Thursday, April 06, 2006

Politics as Usual: My Humble Suggestion

Before all the hysteria regarding the "National Childcare System" introduced by the Liberals gets all out of control, what I would offer by way of a suggestion to our new Minister of Finance is go back to the lump sum transfer system to the provinces, get out of specifiying what the money is for.

The problem with the so-called "fiscal imbalance" is that the federal government has, over a number of years, insinuated itself into areas of provincial jurisdiction. Now all these side agreements have meant the provinces are getting more and more money to partially fund programs that didn't exist before, and do not have the funds to pay for the programs they are supposed to pay for in the first place.

The entire paragraph above could be repeated with the words "provincial government" replacing "federal government" and "municipalitis" replacing "provinces"....

No wonder no one wants to vote. There is no clear delineation of responsibilities.

Oh, and before I forget, our town did get a bunch of money in the last provincial budget - "one time funding" of $452,000 for roads and bridges. Without sounding ungrateful, our town has spent lots of its tax funds on roads and bridges over the past 15 years, and does not have the "infrastructure deficit" some other municipalities who have decided to fund things outside of their mandate ("Hello Toronto") and thus we now have to scrape and scheme to find ways of spending this money.

In the meantime, we have debentured for our Recreation Services and now we have to put in new roads rather than pay off past debts.

Man alive, it bugs me.

Q out

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