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Feds not likely to share fuel tax revenue with municipalities

WINNIPEG, Man. -- Deputy Prime Minister, John Manley, announced at a Winnipeg conference that he doesn't support th...

WINNIPEG, Man. — Deputy Prime Minister, John Manley, announced at a Winnipeg conference that he doesn’t support the movement to provide a portion of federal fuel taxes to municipalities.

Manley made the statement at the Winnipeg Convention Centre during a Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) conference. The FCM have been asking the federal government to share a portion of its fuel tax intake with municipalities so they could then re-invest that into regional transportation infrastructure.

"I do not favor the suggestion that the federal government vacate the fuel tax," said Manley. “First, it is not necessary for the federal government to do so in order for the provinces to grant fuel tax authorities to municipalities. Second, it is not a solution that meets the needs of small and rural municipalities. Third, it is foregone revenue without accountability. And, fourth, it undermines the vital partnership that we must foster between and among levels of government.”

That didn’t go over well with FCM members, such president John Schmal.

"We are in a crisis situation," said Schmal. "Infrastructure is in very bad shape."

Manley did concede a fuel tax revenue sharing plan may work with major cities, but he says smaller municipalities can develop their own fuel tax collection system. His statements flew in the face of those made by Finance Minister Paul Martin, who said at the same conference earlier that he supported the idea.

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