02/26/2008

Toronto, Ontario, February 26, 2008 – AMO President Doug Reycraft applauded the 2008 Federal Budget commitment to make the Federal Gas Tax permanent and to invest an additional $500 million in public transit infrastructure across Canada.
“Municipal infrastructure is a cornerstone of the national economy,” said Doug Reycraft, President of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.  “Investing in the municipal infrastructure that keeps our economy competitive is a much needed investment in the prosperity of our communities and our nation.” 

The 2008 Federal Budget, tabled in the House of Commons today by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, would make the federal gas tax revenue sharing of approximately $750 million a year a permanent source of infrastructure funding for Ontario’s municipal governments. This amount reflects the equivalent of 5 cents a litre.  No escalator mechanism was included in today’s announcement.  

The Budget also sets aside up to $500 million in support of capital investments to improve public transit across Canada for construction ready projects.  The budget also sets aside $400 million for a police officers recruitment fund to encourage the hiring of 2,500 new police officers nationwide.  The Budget would also extend GST relief to land leased to situate wind- or solar-power equipment for the production of electricity.

“Safe and efficient transportation networks and environmentally sustainable infrastructure are critical to attracting investment to our communities and to Canada,” said Reycraft. Investing in municipal infrastructure is a prudent choice that will generate strong returns for taxpayers and communities alike.”

This permanent funding is in addition to the Building Canada Fund commitment made in last year’s Federal Budget that would result in approximately $3.2 billion for municipal infrastructure projects in Ontario over the next seven years.

AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 445 municipal governments.  AMO supports strong and effective municipal government in Ontario and promotes the value of municipal government as a vital and essential component of Ontario and Canada’s political system.  

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