Importance of investing in municipal infrastructure
By Andrew Snook
February 6, 2017 – Hazel McCallion, former long-time Mayor of Mississauga, discussed the importance of investing in municipal infrastructure during the 90th Ontario Road Builders’ Association convention and annual general meeting held on Feb. 6 and 7 at the Fairmont Royal York hotel in Toronto.
The 95-year-old stressed the importance of infrastructure funding coming from the federal and provincial levels.
“We don’t get property taxes from any infrastructure we build in a city,” McCallion told the crowd, explaining that the provincial and federal governments receive increased tax revenues through additional taxes during the construction of new infrastructure.
Although the municipality does receive the benefit of new infrastructure, it becomes responsible for its continued maintenance and replacement, and that puts additional burden on the property taxes that municipalities collect.
McCallion also praised former Prime Minister Paul Martin for establishing the federal gas tax funds that municipalities now rely on for helping maintain and replace its infrastructure.
The former Mississauga mayor also discussed her dislike of introducing tolls for funding existing roadways, stating that tolls should only be implemented on new highways.
McCallion also discussed a lack of productivity in Canada and related it to the construction industry, arguing that industry should be looking to the latest technologies to solve many of the current congestion issues instead of investing in potentially unnecessary infrastructure, resulting in significant debt.
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