200-1819 Cornwall Street
Dear Mr. Badham and municipal leaders,
you for considering the voice and vision of the New Green Alliance
to share with the membership of the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities
Association. The NGA welcomes the opportunity to provide our message
for anyone to compare with the message of the three traditional parties
in deciding what is best for urban property taxpayers and their communities.
New Green Alliance is clear in it's beliefs about the strong role
needed at the municipal levels of government, and decentralisation.
All members and candidates of the NGA agree with the fundamental
principle that we must return power and responsibility to individuals,
communities, and regions. We must have a decentralised democratic
society with our political, economic, and social institutions locating
power on the smallest scale that is efficient and practical. We must
reconcile the need for community and self-determination with the
need for appropriate centralised regulation in certain matters. The
NGA is pleased to apply these principles to answer the five questions
that you have raised:
is your party's position on returning a portion of gas taxes
paid by taxpayers directly back to municipalities to deal with
the backlog of infrastructure needs?
New Green Alliance would be interested in a plan to return a portion
of gas taxes back to municipalities, even though we don't have an
official policy on the proposal. Our existing policy does address
the issue of portions of taxes such as the PST will come back to
communities and municipalities as a "community development tax
return". The NGA is also interested in providing extra incentives
to communities who choose to develop and expand environmentally friendly
modes of transportation. This type of infrastructure would include
better public transportation, and a focus to more bicycle and pedestrian
friendly development with a shift away from more vehicle roads.
will your party do to address the current inequity in how tax
dollars are shared given the fact that less than 5% of each tax
dollar returns to municipalities to pay for essential services
like policing, fire fighting, water and sewer, landfills, streets,
recreational facilities, etc?
nearly two decades now Saskatchewan communities and municipalities
have seen reductions in funding grants from provincial governments.
These provincial governments cut services and offloaded costs to
the municipal level, so they could drop personal income and corporate
taxes on the wealthy in an attempt to maintain popularity and "competitiveness".
A New Green Alliance government in the Legislature would reinvest
tax dollars back into it's municipalities; both urban and rural.
The NGA government will bring back taxes on resource revenues, and
restructure taxes to be more progressive, based on ability to pay.
The NGA will assist local communities develop economies that assure
protection of the environment and worker's rights, and broad citizen
participation in planning, with the goal of increasing our quality
your party commit to an appropriate level of infrastructure funding
to deal with the backlog of projects resulting from funding cuts
by past provincial governments?
New Green Alliance has a plan for reinvesting in Saskatchewan communities
through a "community development tax return", whereby a
percentage of the PST would be returned to local communities and
community groups which commit to provide local services and infrastructure
to citizens according to locally determined needs and priorities.
As communities and community organizations develop greater capacity
and efficiency in providing local governance and in supporting local
community needs, a greater percentage of the community development
tax return would be provided, along with the delegation of greater
community services currently being controlled and financed by the
provincial government. An NGA government would also change laws to
establish a scaled (graduated) revenue tax that would apply above
a given threshold to replace the current municipal business tax system.
This plan would increase revenues for municipal governments to meet
local needs, including infrastructure n
will your party reverse the current 60/40 (60% municipal 40%
provincial) education funding split, and what mechanisms will
you put in place to ensure that all property tax classes benefit
New Green Alliance government will increase funding to K-12 education
immediately after it is elected, and will work towards 100% of education
funding coming from general revenues of the provincial government.
The NGA will also increase funding to Early Childhood Intervention
and pre-school programs. The NGA will require School Councils composed
of community members, parents, and staff to have stronger decision-making
abilities in school governance. We will also require that any property
owner paying taxes will have represention, which currently is not
your party commit to establishing a specific infrastructure program
for water and waste water projects?
is our province's most precious resource, and the New Green Alliance
will make it a serious priority to ensure that it is safe and publicly
accessible for all citizens. Our government will establish a water
testing program to identify water supplies that are not polluted
with pesticide residues and other undesirable oppollutants. We will
protect these water supplies from pollution for the use of Saskatchewan
citizens. Our government would also establish a sewage corporation
to assist communities in the province to irrigate from their sewage
lagoons to prevent the pollution of downsteam water going into other
communities' potable water supplies, where it is proven that there
is no risk of contamination to ground water or soil. The New Green
Alliance believes that water is a human right, and will ban the export
of fresh water to other jurisdictions.
you, again, for giving the New Green Alliance the opportunity to
present a fresh alternative vision to the citizens of Saskatchewan.
The NGA candidates and I look forward to answering more questions
during the campaign, and presenting our commitment to responsible
stewardship and sustainable communities. I encourage everyone to
find out more about the New Green Alliance alternatives and candidates
on our election website www.votenga.ca and our main site at www.nga.sk.ca
you on the campaign trail!
2138 McIntyre St.