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Honouring commitments to Calgary

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YYC MattersHonour commitments

Contribute to a complete Green Line, ensure our fair share of cannabis revenue and provide stable infrastructure funding

 
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Permanent, higher funding for infrastructure from the Gas Tax Fund​

The Gas Tax Fund was created in 2005 by the federal government to share Canada’s gas tax revenues with communities to renew and build sustainable infrastructure. It has proven to be a direct, effective way of getting infrastructure dollars to municipalities. However, funding is not keeping pace with the economy and construction costs.

Recognizing the urgent need for infrastructure renewal across Canada, the fund’s payouts were doubled in 2019, but only for this year. A permanent doubling of the fund — including an inflationary increase — is needed if municipalities are to make headway on the infrastructure deficit.

Question: Does your party support existing (Gas Tax Fund) or other mechanisms to directly and permanently fund the renewal and construction of municipal infrastructure? What are your party’s plans in this regard?

Conservative Party

It was our previous Conservative government that understood the importance of the Gas Tax Fund and extended it, doubled it from $1 billion to $2 billion annually, and legislated it as a permanent source of federal infrastructure funding for municipalities and communities.

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Green Party

To fund investments in municipal infrastructure and public transit, a Green government will:​ Institutionalize federal transfers to municipalities through the creation of a Municipal Fund, renaming the Gas Tax funds, which were delinked from gas tax revenue years ago.

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Liberal Party

Yes. To make sure that the infrastructure that people and communities need is built, we will require that all provinces and territories identify and approve all of their long-term infrastructure priorities within the next two years.

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NDP Party

Whether it’s Calgary’s Peace Bridge or the upcoming Green Line, high-quality modern infrastructure doesn’t just make our cities more accessible, it makes them the envy of the world.

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People's Party

The People's Party of Canada believes in less government interference in the lives of Canadians. The PPC recognize the importance of the Constitution and its roll it plays in the governance of Canada.

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Fair share of cannabis revenue​

The federal government committed to reduce its share of the cannabis excise tax to ensure that municipalities would receive more appropriate funding to offset the cost of legalization. However, the costs to administer and enforce cannabis legislation have far surpassed the revenue The City of Calgary is receiving from the Province. From April 2018 to December 2018, The City’s costs were $10.4 million. The Province’s revenue sharing was $3.8 million, leaving a $6.6 million revenue gap. A new method is needed to share cannabis revenues to ensure federal funds achieve their intended purpose.

Question: How will your party ensure that cities actually receive the federal funds needed to cover the administration and enforcement costs of legalization?

Conservative Party

During the debate on the Liberal’s cannabis legislation, Conservatives were virtually the only voices raising the issue of the lack of planning on the part of Trudeau’s government as it relates to the cost burden the legislation would have on municipalities.

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Green Party

Greens are happy to work through the newly-formed Council of Canadian Governments (for more details please see previous question response) to establish an equitable distribution of cannabis revenues.​

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Liberal Party

As Justin Trudeau has repeatedly said: we believe that cities must receive what they are owed through the cannabis excise tax framework, to cover the costs that they are bearing through the administration and enforcement costs of cannabis legalization.

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NDP Party

Years of Conservative cuts and liberal underfunding have left cities struggling to keep up with more and more responsibility on a shorter and shorter budget. Now with cannabis, the Liberals have again downloaded their responsibility.

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People's Party

The People's Party of Canada recognizes and respects the Constitution and the role of the provincial governments. The People's Party of Canada recognize that it is important to balance the federal budget prior to making any financial commitments and respecting provincial jurisdictions.

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Public transit funding

Efficient and reliable transit is critical in keeping Canada’s cities and citizens moving. The federal government is a partner in the major expansion of Calgary’s public transit train line, called the Green Line. The first 20 km and 14 stations are funded, but long-term, additional contributions are needed to complete the line. The Green Line will create some 20,000 jobs, reduce GHG emissions by the equivalent of 4,600 cars and, by 2048, move 150,000-170,000 daily weekday riders. Municipalities need a permanent, federal commitment to fund public transit growth across Canada.

Question: How will your party support long-term transit funding to build and extend transit in Calgary?

Conservative Party

A Conservative Government will work with municipalities such as Calgary to identify key infrastructure priorities and work with all stakeholders involved to make sure that important projects move forward. We must do better than Trudeau’s Liberal government – and that is what Canada’s Conservatives plan to do. We will prioritize projects that reduce commute times.​

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Green Party

Please refer to our answer on the Gas Tax Fund​.

Liberal Party

To give cities the predictable transit funding they need to plan for the future, we will move forward with making the federal commitment to fund public transit permanent, and will make sure that it keeps up with the rising cost of construction over time.​

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NDP Party

Investing in public transit doesn’t just make life better it makes our communities safer and healthier as well. For years cities across Canada have been telling Ottawa that one of their top priorities was support for modern and expanded public transit, yet each year conservative and liberal governments alike responded with silence.

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People's Party

The People's Party of Canada recognizes and respects the Constitution and the role of the provincial governments. The People's Party of Canada recognize that it is important to balance the federal budget prior to making any financial commitments and respecting provincial jurisdictions.​

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Question: Does your party support existing (Gas Tax Fund) or other mechanisms to directly and permanently fund the renewal and construction of municipal infrastructure? What are your party’s plans in this regard?​

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It was our previous Conservative government that understood the importance of the Gas Tax Fund and extended it, doubled it from $1 billion to $2 billion annually, and legislated it as a permanent source of federal infrastructure funding for municipalities and communities.

Our previous Conservative government delivered record levels of infrastructure investments to Calgary, including $1.5B for the Green Line, Calgary post secondary institutions, community centres, roads, overpasses and more.

The Trudeau Liberal record when it comes to infrastructure is one of failure. Many of their Calgary area infrastructure announcements have been re-announcements of previous Conservative government funds, and they have failed to work with our municipal and provincial partners to get shovels in the ground and deliver projects on-time and on-budget.

We will work with municipalities and to get much needed projects built so Canadian families can get ahead. We will also honour any infrastructure funding announcements made by the Trudeau Liberals.​​​​

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To fund investments in municipal infrastructure and public transit, a Green government will:

  • Institutionalize federal transfers to municipalities through the creation of a Municipal Fund,
    renaming the Gas Tax funds, which were delinked from gas tax revenue years ago. Ensure a
    doubling of current funding to ensure predictable and reliable funding to municipalities.
  • Allocate one per cent of the GST to housing and other municipal infrastructure on an ongoing
    basis to provide a consistent baseline of funding.
  • Make changes to the Canada Infrastructure Bank to reduce interest rates to municipalities on loans
    for infrastructure projects.
  • Answer the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ call for a permanent, dedicated federal public
    transit fund of $3.4B annually starting in 2028, once the existing transit funding program expires.
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Yes.

To make sure that the infrastructure that people and communities need is built, we will require that all provinces and territories identify and approve all of their long-term infrastructure priorities within the next two years. Funds that aren’t designated for specific projects by the end of 2021 will be reinvested directly in communities through a topup of the federal Gas Tax Fund.

In the last four years, we have made real progress when it comes to moving forward with the infrastructure communities across the country need – from community centres that bring people together to more efficient and reliable public transit in our biggest cities. More than 48,000 projects have been approved under the Investing in Canada Plan, the vast majority of which are already underway, creating good, middle class jobs and making our communities better places to live. At the same time, some provinces are playing political games – delaying project approvals and putting good jobs and our quality of life at risk.​

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Whether it’s Calgary’s Peace Bridge or the upcoming Green Line, high-quality modern infrastructure doesn’t just make our cities more accessible, it makes them the envy of the world. Unfortunately, despite pleas from municipalities, governments in Ottawa have failed to invest in the infrastructure that keeps us moving and helps grow our economy. The Liberals promise they’ll invest in cities but as soon as they get into office, they break that promise. The conservatives, on the other hand, think that we should cut support for infrastructure which only makes the infrastructure deficit worse. A New Democrat government would do things differently. We will partner with provinces, territories, First Nations, and municipalities to deliver reliable public infrastructure funding that puts people – not profit – first. To get cities off the funding roller coaster that Liberal and Conservative governments have put them on, we’ll put in place a permanent, direct, allocation-based funding mechanism for modern public transit across Canada for the long run.

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Question: How will your party ensure that cities actually receive the federal funds needed to cover the administration and enforcement costs of legalization?

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During the debate on the Liberal’s cannabis legislation, Conservatives were virtually the only voices raising the issue of the lack of planning on the part of Trudeau’s government as it relates to the cost burden the legislation would have on municipalities.

It was clear from day one that the Liberals had no plan to assist municipal governments that shoulder costs related to cannabis legalization, nor did they understand what the costs were to begin with.

We will review the implementation of the cannabis file – including taxation and distribution of taxation revenue, and work closely with municipalities on this issue.

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Greens are happy to work through the newly-formed Council of Canadian Governments (for more details please see previous question response) to establish an equitable distribution of cannabis revenues.

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As Justin Trudeau has repeatedly said: we believe that cities must receive what they are owed through the cannabis excise tax framework, to cover the costs that they are bearing through the administration and enforcement costs of cannabis legalization. We understand Calgary’s issue with not receiving their fair share, and we will continue to raise this issue with provinces. We will also ensure that we work with municipalities as a part of any future review of the cannabis excise tax framework.

Background: The federal government has entered into Coordinated Cannabis Taxation Agreements (CCTAs) with most provincial and territorial governments, with the aim of keeping duties on cannabis low through a federally administrated coordinated framework. The agreement provides that 75 per cent of the duties go to provincial and territorial governments and the remaining 25 per cent to the federal government. For the first two years of the agreement, the federal portion of cannabis excise duty revenue is capped at $100 million annually, with any federal revenue in excess of $100 million provided to provinces and territories. The proposed measure will not affect the CCTAs.​

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Years of Conservative cuts and liberal underfunding have left cities struggling to keep up with more and more responsibility on a shorter and shorter budget. Now with cannabis, the Liberals have again downloaded their responsibility. Justin Trudeau has shifted the entire burden of legalization onto the provinces and municipalities, who have had to assume more responsibility and he did so without resolving key issues like taxation, regulation, safety and investment in research and public education. The Liberals did not have a plan to legalize cannabis and they still do not have one. This is a great lack of leadership on the part of Justin Trudeau. Today municipalities have to deal with the consequences of legalization without the support they need. We’ll work to reverse the effects that years of downloading have had on municipalities and we’ll work with the provinces and the cities to ensure that everyone has a seat at the table.

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Question: How will your party support long-term transit funding to build and extend transit in Calgary?

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A Conservative Government will work with municipalities such as Calgary to identify key infrastructure priorities and work with all stakeholders involved to make sure that important projects move forward. We must do better than Trudeau’s Liberal government – and that is what Canada’s Conservatives plan to do. We will prioritize projects that reduce commute times.​

The Green Line LRT

The Green Line corridor has one of the highest ridership of existing transit in Calgary, yet is one of the most underserviced. What this means is that many Calgarians wait in lines to get on overcrowded busses every day, are forced to use a car to get to work, or experience social inclusion barriers due to a lack of readily available public transportation.

This is why, four years ago, Conservatives were proud to help deliver nearly $1.5B of federal funds to build the Green Line.

However, since then Calgarians have watched city council decrease the reach of the project by about 75%, while increasing the cost by billions. Bluntly put, decisions have been made by council which prevent the communities that need the train the most from getting it.

Worse, the economic downturn in our province, which has been exacerbated by Liberal policies like Bill C-69 and Bill C-48, has led to cash crunches at the municipal and provincial government levels in Alberta. This means the likelihood of this dramatically more expensive but less functional option ever being built has significantly decreased. Also, at a time when Calgarians are asking for real action to reduce GHG emissions, this delay is detrimental to good environmental stewardship in our city.

Additionally, the demand on the transit system in our city is increasing. We believe the City should be looking at all options to get the Green Line built within the extensive budget allocated to it, even if it means entertaining less expensive options. The consultations that were done years ago were conducted in a significantly different economic context, and the people consulted likely didn’t include those who now live in brand new communities such as those in north-central Calgary.

As the federal government is a significant funding partner in this project, the Conservative Party believes politicians and special interest groups who are involved in the planning of the Green Line should be looking for solutions to get this project built on time, to its original scope, and on budget.

The fact that approximately $300M has been spent without a single metre of track being laid is unacceptable. To throw more tax dollars at this project while it is being overseen by the same politicians who have created these massive cost overruns and scope decreases, without a clear plan from them to show how people in high ridership communities in outer north central and southern residential communities will actually get on a train in a meaningful period of time, would demonstrate poor political judgement.

Something must change. There are cost and time saving solutions for this project that must be pursued immediately in the interest of getting this project done so it can serve our community. There are a few current city councillors who recognize this and are working hard to achieve this goal. We hope the others will build on their good work for the benefit of our city.

Calgary area Conservative Members of Parliament are committed to working with Calgary City Council to get this vital project built on time, on budget, and within its full scope. We will work to ensure that Calgarians in underserviced parts of the city have access to public transit, and confidence that their tax dollars are being properly managed.

Public Transit Tax Credit

A Conservative Government would also introduce the Green Public Transit Tax Credit to reduce the cost of public transit and put more money back in the pockets of Canadians. The Green Public Transit Tax Credit will provide much-needed relief to transit users and commuters so they can just worry about getting home on time, and not so much about their bottom line. The Credit will be for transit passes that allow for unlimited travel within Canada on local busses, streetcars, subways, commuter trains, and ferries.​​​

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Please refer to our answer on the Gas Tax Fund​.

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To give cities the predictable transit funding they need to plan for the future, we will move forward with making the federal commitment to fund public transit permanent, and will make sure that it keeps up with the rising cost of construction over time. This will mean an additional $3 billion more per year in stable, predictable funding for our cities’ transit needs, on top of transfers through the federal Gas Tax Fund. In the last election, the Prime Minister promised that a Liberal government would provide crucial and significant funding to help Calgary with the costs of flood mitigation, and continue the $1.5 billion in funding for the C-Train Green Line which will expand service to the nearly 300,000 people who live along its corridor. And we did just that.

In the last four years, we have made the largest investments in public transit in Canadian history, but traffic congestion continues to be a serious problem in our cities, making it hard for families to spend time together, and costing our economy about $15 billion a year in lost productivity.​

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Investing in public transit doesn’t just make life better it makes our communities safer and healthier as well. For years cities across Canada have been telling Ottawa that one of their top priorities was support for modern and expanded public transit, yet each year conservative and liberal governments alike responded with silence. Unlike Liberals and Conservatives, a New Democrat government will modernize and expand public transit in communities across Canada, and ensure that federal transit funding flows with an emphasis on scaling up low-carbon transit projects like zero-emissions buses and electric trains, with the goal of electrifying transit and other municipal fleets by 2030. Because we know that the best transit network in the world won’t move anyone if it’s too expensive. That’s why we’ll work with provinces and municipalities that identify it as a priority, to help build a path towards fare-free transit.

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The People's Party of Canada recognizes and respects the Constitution and the role of the provincial governments. The People's Party of Canada recognize that it is important to balance the federal budget prior to making any financial commitments and respecting provincial jurisdictions.

Ottawa should stop taking billions of dollars from the private sector and redistributing them through subsidies. It should instead lower taxes for all businesses and encourage saving and investment to make our economy more productive.

A People's Party of Canada government will:

  • Eliminate all corporate subsidies and other inefficient government interventions (bailouts of failing companies, regional development grants, conditional loans and loan guarantees with an implicit subsidy, tax credits, etc.) that unfairly support some companies or business sectors. This will generate savings of between $5 billion and $10 billion a year.
  • Gradually reduce over the course of one mandate the corporate income tax rate from its current 15% down to 10%. When completed, this measure will make about $9.5 billion available to businesses, allowing them to increase salaries or invest in productivity improvements.*
  • Over the course of one mandate, gradually abolish the personal capital gains tax by decreasing the inclusion rate from the current 50% down to 0%. When completed, this measure will put about $7 billion per year back into the pockets of Canadians.*​

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