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Municipal share of HST proposal gains ground


The cost for infrastructure keeps going up every year. Municipal councils keep jug- gling their budget numbers to find ways to maintain existing roads and water and sewer lines, and still squeeze out a fewdol- lars for newprojects without also having to put the squeeze on local taxpayers. The Association of Municipalities of Onta- rio (AMO) has an idea for the provincial government to consider.The Eastern Onta- rio Wardens Caucus (EOWC) has given its approval to the proposal and now the United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR) has indicated it is willing to follow the EOWC’s lead in supporting the AMO idea for a one per cent increase to the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).The UCPR’s support is conditional on a guarantee that the HST increasemeans the extra sales tax money is dedicated to municipal infrastructure works and not just added to the provincial general revenue fund. UCPR council gave its support to the idea following about a quarter of discussion during its June 28 session. After reviewing the AMO’s six-page Local Share brief, outli- ning its HSTOne Per Cent proposal, several mayors expressed concern about some of the potential impacts of raising the HST another percentage point. “The only problem I have is going into the pockets of the taxpayers,” saidmayor Jeanne Charlebois of Hawkesbury. “Wouldn’t this create an opportunity for upper-tier governments to reduce or eliminate (provincial/municipal) transfer payments?” said mayor Fernand Dicaire of Alfred-Plantagenet Township. Warden Gary Barton argued that either the federal or provincial governments might see such a plan as an opportunity to cut back on some of their own existing support funding programs, but it would be up to Ontario’s municipalities, through their own lobbying groups, to discourage the idea. “Although theymight think that way,” Barton said, “we don’t want them to.” UCPR Chief Administrator Stéphane Pari- sien noted that the main goal of the AMO proposal is to create a dedicated fund for municipal infrastructure projects in anti- cipation of future provincial budget res- trictions. He added that the AMO will have

Le coût pourmaintenir les routes existantes et les services d’eau et d’égout est un véritable défi pour de nombreux conseilsmunicipaux, qui tentent de trouver des moyens d’augmenter leurs budgets sans avoir à augmenter également les taxes foncières. Les Comtés unis de Prescott-Russell ont appuyé une proposition soumise au gouvernement provincial pour une augmentation d’un pour cent de la TVH, tant que l’argent est versé aux infrastructures municipales.

further discussion about how such a dedi- cated fund would work. Both Parisien and several of the mayors on UCPR council observed that both Ontario residents and visitors to the province pay the

HST for goods and services “At least this way the one per cent (inc- rease) is spread across the board,” saidMayor Pierre Leroux. “We’re not just going to the property owners for it.”

UCPR council voted to support the EOWC’s own resolution of support to the AMO’s plan on the condition there be gua- rantees that the proposed HST increase would fundmunicipal infrastructure work.

Counterfeit cash cropping up this summer

The OPP and the RCMP are working toge- ther with the Bank of Canada on a public awareness and education campaign about counterfeit currency. The RCMP’s own sta- tistics on counterfeit bill cases for last year indicated more than 20 per cent of bogus bills showing up in Canada end up passed in Ontario. “Counterfeit deterrence requires a team approach from all partners, including law enforcement agencies, the Bank of Canada, retailers, and the public working together,” stated Chief Superintendent John Tod, OPP Investigation and Support Bureau. “If you come across phony money, contact your local police service.” Business owners are advised to have their staff be extra careful during “rush hour” periods, because that is when most coun- terfeiters will try to pass off their bogus bills. Staff should be alert also when a customer tries to use amuch larger denomination bill than is necessary to pay for an itemor order. If a counterfeit bill is suspected, contact police right away. Get a receipt for the bill for later return if it proves to be genuine. Contact police or a local bank branch or go online to the Bank of Canada website for information on how to spot counterfeit currency. Present Canadian currency secu- rity measures make it almost impossible to create a fake that can pass a close physical examination.


It’s not the kind of news anyone wants to hear but it is important that everyone knows about it. OPP have issued a warning about a “shotgun approach” counterfeiters are taking this season to their bogus bill business.

The OPP Anti-Rackets Branch have posted an email alert tomedia about more than 80 reports, received so far this year from just the western region of the province, about coun- terfeit currency ending up in business cash registers or handed in at bank teller deposit counters. The situation is unusual because counterfeiters are just limiting themselves to phony versions of high-value Canadian and American currency, they are going with a “shotgun approach” and passing around fakemoney in five-dollar to 100-dollar deno- minations. De faux-monnayeurs cherchent à écouler une grande variété de monnaies canadiennes et américaines en Ontario cet été, allant des billets de cinq à 100 dollars. On conseille aux résidents et aux entreprises locales de consulter la police ou les banques locales sur la façon d’identifier la monnaie contrefaite, et de faire numériser ses grosses coupures par votre banque locale pour déterminer si elles sont réelles ou fausses. —photo d’archives

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