FUEL TAX (GAS and DIESEL)
-------------------------

We call on the Federal government, in the upcoming Speech from the
Throne and 2005 Budget, to provide Canada's municipalities with five (5) cents
per litre of the federal fuel excise tax. A schedule for sharing the fuel tax
revenue must be set out in the Speech from the Throne, with at least 2.5
cents/litre in 2005 (approximately $1.25 billion), ramping up to the full 5
cents/litre ($2.5 billion) by 2007.

- Agreement(s) on sharing federal fuel tax revenues with municipalities must
be finalized by the end of 2004. This timeline is consistent with Prime
Minister Paul Martin's May 28, 2004 speech to the Federation of Canadian
Municipalities and his June 11, 2004 remarks at the National Forum on Economic
Growth of the Big Cities in Canada.

- Federal fuel tax revenue sharing agreements must enhance local autonomy,
support long-term planning, provide municipalities with a
new source of revenue in line with the demands placed on their local
transit and road systems, and recognize the unique costs Canada's
largest cities face in maintaining sustainable infrastructure networks e.g.
transit, transportation and water) of regional, provincial and national
significance.

- The allocation of federal fuel tax revenues should reflect the
following six (6) principles:

1. New revenue source: Federal fuel tax revenue is a net new source
of funding for Canada's municipalities. There can be no claw-back
of funds that would otherwise be made available to municipalities.

The Federal government should provide on-going strategic infrastructure
programs.

2. Enhance local autonomy: Municipalities may use fuel tax revenues
to address local sustainable infrastructure priorities, primarily
public transit and transportation infrastructure.

3. Respect provincial jurisdiction and government-to-government-to-
government partnership agreements. Respecting provincial
jurisdiction, allocation mechanisms accommodate existing or future
government-to-government-to-government partnership agreements.

Each Province's share of fuel tax funds shall be held in trust
until its agreement with the Federal and Municipal governments is
concluded.

4. Demand-based: The federal allocation of fuel tax revenue to the
provinces should be based 75% on fuel consumption and 25% on
transit ridership. At least 25% of each province's share should be
dedicated to public transit infrastructure, where identified as a
municipal priority.

5. Strategic Investment: Sustainable municipal infrastructure (e.g.
public transit, transportation and water systems) of regional,
provincial and national significance is funded with fuel tax
revenues in a strategic manner.

6. Equity: Provincial and regional disparities in Canada should be
addressed through equalization grants, not through the allocation
of federal fuel tax revenues.


LOW-COST, HIGH IMPACT ACTIONS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CAN TAKE TO
STRENGTHEN CANADA'S CITIES:
----------------------------------------------------------------

We also urge the Federal government to implement a series of low-cost, high
impact measures to immediately strengthen the social, environmental, economic
and cultural foundations of Canada's cities:

Policy Domain: Environmental
Target Program Area: Public Transit
Recommended Action: Amend the Federal Income Tax Act to make employer-provided
transit passes a tax-exempt benefit.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Policy Domain: Environmental
Target Program Area: Solid Waste Management
Recommended Action: Implement national
packaging regulations to minimize solid waste and support healthier, cleaner,
greener municipalities
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Policy Domain: Social
Target Program Area: Affordable Housing
Recommended Action: Under the Federal affordable housing program, increase the
amount of money available to non-profit groups for project development funding
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Policy Domain: Social
Target Program Area: Affordable Housing
Recommended Action: Direct CMHC to be more flexible in providing mortgage
insurance for developments on brownfield sites
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Policy Domain: Social
Target Program Area: Seniors
Recommended Action: Automatically enrol eligible seniors for GIS and maintain
GIS benefits based on income tax returns
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Policy Domain: Economic
Target Program Area: Municipal Finance
Recommended Action: Direct CRTC to eliminate restrictions on municipalities
charging utility and telecom companies rent/fee for use of municipal property
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Policy Domain: Cultural
Target Program Area: Heritage Properties
Recommended Action: Convert the Commercial Heritage Properties Incentive Fund
to a tax credit program
---------------------------------------------------------------------

WHAT THE MAYORS WILL DO:

To demonstrate our commitment to working in partnership with the Federal and
Provincial governments to build a more prosperous, innovative, sustainable and
caring nation, the mayors of Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg,
Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City and Halifax Regional Municipality agree
to:

- Ensure that local residents and businesses understand how municipal
financial and legislative arrangements established by the Federal and
Provincial governments impact the quality of life and competitiveness of their
city.

- Focus public and political attention on the need for Canada's cities to
retain a share of tax revenues that grow with the economy.

- Improve intergovernmental collaboration in each of Canada's major
urban centres by convening, at regular intervals, meetings of Federal,
Provincial and local elected officials. A key objective of such meetings will
be to assess and support the development of
government-to-government-to-government partnership agreements.

- Report to local residents and the Federal and Provincial governments, at
regular intervals, on how funds obtained through our cities' participation in
fuel tax revenue sharing agreements supports the attainment of national and
provincial sustainability objectives.

- With our colleagues in the Big City Mayors Caucus (BCMC), establish
inter-municipal working groups on (I) growth tax revenue sharing (II)
affordable housing, (III) public transit, and (IV) immigration, with a mandate
to:

- develop meaningful benchmarks and share best practices and
information to ensure that Canada's largest cities learn from each
other and make the best possible use of existing resources

- commission research to assist comprehensive policy development and
effective implementation

- provide federal and provincial officials with a responsive,
representative, focused contact point through which to engage
the perspectives of Canada's major urban centres when developing
policies, programs and budgets that impact the nation's
largest cities

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