Municipalities should be able to plan to meet the future infrastructure needs of their communities. That means stable, fair and predictable funding from the province.
They shouldn’t have to go begging, cap in hand, to the province every time they need something like a road upgrade or new highway overpass. They should know what money is coming and be free to spend it on their infrastructure priorities.
Additionally, the province must stop playing politics with infrastructure spending. There should be a clear, needs-based and prioritized plan for how to eliminate the provincial infrastructure deficit.
We commit to you that a WILDROSE government will deliver a new deal for municipalities, based on:
- Collapse the current patchwork of grant programs and replace it with the Community Infrastructure Transfer – a single provincial transfer that increases with provincial tax revenue growth
- The Community Infrastructure Transfer would send 10% of provincial tax revenues [i.e. personal and corporate income, education, tobacco and fuel taxes] directly to municipalities with no strings attached, estimated at $1.8 billion for 2014
- The Community Infrastructure Transfer would also send 10% of all annual budget surpluses to municipalities with no strings attached
- In consultation with municipalities, develop a formula to distribute the Community Infrastructure Transfer, including a guarantee it won’t result in funding lower than the current level for any municipality
- Publicly disclose a province-wide priority list of provincial infrastructure projects and upgrades, along with the criteria used to create it
- Consult with municipalities on how best to tackle the list in order to eliminate the provincial infrastructure deficit
- Review the Municipal Government Act in order to better define the roles and responsibilities between municipalities and the province
- Establish a new relationship with municipalities that recognizes their autonomy as a democratic order of government
For more Wildrose policy on Municipal Affairs, go to www.wildrose.ca/policy/municipal-affairs/