Making Canada's Cities Work
The candidate's promise was clear and unequivocal: As prime minister, Paul Martin would offer a new deal for Canada's cities, starting with a sharing of federal gas taxes. Now that he's in the job, however, that promise is proving difficult to keep. The cities file is competing for scare funding against new demands from the defence and health sectors. Canada's constitutional division of powers, which provides the provincial governments with exclusive jurisdiction over municipal government, is also continuing to be an obstacle. Conceived in a time when the country's population lived primarily in rural communities, the constitution doesn't appear to be suited to the challenges of a 21st century urban nation.
Thanks to Geoffrey Singer