Mr. Speaker, as all other speakers in the House today have noted, this legislation ensures that the federal government pays its fair share of taxes to all municipalities in a timely fashion. The development of this legislation should be considered as a model in terms of co-operation and consultation with interested stakeholders.
When representatives of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities testified before the committee examining Bill C-10, they indicated their strong support for the bill and praised the level of consultation between themselves and the Department of Public Works and Government Services. In light of the depth of consultation that has taken place, including amendments made by the Conservative Party that were accepted at report stage, the government will not be supporting any further amendments, specifically those listed in Group No. 1.
References have also been made to the dispute advisory panel that is enshrined in this legislation. It will serve as a forum for the presentation of respective positions of both municipalities and departments or crown corporations when differences of opinion respecting amount of payments in lieu of taxes arise between the two parties, which is to be expected at times. This was a key recommendation by the municipalities during the minister's consultations.
Members will also note that appointees will be required to possess a background of knowledge in the areas of real property evaluation, real property assessment, real property or assessment law, or other related disciplines. This is a relatively small area of expertise and typically the same people are recognized as impartial experts by municipalities, assessment authorities and federal officials.
The municipal payments programs has served both the government and municipalities well since 1950. Extensive consultations between the government and municipalities have led to the bill before the House today. It improves existing legislation and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities supports the bill in its current form. It applauds the relationship with the Department of Public Works and Government Services. I believe it is time to adopt the bill without any further amendment.