Thursday, July 4, 2024

While the Renewed Canada Community Building Fund Is Great, the Feds Must Turn On the Permanent Public Transit Fund

Yesterday, I received an email from the TransLink Mayors' Council Executive about the recent renewal of the Canada Community Building Fund, which used to be called the Federal Gas Tax Fund.

This fund delivered $3 billion in funding to local governments in BC and TransLink between 2014 and 2024. This rebranded fund, indexed to grow at 2% annually, will deliver $3.5 billion to local governments, of which $1.7 will be delivered to TransLink between 2025 and 2035.

This funding is allocated per capita, and like in the last decade, 95% of the per capita funding for the Metro Vancouver Regional District has been allocated to TransLink.

I am pleased that the Canada Community Building Fund negotiations have concluded. I think there is some confusion about this fund; I received an email from a resident asking if Langley City would receive funding from the new program.

This program isn't new money but the renewal of a critical funding source. TransLink and local governments have come to rely on this program, which has been operating since 2005.

While the Canada Community Building Fund's renewal is excellent, the federal government needs to move up the Permanent Public Transit Fund implementation date by a year, so it occurs before the upcoming federal election. This fund will provide new, stable funding to help expand transit service in Metro Vancouver and the rest of Canada. Without this fund, we cannot expand transit services to meet the needs of our growing population, which is directly linked to federal policies.

Returning to the question of funding for Langley City, under the renewed Canada Community Building Fund, we will receive $157,059 annually between 2024 and 2026; it will grow to $163,342 annually in 2027. This funding is small, but every bit helps.

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