More coverage of Ontario Votes 2011
CBC Ottawa

No gas tax for Lansdowne

UPDATE

It's been pointed out that the Lansdowne Park Plan wouldn't be eligible for federal gas tax money anyway, because the project was sole sourced. This clause from the agreement between Canada and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario would seem to bear that out:

"AMO agrees that any of its contracts for the supply of services or materials to implement its responsibilities under this Agreement will be awarded in a way that is transparent, competitive, and consistent with value for money principles."

You can find the whole agreement here. (Each province and territory has its own agreement with the feds. So does Toronto.)

That said, we don't know how the Harper government will change the program. If it's loosening the qualification rules, maybe other aspects of the agreement will change too.

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Naturally, all the focus was on Quebec City when this story broke this morning. I wondered what it might mean for Lansdowne Park. If municipalities can now redirect gas tax funds to arenas and similar projects, might it lighten the taxpayers' load here in Ottawa? The short answer, from city treasurer Marian Simulik, is 'no.' Here's the long answer:

"The city uses federal gas tax for transit capital and as we have the light rail project coming forward within the next few years there are no gas tax funds remaining to use on Lansdowne. With respect to lightening the taxpayer's load, there is no load to lighten as the debt servicing is funded from existing budgets and from a portion of the existing property taxes that (will) be generated from the redevelopment." 

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