Thunder Bay – Replacement Funding

The minions that scurry around the halls of City of Thunder Bay now must find $70 million in shovel-ready projects that can be presented to the federal and provincial governments  to be included in the 10 year,  $20 billion Infrastructure Plan.

The mayor referenced Moncton New Brunswick as an example of replacement funding.  The Feds and Provs, if they so choose, will pay for infrastructure programs that are already funded  by the city allowing those city funds to be spent on the $120 million hockey rink.

If the City of Thunder Bay was planning on buying new buses, senior levels of government would buy those buses and the city money that was budgeted for paying for those new buses will be free to pay for the $120 million hockey rink.  Fire trucks, street work, toilet paper, gasoline, painting offices, anything that the city wants to spend money on over the next ten years might qualify….MIGHT.

The problem is, and you see this in the Moncton example is that , in order to build a $120 million hockey rink, the City of Thunder Bay needs to have ALL the money in the bank.  That is why Moncton voted to borrow over $90 million.

The federal and provincial replacement funding will likely be paid out over ten years.  I doubt if they will pay for every shovel-ready project immediately.  The money will flow out over years…as many as 10 years.

So, the City of Thunder Bay will need to borrow the $70 million or some figure like that, and then pay the loan off with the federal and provincial funding dollars as they come available.

That is my understanding of how it will work. I could be wrong but…

Natuarlly, the City of Thunder Bay will want to get as much of that sweet, sweet Queens Park and Ottawa cash as possible upfront.  Of course, our City officials will lie, cheat and make promises that they will break shortly after any agreement is signed just to get that money.

To paraphrase a former city politician: Getting the money is the important thing.  What happens after that doesn’t matter.  True…senior governments will never take money back…EVER.

However, what happens if the City of Thunder Bay borrows $70 million and the the economy crashes and we are stuck paying that money back..on our own?  Anyone asking THAT question?

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