Mr. Speaker, in one of my previous lives, I was the mayor of a community of about 20,000 people, and I sat on the B.C. mayors leadership council, representing communities with populations from 20,000 to about 70,000. In terms of taxation across Canada, 8% of taxes get paid to municipalities, 42% to provincial governments, and 50% to the federal government. Therefore, by far the majority of the money goes to the federal government, and yet municipalities on any of these projects are required to come up with a third of the cost of their particular project: a third municipal, a third provincial, and a third federal.
When I look at this $35 billion being taken away from the majority of the municipalities in Canada to go into this fund and I think of some of the other ways that money might have been used to benefit the majority of municipalities—for example, decreasing the amount of money that municipalities have to come up with for infrastructure projects and increasing the federal portion—I see that this $35 billion of our money is really not being used as effectively as it possibly can be.
What does taking $35 billion away from the majority of municipalities really do to benefit the majority of Canadians?