07/11/2014

Federal Gas Tax Fund Administrative Agreement signing ceremony.


Russ Powers, AMO President

Federal Gas Tax Fund Administrative Agreement Signing Ceremony 
TTC Hillcrest Complex, Toronto, Ontario
Friday, July 11, 2014
9:00 a.m. 

(Check against delivery)

I’m delighted to be here today with Minister Oliver and Mayor Ford to sign the federal Gas Tax Fund Administrative Agreement on behalf of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.

Today is a great day for all Ontario residents. Whether you live in a small northern community, a rural township or a large urban centre, this new Agreement ensures that municipal governments across the province will continue to receive stable, predictable funding for infrastructure.

The Gas Tax Fund is now permanent in federal legislation and the Agreement we sign here today will govern the flow of an estimated 8.1 billion dollars over the next ten years.

That’s what I call reliable funding.

It’s funding that municipalities count on.

Most of the roads that you drive on, the buses that get you where you need to go and the pipes and treatment plants that deliver clean water to your taps are owned by a local government. In fact, municipalities own more of the infrastructure that you use every day than any other order of government.

Improving infrastructure in communities improves quality of life and it helps create jobs and grow the economy. Permanent infrastructure funding like the federal Gas Tax Fund is a critical part of building safe, efficient and vibrant communities. And we thank the Government of Canada for their commitment.

We count on the Gas Tax Fund to build new infrastructure and to keep existing infrastructure safe and in good repair. We also count on our unique approach that delivers funding through AMO in a way that recognizes that individual municipalities are best at determining their own infrastructure needs.

Ontario is a large and diverse province. The needs in Rainy River are different from the needs in Prescott and Russell. And those needs are not the same as those in places like Windsor, Ottawa or the GTA. That’s why the Fund is flexible and responds to local needs.

Municipal Councils know how much Gas Tax funding they will receive so they are able to plan ahead. This is possible because AMO delivers the Fund twice a year, on a per capita basis. At AMO, we are very proud of this and our direct relationship with the Government of Canada. It has served Ontario municipalities well.

Because of the Agreement signed here today, municipalities not only have permanent, reliable funding, they can also do more than ever before with the Gas Tax Fund.

The number of project categories that can be invested in has increased from 7 to 17.

The fund will be indexed and municipalities will see their yearly allocations increase in 2016 and 2018.

The bottom line is that this Agreement will improve quality of life for all Ontarians because it will result in new and renewed infrastructure in all of our municipalities.

With Summer in full swing, I know that municipalities are eager to put the federal Gas Tax Fund to work and get shovels in the ground.

Thank you.