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Mayor Says Federal Budget Has Good Points, Leaves Some Questions

(Tuesday, February 26/08) - The federal budget released today has some very good news for municipalities, but more detail is needed on other funding promises Mayor Peter Kelly said tonight.

"A key element of this budget for us is that the Federal Gas Tax Transfer has been made permanent," said Mayor Kelly. "What this means is that we will be able to count on a reliable, long-term, sustained funding source-that will allow us to make some definitive, strategic plans and make real progress toward addressing our infrastructure deficit. This is a huge deal for municipalities and a positive step toward addressing the fiscal imbalance."

Mayor Kelly also noted that while the budget called for $500 million for transit, clarification is needed on how this funding can be accessed by HRM.

"We have some major projects in the queue that we would like to move forward, such as HarbourLink and MetroLink, so we will certainly be looking into how we can access that funding."

The budget allows for $400 million to recruit 2500 police officers throughout the country.

"Any measure that will help make our streets and communities safer is certainly welcome, and we have been asking for quite a while for this particular commitment to be fulfilled," said Mayor Kelly. "However, we need more information about this funding as well, such as whether it is it a one-time injection for recruitment only, or will it be sustainable funding that will provide the resources needed to keep those officers on the street long-term."

Other highlights of the budget include improvements to immigration legislation and processes that will ensure shorter wait times for permanent resident applications, and commitments to the environment that could help HRM, such as funding for clean energy, biofuel research and some wind and solar power tax relief.


Mayor Peter Kelly




Above content last modified Thursday, November 02, 2023 at 11:40am.