Miller wants one cent of GST — now
Toronto Mayor David Miller has kicked off an aggressive advertising campaign to get the federal government to give cities one cent of the GST.
The"One Cent Now"campaign features a websitewith an online petition, posters to be plastered on city bus shelter walls and a button Miller hopes citizens will wear.
"The case is unarguable … cities are improperly financed," Miller said.
Millerunveiled his "One Cent Now" campaign at the Toronto Summit, a conference where hundreds are debatingToronto's future.
"We're going to where the power is, which iswith the people," Miller said in an interview with CBC Radio's Here and Now,explaining he hopes citizens will help him pressure the federal government.
One cent of the GST collected in Toronto amounts to $400 million. If all Canadian municipalities were given one cent, it would cost the federal government $5 billion.
Miller argues that wealth is generated in cities and the whole Canadian economy will be dragged down by under-investing in urban centres.
In his re-election victory speech last November, Miller called on the federal and provincial government to giveToronto one cent of the sales tax collected in the city,saying he wouldn't take no for an answer. Both levels of government said no.
Miller is now focusing his attention on Ottawa, which cut the GST rate to six per cent last year.
"When there's room to cut, there's room to share," Miller said.
In return for the money,the mayoroffered to help fulfill climate change obligations by making Toronto greener. He also promised to be accountable for how the money is spent.