Thursday, February 24, 2005

Anne Marie is smiling

So you know something has gone very wrong.

Better roads, more development and maybe even cheaper child care one day are some of the things yesterday's federal budget will mean to Londoners, said Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco. After a budget DeCicco called "fantastic for municipalities," the city expects to get as much as $6.6 million in gas tax revenue -- double what it had counted on -- for 2005 and 2006.

"This is a reinvestment back into our city," DeCicco said. "We buy gas locally and now at least some of that money is coming back locally."

The money, London's portion of $5 billion Ottawa has promised cities over five years, will be used for public- works projects DeCicco said will help attract business and development to the city.

Council has already asked city staff to report on what projects should be tackled.

DeCicco said the city wants to invest in roads, transit, industrial parks and affordable housing.

The city could also benefit from another $300 million put into Ottawa's Green Municipal Project, she said.

London has used the environmental fund in the past for pilot projects at its landfill and would like to access some to rehabilitate "brownfields," vacant sites that must be cleaned up before they can be developed.

"The government has come to the table and it's a real deal," DeCicco said.
"Provided Canadians are willing to vote Liberal and wait five years, Finance Minister Ralph Goodale promises them a $400 annual tax saving for middle-class families, $13 billion more for the military, $5 billion to cut greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment, and $5 billion for a national child-care program."

We'll all get more while we get a tax break besides:
JOE CANADIAN will pad his pocket with an extra four pennies a day -- enough to spring for a $1.33 cup of coffee each month -- thanks to a modest Liberal tax break. The phased-in, ramped-up plan to boost the basic amount Canadians can earn tax-free will mean a total savings of about $336 over five years.
And we get entertainment too! What a bargain: "$688 million more over five years for culture and sport, including doubling amateur sport funding to $140 million a year" and yet more money for the government's favorite propaganda vehicle, the CBC.

Stalin would be proud.