2011 Leadership Questionnaire

A. Local Government Electoral Reform: Election Administration

1. Role of Elections BC

Should the province place the administration of elections under the control of Elections BC to ensure uniformity of administration and arms' length supervision.

Yes          No

Explain Why:

2. Automatic Registration of Students

Should the province require high school students to be automatically pre-registered on the voters list?

Yes          No

Explain Why:

3. Term of Office

Should the term of office for locally elected officials remain at three years?

Yes          No

Explain Why:

4. Electoral Choice

Should municipalities be given the power to decide for themselves whether or not to use other electoral systems?

Yes          No

Explain Why:

5. Direct Election of Regional Boards

Should citizens be allowed to directly elect regional body representatives?

Yes          No

Explain Why:

B. Local Government Electoral Reform: Election Financing

1. Spending Limits

Should local political parties and/or candidates at the municipal level be subject to campaign spending limits?

Yes          No

Explain Why:

2. Contribution Limits

Should local political parties and/or candidates political parties at the municipal level be subject to campaign contribution limits?

Yes          No

Explain Why:

3. Disclosure of Donations

Should local political parties and/or candidates at the municipal level be subject to disclosure requirements for donations given between election campaign periods?

Yes          No

Explain Why:

4. Tax Credit Status for Donations

Should local political parties and/or candidates at the municipal level be eligible for tax credit status?

Yes          No

Explain Why:

5. Non-Individual Donations

Should donations that do not come from individuals (e.g. corporations, non-profits, unions) be banned at the municipal level?

Yes          No

Explain Why:

6. Public Funding

Should local parties and candidates receive public funding that is based on their share of votes cast?

Yes          No

Explain Why:

C. Local Municipal Finance Reform: Taxation Issues

1. Harmonized Sales Tax

The Province of Saskatchewan transfers 20 per cent of its PST revenues to local governments. Do you support making changes to the HST (or any alternate provincial sales tax) to transfer a share of sales tax revenue directly to local governments in BC?

Yes          No

Explain Why:

2. Carbon Tax Revenue

The Carbon Tax is intended to change public behaviour by putting a price on carbon emissions. However, the carbon tax revenue is not directed towards investments that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Do you support using the carbon tax revenue to finance investments such as public transit, energy saving retrofits and district heating systems?

Yes          No

Explain Why:

3. Local Sales Taxes

Do you support allowing local governments to collect sales taxes (such as the two per cent additional hotel room tax or the City of Toronto's authority to collect an alcohol sales tax) provided that this tax revenue was dedicated to specific purposes?

Yes          No

Explain Why:

4. Municipal Property Transfer Tax

The Province of Ontario allows the City of Toronto to collect a municipal land transfer tax and the Province of BC receives about $900-million each year from its property transfer tax. Do you support giving local governments in BC the ability to collect a municipal property transfer tax in addition to the tax collected by the province?

Yes          No

Explain Why:

5. Industrial Property Taxation

Following the Catalyst Paper dispute, the provincial government set up the Industrial Property Taxation Review. Do you believe the provincial government should be regulating the property tax rates set by local governments?

Yes          No

Explain Why:

6. Highway System Tolling

Some new highway projects are subject to tolls (e.g., Golden Ears Bridge, new Port Mann Bridge, etc.) while others (e.g., Pitt River Bridge, Seat-to-Sky Highway, etc.) are not. This is unfair and does not recognize that existing routes that are not tolled will need to be maintained and eventually replaced. Do you support a system-wide toll on all major routes in the Lower Mainland?

Yes          No

Explain Why:

D. Local Municipal Finance Reform: Transfers and Infrastructure

1. Gambling Revenue

The expansion of gambling brings social costs, many of which are borne by local governments. Should local governments receive a larger share of gambling revenues?

Yes          No

Explain Why:

2. Comprehensive Revenue Sharing

In 1978, the provincial government introduced a revenue sharing program that gave local governments a guaranteed share of major provincial revenue sources including personal and corporate income taxes, sales and fuel taxes, and natural resource revenues. Over the last 32 years, much of this support has been chipped away. Do you support a new comprehensive revenue sharing agreement for local governments?

Yes          No

Explain Why:

3. Transfer Payments

While specific purpose transfers have continued to grow, most of the unconditional transfers to municipalities have been discontinued for several years. Do you agree with this policy?

Yes          No

Explain Why:

4. Infrastructure Deficit

If elected, would you establish a funding program to help local governments with the $10 billion municipal infrastructure deficit in BC?

Yes          No

Explain Why:

E. Local Municipal Finance Reform: Other Issues

1. P3 Screen Policy

Local government infrastructure projects over $50 million are required to go through an expensive and complicated P3 screening process. Do you think local governments should be allowed to make their own decisions about how their projects are financed and managed?

Yes          No

Explain Why:

2. BC Investment Management Corp.

Would you support changing the mandate of the BC investment Management Corporation so that it would look for more opportunities to invest in BC, similar to the mandate of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec in the province of Québec?

Yes          No

Explain Why: