Question: What will you do to improve the large cities' financial capacity and sustainability, including providing more flexible means to finance the range of services and infrastructure that the cities now provide?
What are your plans for long-range, sustainable, predictable capital funding for the large cities?
Specifically, what sources of revenue are you willing to share with Calgary and Edmonton?
What are your plans for the education portion of the property tax?
What are your thoughts on the future of existing infrastructure programs, including the MSI?
Answer: We are proud of our party’s long term commitment to municipalities. From transferring five cents per litre of the gas tax to Calgary and Edmonton, and the continued construction of the ring roads, to the creation of the Municipality Sustainability Initiative and GreenTrip, the Progressive Conservative Party has delivered important initiatives for Alberta’s big cities. We have also increased the flexibility of cities, by allowing innovation in project finance, through tax incremental financing and innovative P3 partnerships.
We must not rest on past successes, and that is why in Budget 2012 we committed to stable three-year funding for all municipalities, allowing cities and communities to plan ahead for the available resources. We also remain committed to GreenTrip which will directly support a $800 million investment in transit in the Calgary Region. A PC government will increase yearly funding for MSI to $1.6 billion by 2014/15 and extend our commitment through 2023.
We will also be reviewing and growing MSI to ensure it is meeting the needs of all municipalities going forward.
The PC Party also plans to help meet the fiscal needs of our cities with city charters and more local decision making through transfer of power. Municipalities are entitled to a greater say and accountability in their own governance and fiscal management. We will define these changes as part of the talks on the creation of charters, while ensuring possible greater financial powers are used solely with the consent of the electorate, under a new portion of the Alberta Taxpayer Protection Act.
PC Alberta official website - www.votepc.ca