The Vancouver Scrum

On the move!

Agh! You’re still here? My new site and weblog, is now up and running; new posts are building up over there, never to be mirrored here. Go! What are you waiting for? All the stuff worth keeping has been migrated over to the new server, and I don’t anticipate making any more posts here.

Bloggers and webmasters: Update your links! Simply replace with in your blogrolls or bookmarks to point to the new site. Old posts will remain on this server for as long as the people at Blogger/Google allow them to remain; unfortunately, I’m not going to bother to come up with any way of converting permalinks on this blog to their corresponding posts on the new site. Yes, I plead laziness. I also realize the irony of switching away from Blogger just it starts to add features that the demanding blog nerds insist upon.

Thanks for reading and linking, and see you over at!

—Ian King, December 13, 2004

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Chrétien's new deal for cities

The Toronto Star's Tim Harper is reporting that Prime Minister Jean Chrétien is set to announce stable, long-tern funding for urban transportation and infrastructure in the next week. Previously, urban funding initiatives were given out on a "one-off" basis, which made it impossible for cities to plan for any contributions from the federal government in their planning.

The specifics of the programs will come from Chrétien when he addresses the Commons after the speech, and dollar figures will be fleshed out in the run-up to Finance Minister John Manley's first budget, likely next February.

"We think we are making a strong and clear commitment to Canada's cities," one source said.

But that commitment will not include any "new deal" for cities that would change constitutional arrangements to allow cities portions of federal tax revenues or tax points, or give them expanded taxing powers.

And there's the rub. Liberal leaded-in-waiting Paul Martin has advocated more powers for cities to claim federal tax points, and for pressure on the provincial governments to give local governments more taxing and spending powers, and to give those local governments the legal authority to deide their own affairs. NDP leadership hopeful Jack Layton, who happens to be a former president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, has called for something similar. Increaing the authority of cities, where 80% of all Canadians live (as opposed to 20% at the time Canada was founded.) will be a continuing issue in Canadian politics for many years to come. Will the Prime Ministers plans do anything to address this?
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