Conference Board of Canada study another attempt to justify more tax dollars to big cities.

It has been a common cry of late – municipalities demanding more money from other levels of government to maintain services and infrastructure. It is the theme of a recent report by the Conference Board of Canada on hub cities.

The report states the nine hub cities – Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montréal, and Halifax – represent 46% of the population of Canada and should be provided more money. That prosperity in such cities, drives the economy in their regions. 

In this Commentary, AIMS Senior Fellow in Urban Policy Patrick Luciani delves into the report and reaches different conclusions. He suggests that if Ottawa wants to help Canada’s economy it would be better off ignoring the report’s recommendations and instead concentrate on controlling taxes and dismantling the barriers to the free movement of goods, services and workers in Canada.

He says, “If we follow the recommendations of the Conference Board Study, we may end up with another layered national income redistribution system with small towns subsidizing big cities.”

Luciani questions the report’s methodology. He also says that while most cities could use more money, it should not come from other levels of government. And he says the report falls short of demanding that interprovincial trade barriers be eliminating.

In fact, Luciani says, “The feds and provinces have to work hard to make sure that all barriers come down across the country. There should be real consequences for provinces that refuse to dismantle these barriers.”

To read the complete Commentary, click here.