02/27/2013


Talking to your residents and MPs about the benefits of the Gas Tax Fund will help us make the Fund even better. Let AMO do the heavy lifting.

Make a list of projects that are under construction now, or scheduled to start soon, and send it to the Gas Tax Team. We’ll do most of the heavy lifting but only you can identify the projects that matter the most to your community.

Ontario municipalities own more infrastructure than any other order of government and they manage it with only 9 cents of every tax dollar collected. 

Our communities need dedicated, long-term, predictable funding to address the $60 billion infrastructure gap and it is clear that we can’t do it alone.

The good news is that we have a long-term partnership with the Government of Canada through its predictable and stable Gas Tax Fund. It’s the only long-term source of funding available for municipal infrastructure, and Ontario municipalities receive the Fund on a per-capita basis, without having to fill out an application form. We are the only province in Canada that receives the Gas Tax Fund in this way. This is due in part to AMO’s advocacy, but it’s also because you have demonstrated that municipal governments are mature and accountable. 

Ontario municipalities are meeting federal goals in a transparent manner. However, we are lacking in our communication of the Fund’s benefits. 

AMO President Russ Powers stood up at this week’s ROMA / OGRA Conference and urged Ontario municipalities to do more to communicate the benefits of Canada’s Gas Tax Fund in their local communities. He asked delegates to find out where Gas Tax Funds are being invested in 2013 and beyond and to work with AMO and Infrastructure Canada to promote these investments. 

Better, and more frequent, communication at the local level will help AMO, and its partners such as FCM, advocate for changes to the Fund that will improve the way it meets municipal needs. Specifically, AMO is looking for:

  • Indexing, to ensure the Fund keeps up with inflation and the growing cost of construction
     
  • More flexibility, so that municipalities can choose from a broader range of eligible project categories
     
  • A broader focus to include economic outcomes, so that our investments can improve the environment and also create jobs and drive growth throughout Ontario.

If we want these improvements, we need to do more to let our local communities and Members of Parliament know just how important Canada’s Gas Tax Fund is to us all.

AMO maps every Gas Tax project in Ontario and promotes the Fund through social media. We also help municipalities with more traditional communications activity like news releases and media events. But in the end, it’s the local impact that really grabs attention. Stories about how the Gas Tax Fund has improved life in your community will be felt the deepest. 

Only you can tell us which projects are the ones that matter to people in your community. Sharing these stories is simple. Has Canada’s Gas Tax Fund made your water cleaner or your roads safer? Have bridge repairs helped local businesses get their products to market faster? Is your community improving its bottom line by generating green energy or retrofitting community facilities? Share your story and help us tell the Government of Canada just how much we value the Fund. 

AMO can help you share your story by:

  • Helping you plan a local media event or drafting a news release. 
     
  • Providing resources that will help you share your story in a community newsletter or on your municipality’s website. 
     
  • Engaging with you online through twitter
When you have identified meaningful Gas Tax projects in your community that you would like to promote, email gastax@amo.on.ca. We can do most of the heavy lifting. Together, we will make sure that the local benefits of Canada’s Gas Tax Fund are shared with your community, the province and the country.