Crowfoot MP Kevin Sorenson met with municipal government leaders and residents last Thursday in Stettler as part of the MP’s tour of the riding.
He said the federal government continues to add to the Gas Tax Fund to help municipalities fund projects to replace aging infrastructure.
“We have doubled the gas tax,” Sorenson said the day after the Progressive Conservative Party celebrated the seventh anniversary of its first election win under Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Municipal reps endorsed the tax.
“The gas tax is important to us and we need that long-term funding for infrastructure,” said Stettler Coun. Al Campbell.
As elected officials return to the House of Commons this week for the next session and to prepare a budget, people suggested taxation reform to lighten the financial burden.
“We’ve got to encourage people to be savers, and urge people to pay down their debt,” Sorenson said. “It’s been a concern with our government. We want to be fair for families and all Canadians.”
To minimize costs, one person suggested cutting back the pension for MPs or work longer to get a pension. Sorenson replied that his expenses are well under budget.
With a labour shortage across the country, municipalities say they support the federal government immigration strategy to help sustain communities and the national economy.
“If you don’t have immigration, your communities shrink,” said Town of Stettler chief administrative officer Rob Stoutenberg.
“A lot of people have been added to our value and economy.”
Sorenson concurred with that reasoning:
“Canada’s economy would come to a grinding halt if we didn’t have immigration,” he said.
Many employers have also told him that they prefer to hire immigrants because they have better work ethic than younger Canadians.
“Even here in Stettler and in this riding, I have people waiting to come here,” Sorenson said.
The country seeks 250,000 more immigrants to help maintain services and programs “that are part of the Canadian fabric,” the MP said.