Dauphin seeks “predictable and stable” funding from city

By Kevin Woodhouse

In the wake of the two gold medal victories for team Canada in men’s and women’s hockey at the recent Winter Olympics, Lachine Mayor Claude Dauphin is using a hockey analogy in his dealings with the city of Montreal regarding more equitable funding for Lachine and other underfunded boroughs on the island.

“A hockey game is made up of three periods and for me, the first two periods will consist of getting an increase in both our operating and investment budgets,” Dauphin told The Suburban.

Acknowledging that new Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre and his team have only been in place for the last three months, Dauphin and his councillors are willing wait for the 2015 budget for said improvements. Dauphin’s third period analogy will be to pressure the city to share more tax revenue for new development.

As it stands now, “Lachine can make revenue through construction permits which are a onetime deal and it is unfair to keep going after the taxpayers, especially those on a fixed income, for more,” said Dauphin.

As president of the FCM (Canadian Federation of Municipalities), Dauphin has had a chance to visit cities and towns across the country to see how they handle budgetary inequities.

“In Saskatchewan, one percent of the province’s five percent tax goes towards municipalities which is what we need, more predictable and stable funding,” said Dauphin.

With the eastern portion of the borough set for redevelopment, about 25 football fields in length, the current tax revenues garnered from the deal will go towards the city of Montreal, “leaving us with the bills afterward and no recurrent revenue. It’s like the major summer festivals or Formula 1, a lot of money is spent on security personnel while the revenues go towards the province or to Ottawa.”

While Dauphin is not holding his breath for the Quebec government to share part of its GST revenues with the municipalities, more equitable revenue sharing is necessary like the federal gas tax sharing fund that cities struggling to maintain services and fix infrastructure will have the ability to control expenses without always asking the taxpayer for more every year.

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