PEI

P.E.I. municipalities weigh in on amalgamation, cost-sharing

Municipal boundary expansions and revenue sharing were two of the main areas of discussion as leaders from P.E.I.'s 73 municipalities met in Tignish Saturday.

Leaders from 73 P.E.I. municipalities met in Tignish Saturday

Diane Griffin, vice-chair of the Federation of P.E.I. Municipalities, says the municipalities have lost their taxing autonomy. (CBC)

Municipal boundary expansions and revenue sharing were two of the main topics of discussion as leaders from P.E.I.'s 73 municipalities met in Tignish Saturday.

"At some point we need to redraw municipal boundaries," said Diane Griffin, vice-chair of the Federation of P.E.I. Municipalities and a Stratford councillor.

"The federation would like to see all of Prince Edward Island incorporated, but what we'd like to see is people in local areas have major input into who they'd like to group up with to make the larger units." she said.

Souris Mayor David MacDonald would also like to see more financial support from the province through a revised cost-sharing model.

"Most municipalities, we provide a lot of service to people in the outlying areas, and that's costing us a lot of money, and we're not really recouping enough from the province to cover some of our major expenses."

It was a packed house as leaders from the 73 P.E.I. municipalities met in Tignish Saturday. (Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC)

They want funding from the province to be a little more predictable.

"We all share the same taxpayer, but right now the problem is, we don't know in the long term what the municipalities are going to be given each year by the province. They've changed it to a grant system. We've lost almost all autonomy we've had for taxing," said Griffin.

The group also wants to see a new provincial Municipalities Act, which hasn't been been updated since the 1980s.

Bruce MacDougall, the federation's president, said the meeting is a good networking opportunity.

"When we do our breaks, we do it for half an hour, because there's lots of chit-chat between municipalities and mayors and councillors."

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