OTAG calls for Intergovernmental Task Force

 

OTAG Intergovernmental Tax Force

 

Over the last several months the Ottawa Taxpayer Advocacy Group has noticed a trend with our municipal government leaders. There is a reluctance to get involved in municipal issues that require a change in legislation at the provincial level. OTAG is calling for the establishment of a volunteer Intergovernmental Task Force.

 

Steve Deroche idea for Intergovernmental Relations Economic Development Specialist has some merit, if the specialist focuses on changing legislation that cause higher property taxes or are simply of concern to residents e.g.

  • freezing hydro rates
  • Smart meter implementation
  • binding arbitration reform to reflect private sector ability to pay
  • Waste to energy and waste diversion regulation
  • emulating aspects of the UK social housing model
  • Municipal act
  • MPAC assessment process
  • LRT, BRT, Heavy Rail transit funding
  • Bridge to Quebec
  • Expansion of 417, ring road
  • High speed rail link with Toronto
  • trapping Coyotes
  • Fairness is a two way street
  • Infrastructure funding extension
  • moving Ontario Intergovernmental Affairs Ministry to Ottawa
  • lobbying against relocation of federal government jobs outside Ottawa
  • Tax in lieu disputes for federal and provincial government buildings
  • policing costs for international events, protests and visits
  • Legislation for sewage flow into rivers
  • NCC decision making
  • Changes in prostitution legislation
  • changing Council decision on free needle program
  • Wet lands and other conservation issues

 

Some of these could be the proverbial "stick in the wheel" that are responsible hogtieing municipal finances. It is simple enough for elected officials to play the blame game as opposed to transparently discussing resident concerns with other levels of government and other municipalities. OTAG would like to see the formation of a volunteer task force that would constantly review matters to be discussed with our federal and provincial counterparts. These discussions could be reviewed by full council on a quarterly. Open discussions will lead to true change that would result in significantly reduced budgetary pressures.

 

We look forward to discussing this initiative with the next Council.

 

Sincerely,

 

Ottawa Taxpayer Advocacy group,