Why is the Canadian Government attempting to deal directly with Cities?
Cities are municipalities and according to the legislation that assigns responsibilities in Canada,
VI. DISTRIBUTION OF LEGISLATIVE POWERS
92. In each Province the Legislature may exclusively plan Laws in relation to Matters coming within the Classes of Subjects next hereinafter enumerated; that is to say,
8. Municipal Institutions in the Province.
It is not legal for the Government of Canada to treat directly with the municipalities. That power is assigned to the Provinces “exclusively.”
It is all well and good for City mayors to have feel-good chats with Canada’s Prime Minister but without the provinces’ participation, there is no proper vehicle for them to exchange cash.
Listen to these Mayors. We have a huge backlog of infrastructure needs; our geared to income housing stock is in need of upgrade; we have growth driven needs.
The question should be why did you let the problems develop? These municipalities had means to address their needs.
• Infrastructure backlog points to under funding. My career was spent in the municipal infrastructure field. It was a constant battle to fund preservation and replacement works but a well planned and explained plan does work and it seems that the property taxpayer would accept the “burden” from a well-managed program.
• Attempting to manage geared to income housing as a business lead decision makers to underfund needed upkeep. If social housing is to be done, the politicians who decide use of public funds must recognize and fund sufficient preservation work even if it requires additional taxation.
• Municipalities have had the means to address a growth-related infrastructure. Development fees. They are legal and they are designed to address future needs created by development. I worked in a variety of municipalities. The well-managed ones had funds from land development set aside to construct upgrades created by growth. The smaller municipalities; however, seemed to think that charging a developer for the public works his/her project would eventually require wasn’t fair to that individual. The rest of the taxpaying properties would be left to pick up the costs in another council’s term.
In the past couple of decades when “infrastructure” programs seemed to blossom, funds were directed toward problems. The problems most often resulted from purposeful underfunding and/or poor management. Those who ran things well got very little and in effect their citizens then paid a second time to bail out the mismanaged.
Can municipalities afford higher property taxes? This a question that is beyond the knowledge I’ve gained, but I believe some of the biggest “we’re underfunded” voices could easily raise taxes.
This data is from 2012. The City of Toronto and the City of Kingston both published their average residential assessments and their residential mil rate. The City of Kingston charged its average residence 8.25% more than the City of Toronto.
Whom do we hear is in most trouble? The Big City – Toronto. What would an 8.25% increase in residential taxation over the past two decades have meant to their ability to plan and perform needed work?
You be the judge.