The Ottawa Citizen from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on November 26, 1993 · 17
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The Ottawa Citizen from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada · 17

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Issue Date:
Friday, November 26, 1993
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The Ottawa Citizen, Friday, November 26, 1993 B3 CIIYLIFE Samta (Slhreifeifi) Municipalities draw up lists for federally assisted projects By Ron Eade v Citizen municipal writer Municipalities across Ottawa-Carleton are drafting Yuletide wish lists. - Playing Santa is Prime Minister i. Jean Chretien, who promised dur-ing the election campaign a $6bil-lion program to repair and up-'. grade roads, sewers and bridges. ; Chretien wants to match $l-bil-l lion-a year in municipal infrastruc-'.ture spending with an equal amount of provincial and federal cash over two years, to create 63,000 jobs and get some long-overdue repairs done in the process. At cily halls from Kanata to Gloucester, bureaucrats are taking stock of priorities worth at least $180.2 million. "We don't have to make a list, we've had one for many years it's our capital works program that's been delayed," says Bob Townend, Goulbourn Township's chief administrative officer. "If we can get 66 cents from the province and the feds, we'll find our 33 cents someplace even if we have to debenture for it." ; Bert Meunier, Kanata's chief administrative officer, says his city too already has a 10-year plan with $65 million to $70 million of work. In Nepean, public works commissioner Clarke Bellinger wants to ensure his city doesn't dream up fantasies just to spend money. "We have to identify programs that are real needs and not just make-work projects." No additional dollars , Most municipalities expect the federal government and the province to match money already being spent, so that no additional property tax dollars are required. "Municipalities aren't going to put up two billion new dollars that's a lot of money," says Dave O'Brien. Ottawa's chief administrative officer. Instead, municipalities will likely pick from existing capital programs so they can leverage what they're spending with funds from senior governments. "That way, you may get five years' work done in two by leveraging your capital program," O'Brien says. In addition, municipalities such as Ottawa-Carleton region may borrow or tap reserve funds to get projects off the ground, says regional Chair Peter Clark. Either way, Clark says, the taxpayer won't be asked to cough up more. "I have no new source of money: The taxpayers haven't got any spare money to toss into this." Details about how the Liberal election promise will work, and what make-work projects may qualify, won't likely be known before 1994. It's also too early to know how ' many local jobs it could create. Federal officials only recently started talking with provinces; . some are squabbling already, asking for a higher federal contribution before agreeing on how the infrastructure program will work. Chretien has said distribution of funds will be weighted by population and unemployment levels, and that money will also go to Indian bands for projects on reserves. Even vague promises about stimulating construction sound good to union officials such as Ross Mitchell, president of the Ottawa-Hull Building and Construction Trades Council which represents 8,500 members in the area. The jobless rate among local building trades averages 30 to 35 per cent, Mitchell says. It's as high as 40 to 45 per cent in some sectors such as electrical workers. To him, any stimulation is good. If nothing else, the federal government seems determined to forge ahead despite financial information showing Canada dug itself a deficit in the range of $40 billion to $45 billion under the Tories. "It will be a matter of weeks before final decisions are made about priorities and criteria," says Treasury Board spokesman Bob Douglas. "We hope to have something going early in the new year." Peace activists 'l By Carrie Buchanan . Citizen municipal writer Peace activists are convinced two trade shows planned at the Ot-' ; tawa Congress Centre are weapons ' in disguise. I The Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade plans a demonstration ; Nov. .'50, the start of a two-day meet-' ', ing and trade show put on by the 'l Canadian Defence Preparedness I ". Association. I The coalition is also concerned I about the Canadian Hunting Trade '.Show, which expects 650 dealers and 3.000 delegtites at its Feb. 18-20 show at the Congress Centre. Highlights of KANATA: Road repairs and reconstruction worth an estimated $26.4 million. $2.5 million for a new fire hall and training facility. $7 million for parks works. ? 7F ' A Quebec rJ2ssJ NEPEAN: Road and bridge work including: $500,000 to repair McLean Bridge over the Rideau River. $7- to $8-million to realign roads in the south urban community. GOULBOURN: Q Road projects worth $18 million. RIDEAU: $582,000 worth of work on eight bridges. $389,000 on road reconstruction. Roads, sewers lead infrastructure wish lists Citizen staff Ottawa-Carleton region: At least 10 road construction projects are at the top of the list, after being pushed off in 1993 due to spending cutbacks. These include the Walkley Road extension linking Russell Road to Hwy. 417 (estimated cost: $20 to $25 million); St. Joseph Boulevard, from the Queensway to Jeanne d'Arc Boulevard, and from Duford Drive to Centrum Boulevard ($14 to $18 million); Baseline Road, between Hwy. 416 and Greenbank Road ($8 to $10 million); Hunt Club Road, between Bowesville Road and the Airport Parkway ($10 to $13 million). Ottawa: The city's top-11 list includes road reconstruction projects deferred from 1993 to save money. Total estimated value is $5.6 million. In addition, the city may look for matching funds to accelerate a continuing sewer replacement program that costs about $15 million a year. Works commissioner Dave Curry estimates 18 per cent of Ottawa's 700-kilometre road network needs "immediate" work, whether it's major reconstruction or a relatively easy overlay of new asphalt. The list of priority road reconstruction jobs includes Island Park Drive, from Byron to Carling avenues ($1.3 million); Farm Drive, from Carling to Holland avenues ($63,000); a lane between Ruskin Street and Island Park Drive ($20,000); Rosemere Avenue, from the dead end to Lees Avenue ($150,000); Evelyn Avenue, from Main Street to Brunswick Street ($331,000); Clemow Avenue, say Congress Congress Centre officials say they've been assured the November defence association meeting will show communications and electronic equipment. "My understanding is that there will be no rifles or bombs or hand grenades," said David Hamilton, the centre's general manager. "This is not a foreign arms bazaar," said association official Ed Healey. "It's a small exhibition. There might be a few small arms." But Richard Sanders of the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade said electronics are an important component of military weapons. 4if !H municipal wish OTTAWA: Road construction worth almost $6 million. hp-,. ... . L jm (17) wesi ss lumaia y uiiawa a Carleton y- -J Cuerland w i mi nuau anu ociyci piujcoio in tA 1, I on high-growth areas. ''0$ K 6) v''" Piping water to Carlsbad ' ' Jp'' Springs. J Goulbourn -''' h Osgoodex Rideau J a f W E JT OTTAWA-CARLETQN REGION: Road construction worth at least jT $52 million. 0 4 -j from Bronson Avenue to Bank Street ($600,000); Lenester Avenue, from Aaron Avenue to Mait-land Avenue ($808,000); St. Laurent Boulevard, from Tawney Road to Foley Avenue ($1.1 million); Cummings Avenue, from Montreal Road to the city limits ($970,000); Knightsbridge Road, from Woodroffe Avenue to Lock-hart avenues ($123,000); Western Avenue, from Wellington to Scott streets ($265,000). Nepean: The city is still drafting its shopping list. But works commissioner Clarke Bellinger can readily point to 10 road and bridge jobs that could use a cool $20-million kick-start. This includes about $500,000 to repair McLean Bridge, over the Rideau River at Manotick, realigning roads in the south urban community, such as Strandherd Drive, from the Rideau River to Hwy. 416 ($7 to $8 million); improving storm and sanitary sewers at various locations ($6 to $9 million.) Rockcliffe Park: The village is four years into a 25-year sewer rehabilitation and separation program that will cost $23 million (without inflation! before it's done. The village is currently spending about $300,000 a year, which it hopes to leverage with matching federal and provincial funds. Gloucester: City staff are "still working" on a shopping list, says Barry Coopersmith, chief administrative officer. Although few details are avail Centre trade The coalition, of which Sanders is co ordinator, organized protests by hundreds of peace activists against the Peacekeeping '93 show at the Congress Centre in March. Sanders called it a scaled-down version of ARMX, the military trade show that prompted Ottawa to ban military shows from its facilities. (The Congress Centre is a provincial facility, so it's exempt from that ban.) The hunting show, meanwhile, also concerns the coalition. Ottawa Council will be asked Wednesday to exempt the hunting show from a bylaw that bans the lis -r J- if) lists ROCKCUFFE: Sewer work. VANIER: Road able, the city is looking to road and sewer projects that will serve high-growth areas in the south, east and Leitrim areas. Other projects include bringing piped water to Carlsbad Springs, stormwater management ponds in the Sawmill Creek area, and replacing a bridge on Boundary Road south of Innes Road. No cost estimates are available. Vanier: Even at $700,000 a year, the city is falling behind on its program to rebuild streets and sewers because there's not enough money to go around, says Daniel Ouimet. chief administrative officer. "We'd certainly have to spend $850,000 a year to update infrastructure," he says. If the province and the federal government chip in more money, Vanier would be willing to cough up its share to get the work done faster. "We don't want to miss those subsidies." Kanata: Bert Meunier, chief administrative officer, is pulling out the city's 10-year capital plan for his handy reference to projects worth $66 million. A sample of major construction projects includes a new fire hall and training facility ($2.5 million); stormwater settling pond in Bridlewood ($1.9 million); various sewer works ($5.9 million); a long list of road repairs and reconstruction jobs ($26.4 million); and parks works ($7 million). Cumberland: High on the township's wish list is $15 million needed to build a new north-south road, along the r shows really arms markets display or sale of replica handguns, air rifles and air pistols, so the show can be held annually until 2005. The show has an exemption for 1994, passed by council two years ago. While it sounds like a sports show, many delegates attending the Ottawa show are from local police, the RCMP or the military, said Rene Robcrge, executive director of the Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association, which puts on the hunting show. "We sell firearms and ammunition," said Roberge. "Primarily, it's (aimed at) hunting and shooting LEVERAGE: Municipalities feel they will get the biggest benefit by applying the federal government's matching funds to scheduled work such as this sewer and water line project on Dalhousie Street in Ottawa. Bruno Schlumberger, Citizen and sewer work. Cumberland: $15 million to build a new north-south road linking Innes Road to Hwy. 417. $170,000 to upgrade infrastructure in Vars, including sidewalks and streetlights. Kilometres - Dennis Leung, Citizen Dennis Leung, Citizen existing alignment of Frank Kenny Road, linking Innes Road to Hwy. 417 in the south end. The township also plans a general upgrade of infrastructure in Vars, including sidewalks and streetlights, at a cost of $170,000. Osgoode: No list at present, but lots of ideas. "We've got two bridges that need major work and we're hoping to get funding for water and sewage in the village of Metcalfe," says Don Reid, chief administrative officer. No estimate is available. West Carleton: "None of us are aware of program requirements at this point," says treasurer Jim Raycroft. "There's no list of projects we'd be running off . . . to find funding for." Goulbourn: The township's wish list itemizes 52 capital road projects worth $18 million that are on the books to the year 2001, including sidewalks, road widening, resurfacing and reconstruction. Rideau: "We've half a dozen bridges specifically earmarked if this money comes along," says Gary' Dillubough, chief administrative officer. "If they want to speed things up, we'll just push them into one year." The list includes work on eight bridges, together worth $582,000, and four road reconstructions with a pricetag of $389,000. sports, but we do service the (law) enforcement agencies and the military. We're not into bazookas and machine guns, things like that." Sanders said he's especially concerned that foreign embassies are being invited to both shows, meaning weapons may be sold to repressive regimes. Ilealey said the Canadian Defence Preparedness Association was inviting embassies only from NATO members, plus Australia and New Zealand. Roberge said many embassies were invited to the hunting show, but the list was screened. One battle; with GST : finally won The goods and services tax is not only hated, it's feared. Up to now it has been difficult for business people to complain about the attitude or actions of an indi COMMENT Dave Brown vidual collector because there was no "complaints" number list ed for that section of Revenue Canada. After several people brought their complaints to this desk , over the past two weeks, GST : has established a complaints 1 hotline. It started when a car dealer, who originally asked for anonymity, aired a complaint in this column Nov. 6. He said he went through a 15-month strug- , gle to keep his business viable,, and the toughest part was fighting off a GST collector with a Rambo complex. '- The car dealer challenged " somebody in the GST hierar- ; chy to make contact and give him a hearing. He believed he had been put at unnecessary risk by a collector who didn't understand the ups and downs ; of the car business. Michael Burpee, assistant dep-t uty minister, GST, Revenue Canada, made the contact. The-dealer, it seems, had legitimate; complaints. A week after Burpee's call, the dealer was informed a cheque was on the ' way for $4,000. With that news, -the dealer decided to go pub-.I lie. Mike Daw owns Carieton Place Dodge, and says the refund represents penalties he was charged during his run- -ning battle with the GST tax- man. Daw said he had to scram- -ble to stay afloat while the tax collector scrambled to collect, ; muddying the situation by seizing bank accounts and trying to collect from Daw's business -contacts. " He doesn't dispute the fact he was $60,000 in arrears, and says his explanations about '. how he could juggle his way-back to solvency weren't understood by a person who didn't understand the ups and downs of the auto biz. "His only aim '. was to collect and to hell with; me and my 15 employees." Double jeopardy Now meet an engineer who,! like Daw, doesn't want to be identified until he gets his ', GST mess straightened out. ; "These people (GST collectors) have tremendous powers. I know how tough they can play." He owns an engineering firm (18 employees) and is caught in conflicting jurisdictions. ; The building he's erecting is; almost finished. The steel fabricator "walked away" leaving half a dozen sub-contractors unpaid. The engineer has the ' money to pay the subs, as he ; must under Ontario law. But the steel man also owed I $21,000 to GST, which is also -demanding that money. The engineer can't pay both, and GST has turned the matter over to its lawyers. With the money frozen, the unpaid subs have slapped liens on the building. To keep the project going, the engineer had to sit down with lawyers -and bankers and arrange a let: ter of credit for $163,000. He's running his own busi ; ness efficiently, but is being ; subjected to extra costs and delays because of a dispute be- ; twecn provincial and federal governments. When putting to '. gether a tender for a job, a ; body should add a sizable chunk to cover confusion and extra legal costs incurred while dealing in the maze of the Canadian tax system. He's an engineer, not an accountant. He'll complete his project, but doesn't know if he'll be-compensated for the financial damage he's suffering. ; Neither does Maurice Carrierc, district manager at GST. "It's In the hands of the lawyers." ; The complaint word Carriere said there was a complaint process, and taxpayers should be encouraged to use it. If there is a problem between a payer and a collector, the taxpayer should ask to speak to a supervisor. Failing that, there was a number in the blue pages anybody with a beef could call. But it's under "general enqui ries." GST brass has now set up a designated line to field beefs about audits and personnel with an attitude problem. It's called "client services." Translated from bureaucratese, that's the complaint department: 991-3947. Tomorrow: More from the GST battlefront

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