Candidates Response to Question 1 of the 2015 Federal Election Questionnaire

On October 19, 2015 Halton voters will cast their ballot for local Federal candidates. On behalf of Halton residents, Regional Chair Gary Carr has sent a letter and questionnaire to Halton’s candidates asking for their positions on a number of issues of critical importance to Halton Region.

Question 1

Currently, the federal government does not provide sustained, long-term investment into Halton’s municipal infrastructure. Improving our roads, bridges, water and wastewater systems is one of the best ways to create local jobs, keep goods moving, help businesses succeed and maintain a high quality of life for the growing Halton community. By 2031, the infrastructure needs in Halton (including state-of-good-repair programs) are expected to reach approximately $5.6 billion.

What would you and your government do to ensure a long-term, predictable and sustainable investment in local infrastructure to ensure that Halton residents are not burdened with the cost of growth?

Choose which candidates to display
Burlington
    Vince Fiorito – Green Party of Canada



Oakville North-Burlington






Milton
    Alex Anabusi – New Democratic Party
    Mini Batra – Green Party of Canada


    Azim Rizvee – Liberal Party of Canada

Oakville

    Che Marville – New Democratic Party


Wellington - Halton Hills



    Anne Gajerski-Cauley – New Democratic Party


Karina Gould – Liberal Party of Canada
The Liberal Party recognizes that a large burden has been placed on municipalities across Canada. Municipalities deliver more than 60 percent of all services to citizens; yet only collect between 8 to 12 percent of every tax dollar. Growing infrastructure needs in Canadian cities are placing local governments under incredible financial pressures. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) estimates that Canadian cities have an existing infrastructure deficit of $171 billion and a future gap of at least $113 billion.
Canada’s growth was made possible by ambitious infrastructure projects. As a country, we must build ambitiously once again if we want to modernize our transportation systems, create affordable housing, and adapt to a changing climate. Investment in infrastructure is crucial to the long-­‐term development of all communities across the country.
The Liberal Party plans to redress this issue, by doubling federal funding to infrastructure investment, to $125 billion – from the current $65 billion – over the next decade. This will mean an additional $9.5 billion for infrastructure by year ten. A Liberal government will also make funding more flexible to municipalities’ priorities and requirements, empowering communities across the country to address their most important needs.
View all of Karina Gould's responses

David Laird

David Laird – New Democratic Party 
Canada’s municipal infrastructure deficit is $172 billion. This figure continues to rise as the federal government continues to ignore and neglect municipalities. The people of Burlington see the need for better transit and local infrastructure every day. It is the endless congestion on the QEW and 403, our crumbling roads and bridges, and generally our aging infrastructure.

The NDP will tackle gridlock and cut commute times by investing 1.3 billion annually over 20 years in predictable, stable and transparent funding directly to municipalities for their public transit priorities. We will build and repair local infrastructure like roads and bridges by increasing the direct transfer to municipalities by an additional 1.5 billion annually.

The NDP will work with Municipalities to invest in public transit and core, local infrastructure. Our plan will create 54,000 new jobs and add 4.5 billion to Canada’s GDP.
View all of David Lairds's responses

Mike Wallace

Mike Wallace – Conservative Party of Canada  website   mail
Over the last decade, the federal government has provided sustained, long-term investment into Halton’s municipal infrastructure. In fact, over the last 10 years a record amount of federal funding has been invested in municipal infrastructure in Halton Region.
Across Canada, federal funding of $33 billion has been provided for over 12,000 provincial and municipal infrastructure projects. This was not always the case; until a decade ago, the federal government funded very little municipal or provincial infrastructure.
One example of our record investment into local infrastructure is the Gas Tax Fund. Through the Gas Tax Fund, the Conservative government provides stable, predictable annual funding for local municipalities. This funding is not application based, thus eliminating the need for paperwork and allowing for stable budget forecasting. This year Halton Region will receive $14.3 million, Oakville $5.3 million, Burlington $5.9 million, Milton $2.4 million and Halton Hills $1.7 million, a total of $29 million in federal gas taxes this year.
Looking forward, Conservatives will continue to work with provincial and municipal governments to build on this record of investment. Last year, the Conservative government announced a record new investment of $70 billion for public infrastructure over the next decade, which includes $53 billion for municipal and provincial infrastructure projects.
Conservatives are proud of the federal investments in municipal infrastructure in Halton Region. Our prudent, fiscal management – based on low-taxes and balanced budgets – means that our commitment to deliver on the $70 billion in new infrastructure spending over the next decade can be counted on.
View all of Mike Wallace's responses

Chris Jewell – Libertarian Party of Canada 
Infrastructure is a massive problem throughout all of Ontario. As our economy continues to deteriorate in Canada, there simply is not enough money to invest into it. This compounds the problem since having a good infrastructure is vital to actually growing the economy.
This multifaceted problem needs a multifaceted approach. Firstly, we should ask ourselves, why we are spending 5.5 Billion Dollars a year in foreign aid to build infrastructure in third world countries, instead of taking care of our own needs first. When you are on a plane, you are instructed to put on your own oxygen mask first, so that you can actually help those around you. That's why, in the short term, I would like to totally cut foreign aid and see the entirety of the money reinvested into domestic infrastructure projects. This will help stimulate the economy as a whole.
As mentioned, our crumbling infrastructure is but a symptom of a bigger problem: our crumbling economy. The fact is, in a healthy economy infrastructure does not become a problem due to the fact that businesses lobby for it and in many cases, build it themselves. We need to take steps to fix the entire economy as a whole. How we can do this, is by abolishing all forms of income tax! We will start by scrapping the graduated tax system in favour of a 15% flat tax. In addition we can simplify the tax code and replace all of our tax credits with some pretty simple and effective credits: $4000, per year, for all dependents, for the disabled and for seniors. This will immediately put more money into Canadian's pockets which they can then spend into the economy. It will also stop penalizing success and productivity. It will also allow us to downsize the CRA and reduce their 5.6 Billion a year budget. As our economy begins to recover, and less people become dependent on social programs, we can then make the final step to abolish all forms of income tax.
Abolishing the income tax will bring back double digit GDP growth to Canada. It will attract investors from around the world as capital gains will also be tax free! The boom we will experience will increase revenues from other forms of tax which will supplement whatever revenue losses we may have incurred from abolishing income taxes.
Business will also be able to greatly expand, driven by capital investment, and greatly increased consumer spending. Business will naturally need to expand local infrastructure. In fact, there will be so much investment into Canada, that the private sector will inevitably pick up the burden of infrastructure development. In the long run, under this plan, the majority of infrastructure will be developed by the private sector, not the tax payer.
If we take the steps now to heal the economy, by abolishing the graduated income tax, infrastructure problems will become a thing of the past.
View all of Chris Jewell's responses

Lisa Raitt

Lisa Raitt – Conservative Party of Canada  website   mail
Over the last decade, the federal government has provided sustained, long-term investment into Halton’s municipal infrastructure. In fact, over the last 10 years a record amount of federal funding has been invested in municipal infrastructure in Halton Region.
Across Canada, federal funding of $33 billion has been provided for over 12,000 provincial and municipal infrastructure projects. This was not always the case; until a decade ago, the federal government funded very little municipal or provincial infrastructure.
One example of our record investment into local infrastructure is the Gas Tax Fund. Through the Gas Tax Fund, the Conservative government provides stable, predictable annual funding for local municipalities. This funding is not application based, thus eliminating the need for paperwork and allowing for stable budget forecasting. This year Halton Region will receive $14.3 million, Oakville $5.3 million, Burlington $5.9 million, Milton $2.4 million and Halton Hills $1.7 million, a total of $29 million in federal gas taxes this year.
Looking forward, Conservatives will continue to work with provincial and municipal governments to build on this record of investment. Last year, the Conservative government announced a record new investment of $70 billion for public infrastructure over the next decade, which includes $53 billion for municipal and provincial infrastructure projects.
Conservatives are proud of the federal investments in municipal infrastructure in Halton Region. Our prudent, fiscal management – based on low-taxes and balanced budgets – means that our commitment to deliver on the $70 billion in new infrastructure spending over the next decade can be counted on.
View all of Lisa Raitt 's responses

David Doel

David Doel – Green Party of Canada  website   mail
It is sad that a common feature of the advancing 21st century in Canada is the decrepitude of so much of our infrastructure. Green MPs, if elected, would work diligently to ensure that long-term solutions, kickstarted with $6.4 billion annually into municipal infrastructure to empower communities to take care of themselves and their citizens.
View all of David Doel's responses

John Oliver – Liberal Party of Canada  website   mail
Investing in infrastructure is vital to creating middle class jobs today and sustained economic growth for years to come. Every dollar spent on public infrastructure grows and makes our economy more competitive, while also creating jobs, strengthening our cities and communities, and improving our health, well-being, and quality of life.
A Liberal government will provide unprecedented new investments in public transit, social infrastructure and green infrastructure, nearly doubling federal infrastructure investment to $125 billion – from the current $65 billion – over the next decade.
Each year over the next decade, we will steadily increase federal infrastructure investment. At full implementation, this will represent an annual additional investment of $9.5 billion per year.
A Liberal government will automatically transfer any uncommitted federal infrastructure funds near the end of any fiscal year to municipalities, through a temporary top-up of the Gas Tax Fund. This will ensure that no committed infrastructure money is allowed to lapse but is instead always invested in communities across the country.
View all of John Oliver's responses

Terence Young

Terence Young – Conservative Party of Canada  website   mail
Over the last decade, the federal government has provided sustained, long-term investment into Halton’s municipal infrastructure. In fact, over the last 10 years a record amount of federal funding has been invested in municipal infrastructure in Halton Region.
Across Canada, federal funding of $33 billion has been provided for over 12,000 provincial and municipal infrastructure projects. This was not always the case; until a decade ago, the federal government funded very little municipal or provincial infrastructure.
One example of our record investment into local infrastructure is the Gas Tax Fund. Through the Gas Tax Fund, the Conservative government provides stable, predictable annual funding for local municipalities. This funding is not application based, thus eliminating the need for paperwork and allowing for stable budget forecasting. This year Halton Region will receive $14.3 million, Oakville $5.3 million, Burlington $5.9 million, Milton $2.4 million and Halton Hills $1.7 million, a total of $29 million in federal gas taxes this year.
Looking forward, Conservatives will continue to work with provincial and municipal governments to build on this record of investment. Last year, the Conservative government announced a record new investment of $70 billion for public infrastructure over the next decade, which includes $53 billion for municipal and provincial infrastructure projects.
Conservatives are proud of the federal investments in municipal infrastructure in Halton Region. Our prudent, fiscal management – based on low-taxes and balanced budgets – means that our commitment to deliver on the $70 billion in new infrastructure spending over the next decade can be counted on.
View all of Terence Young's responses

Janice Best

Janice Best – New Democratic Party  website   mail
The NDP is committed to supporting the infrastructure priorities of provinces and municipalities. We also share an interest in having a high quality and productive transportation system, based on improving commute times for residents and ensuring the efficient movement of goods throughout the entire region. That’s why Tom Mulcair has proposed to substantially increase transfers to municipalities for core infrastructure and transit projects.
Increasing existing transfers by $1.5 billion annually for core infrastructure and $1.3 billion annually for public transit by the end of our first mandate will provide, predictable, dedicated federal funding for important projects in the years to come. We are the only federal party to present a plan to adequately fund both local infrastructure and public transit.
We are also committed to funding important provincial and municipal infrastructure projects through the $14 billion New Building Canada Fund where provinces submit their priority projects. We will be a collaborative federal partner in that process.
View all of Janice Best's responses

David Clement – Libertarian Party of Canada  website   mail
First off, it needs to be stated that it is upsetting that there is an infrastructure shortfall both locally and regionally. Core infrastructure needs are obviously important, as they often lay the foundation for our economy. That being said, I do not think that local and regional projects are an appropriate use of federal funds. My reasoning for this is that every time the federal government seeks to develop infrastructure locally, it does so by taxing people across Canada to do it. Thus, we literally have people being taxed in Alberta and Newfoundland for road expansion in the Halton Region. I don’t think it’s fair, nor do I think it is right, to move federal dollars around like this. I don’t want to be taxing people across Canada for local projects, and I don’t want to be taxing people in Halton to fund projects in other provinces.
Local and regional infrastructure projects absolutely have to be funded at the local and provincial level. We need to move away from the idea that we want to expand infrastructure locally, but have other people fund it. If we, as a region and community, want long term investment from government for infrastructure, we should be looking at our members of provincial parliament and municipal councillors for such funding. Focusing on local and regional solutions to local issues ensures that problems are dealt with by those who actually experience the problems, which makes the created policies far more responsive to the needs of residents.
View all of David Clement's responses

Pam Damoff – Liberal Party of Canada  website   mail
For Canadian communities to succeed, funding for infrastructure will need to be substantive, predictable, and sustained. A Liberal government will not only significantly increase the scale of federal transit investment; the plan will provide provinces, territories, and municipalities with an unprecedented level of long-term predictability in funding as well. This will be done in full respect of provincial jurisdiction.
This historic, new influx of federal money into public transportation projects – along with the money committed directly to public transit in Budget 2015 – will allow the existing New Building Canada Fund to focus more on other parts of Canada’s vital transportation system, such as roads and bridges.
Investing in a sustainable future is a critical priority for the Liberal Party of Canada. We are committed to growing the economy and middle class incomes. As part of that commitment funding to municipalities will quadruple to $6 billion over the next four years, and to almost $20 billion over ten years. A Liberal government will develop bilateral agreements with the provinces and territories, similar to those created for the successful gas tax transfer to cities and communities.
To help foster innovative business strategies, The Liberal Party of Canada will create a new Canada Infrastructure Bank to provide financing at affordable rates to municipalities and other partners investing in new infrastructure projects. We believe that municipalities need these initiatives to plan for and have the infrastructure for growth to occur.
We will make sure that no money intended for investment in communities is allowed to lapse.
Too often, Stephen Harper budgeted funds for use in our communities, then let those dollars go unspent. We will make sure our communities are not shortchanged.
Near the end of the fiscal year, we will automatically transfer any uncommitted federal infrastructure funds to municipalities, through a temporary top-up of the Gas Tax Fund. This will ensure that no committed infrastructure money is allowed to lapse, but is instead always invested in our communities."
View all of Pam Damoff's responses

Adnan Shahbaz

Adnan Shahbaz – Green Party of Canada 
Due to neglect, our massive municipal infrastructure deficit is now estimated at $123 billion. The federal government must find innovative financing solutions to our infrastructure problems, to ensure Canada reaps the enormous economic and employment benefits that will come with building and maintaining world class infrastructure.
The Green Party has a longterm vision to create good local jobs, and build vibrant, safe, and livable Canadian towns and cities. We will invest an additional $6.4 billion in infrastructure to combat the infrastructure deficit. Through the Council of Canadian Governments, municipalities will be full partners in allocating the funding in this infrastructure program, including transit expansion, streets, parks, water systems, schools, and community centres.
We would also establish a federal Infrastructure Bank as an independent Crown Corporation to provide low interest loans to municipalities for community brownfield remediation, water and waste treatment facilities, sports, cultural and recreational facilities, public transit, cycling and pedestrian promotion, and community housing. As long as the Infrastructure Bank recouped its borrowing and administrative costs, there would be no incremental impact on the federal government’s budgetary balance. Infrastructure requires long term planning, and all governments must collaborate to come up with workable approaches to the massive investment required.
View all of Adnan Shahbaz's responses

Effie Triantafilopoulos

Effie Triantafilopoulos – Conservative Party of Canada  website   mail
Over the last decade, the federal government has provided sustained, long-term investment into Halton’s municipal infrastructure. In fact, over the last 10 years a record amount of federal funding has been invested in municipal infrastructure in Halton Region.
Across Canada, federal funding of $33 billion has been provided for over 12,000 provincial and municipal infrastructure projects. This was not always the case; until a decade ago, the federal government funded very little municipal or provincial infrastructure.
One example of our record investment into local infrastructure is the Gas Tax Fund. Through the Gas Tax Fund, the Conservative government provides stable, predictable annual funding for local municipalities. This funding is not application based, thus eliminating the need for paperwork and allowing for stable budget forecasting. This year Halton Region will receive $14.3 million, Oakville $5.3 million, Burlington $5.9 million, Milton $2.4 million and Halton Hills $1.7 million, a total of $29 million in federal gas taxes this year.
Looking forward, Conservatives will continue to work with provincial and municipal governments to build on this record of investment. Last year, the Conservative government announced a record new investment of $70 billion for public infrastructure over the next decade, which includes $53 billion for municipal and provincial infrastructure projects.
Conservatives are proud of the federal investments in municipal infrastructure in Halton Region. Our prudent, fiscal management – based on low-taxes and balanced budgets – means that our commitment to deliver on the $70 billion in new infrastructure spending over the next decade can be counted on.
View all of Effie Triantafilopoulos's responses

Harvey Edward Anstey

Harvey Edward Anstey, Wellington - Halton Hills - Canadian Action Party (CAP)  harvey.anstey@actionparty.ca
One thing all levels of government seem to have forgotten is there is ONLY ONE TAXPAYER.
One of the main planks of our platform is reinstating the Bank of Canada to finance all government projects. This will save billions in interest; over time money we could use for these projects and lowering taxes. Currently, we are paying about 5 BILLION a month just in interest. The federal provincial and municipalities governments need to sit down and come up with a plan to deal with infrastructure repairs and deficits and stop blaming each other. The various levels of government could take the user fees, Road tax, and gas tax and use them for these projects.
View all of Harvey Edward Anstey's responses

Brent Allan Bouteiller

Brent Allan Bouteiller – Green Party of Canada  website   mail
The Green Party of Canada would

  • Establish a Canadian Sustainable Generations Fund that invests in skills-training, education, energy efficiency, renewables, and emerging technology, thereby creating Canadian jobs and supporting small businesses;
  • Commit $6.4 billion per year, one point of the GST, to municipal infrastructure;
  • Create a Canadian Infrastructure Bank to provide more robust and innovative financing and investment partnerships, in order to build safer bridges, better roads, world-class water treatment facilities, affordable housing, efficient public transportation, and expanded broadband access - putting thousands of Canadians to work in the process.
  • Partner with First Nations for sustainable resource development that is in the long-term public interest.

View all of Brent Allan Bouteiller's responses
Michael Chong

Michael Chong – Conservative Party of Canada  website   mail
Over the last decade, the federal government has provided sustained, long-term investment into Halton’s municipal infrastructure. In fact, over the last 10 years a record amount of federal funding has been invested in municipal infrastructure in Halton Region.
Across Canada, federal funding of $33 billion has been provided for over 12,000 provincial and municipal infrastructure projects. This was not always the case; until a decade ago, the federal government funded very little municipal or provincial infrastructure.
One example of our record investment into local infrastructure is the Gas Tax Fund. Through the Gas Tax Fund, the Conservative government provides stable, predictable annual funding for local municipalities. This funding is not application based, thus eliminating the need for paperwork and allowing for stable budget forecasting. This year Halton Region will receive $14.3 million, Oakville $5.3 million, Burlington $5.9 million, Milton $2.4 million and Halton Hills $1.7 million, a total of $29 million in federal gas taxes this year.
Looking forward, Conservatives will continue to work with provincial and municipal governments to build on this record of investment. Last year, the Conservative government announced a record new investment of $70 billion for public infrastructure over the next decade, which includes $53 billion for municipal and provincial infrastructure projects.
Conservatives are proud of the federal investments in municipal infrastructure in Halton Region. Our prudent, fiscal management – based on low-taxes and balanced budgets – means that our commitment to deliver on the $70 billion in new infrastructure spending over the next decade can be counted on.

View all of Michael Chong's responses

Don Trant – Liberal Party of Canada 
Liberal Policy on Infrastructure Funding
Stephen Harper’s record over the last ten years is one of wasted opportunity and decline. Harper has the worst economic growth record of any Canadian Prime Minister since R.B. Bennett in the depths of the Great Depression. Our economy shrunk in each of the first two quarters of this year, and the Bank of Canada says that Canada is the only G7 country in recession. Moreover, he is doing nothing to help our economy and country adapt to climate change.
Investing in infrastructure is vital to creating middle class jobs today and sustained economic growth for years to come.
A Liberal government will:

  • Almost double federal infrastructure investment to nearly $125 billion - from $65 billion - over ten years, the largest investment in infrastructure in Canadian history.
  • Provide provinces, territories and municipalities with an unprecedented level of long-term predictability in funding in three distinct eligibility areas:
    • Social Infrastructure
      • Boost investment in social infrastructure by nearly $6 billion over the next four years, and almost $20 billion over ten years.
      • Prioritize investment in affordable housing and seniors facilities, early learning and child care, and cultural and recreational infrastructure.
      • Renew federal leadership in affordable housing, help build more housing units, refurbish existing ones, renew existing co-operative agreements and provide operational funding support for municipalities.
      • Fund the creation of thousands of new child care spaces, enhance their quality and ensure their affordability.
    • Green Infrastructure
      • Increase investment in green infrastructure by nearly $6 billion over the next four years and almost $20 billion over ten years.
      • Provide dedicated funding to invest in a broad range of projects, including: local water and waste water facilities, climate resilient infrastructure, clean energy, and clean-up of contaminated sites to facilitate new construction.
      • Based on best science and in partnership with other orders of government support preparation for changing weather patterns, such as: protections against wildfires, improved storm water systems, additional dams and dikes and reinforcement of energy systems in the face of possible ice storms.
    • Public Transit Infrastructure
      • Boost investment in public transit by nearly $6 billion over the next four years and almost $20 billion over ten years - more than triple current federal investment.
      • Funding will be flexible to the requirements of municipalities, in order to maximize the number of transit projects that are built in Canada.
      • Reform and increase the transparency of the New Building Canada Fund (NBCF) by providing clearer project criteria and faster approval processes.
      • The NBCF will prioritize investments in roads, bridges, transportation corridors, ports, and border gateways
      • Establish the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) to make it easier - and more affordable - for municipalities to finance needed infrastructure projects.
      • The CIB will issue Green Bonds to make green infrastructure projects such as retrofits of buildings, clean power storage, smart grid technology and renewable energy projects, more attractive to private investors.
      • Transfer any uncommitted federal infrastructure funds near the end of any fiscal year to municipalities, through a temporary top-up of the Gas Tax Fund.

View all of Don Trant's responses