Minister Anand: resolve NCC payment dispute
To the Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada:
Dear minister, I join the other residents of Chelsea and Gatineau to urge you to use your moral and legal authority to ensure that the National Capital Commission meets its duly assessed financial obligations to these municipalities. It is time that the NCC moves on from the posture of “...reviewing and analyzing the content of the advice” and implements the recommendation of the Dispute Advisory Panel.
As you are aware, because federal and provincial regulations restrict the capacity of municipalities to raise revenue, they rely very heavily on property taxes for their income. When federal agencies challenge their property assessments and withhold payments, the gap in income must be filled by the local residents or services, such as garbage collection, pest control, wastewater management, and road maintenance must be reduced. It is not in the interest of any stakeholders, including these same agencies, or the residents of the municipality to have such services reduced.
I agree that prudence and self-interest may motivate property owners to challenge assessments, but the ongoing behaviour of the NCC leads me to conclude that in this case the challenge was nothing more than a bullying tactic employed by an agency of the Crown against another level of government. What is even more egregious about the behaviour of the NCC is that the burden of not paying its assessment falls on the shoulders of a very miniscule portion of the nation’s residents. I urge you, in the interests of fair play and cooperation between different levels of government, to use your authority to have this matter speedily resolved.