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Barbarians at the City Gates 2
11/06/2004

Following up on my posting from yesterday, the Toronto Star reports today in more detail on the urban mayors' critique of Stephen Harper. While Vancouver Mayor Larry Campbell was the most graphic, the concerns seem to be widespead.

In that article, Conservative MP James Moore brushes this off by saying, "I think this is less about objective mayors being unhappy about Stephen Harper and the Conservatives as much as perhaps it is mayors who are friends with the Liberal party taking shots at Stephen Harper."

However, this doesn't appear to be true. Just take a look at what small-c conservative Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion had to say:

The statements that Harper's made clearly indicates that we (cities) are not a priority on his agenda, there's no question. Expectations of trying to improve gridlock in the Greater Toronto Area and bring out cleaner air will be greatly depreciated (with a Conservative victory).

Conservative MP James Moore defends his party's platform by saying:

Every single dollar that has been committed to cities on the one-off projects or infrastructure funds that have already been green lit for financing -- all of that money remains on the table... But what we want to do is what the mayors and municipalities across Canada have been asking for years, which is to provide municipalities with steady, stable financing.

Translation: When the Conservatives say they will transfer gas tax money, it is to replace current spending on infrastructure and housing. When the other parties say they will transfer gas tax money, it is in addition to current or increased infrastructure and housing spending.


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