Canadian Political Candidates

Frank deJong

[ GroundSwell, May-June 2010]

Frank deJong is running for Toronto City Council in November. John Fisher is the federal Green Party candidate in the riding of Elgin-Middlesex-London. Erich Jacoby-Hawkins is the Green party candidate in the Barrie riding.

Frank de Jong is running for ward 18 of the Toronto City Council. Part of his City Council campaign is for Self-funding Infrastructure. We quote him as follows:

"A painless way for Toronto to fund new infrastructure is for the city to collect the rise in local

land values generated by that actual infrastructure.

"The 'Mink Mile' reconstruction (Bloor between Avenue and Church) is being financed this way, and serves as an excellent model for other city improvements. Many cities around the world fund their infrastructure this way.

"If infrastructure is beneficial and warranted, it will raise local land value by more than the cost of that infrastructure. When redevelopment or new infrastructure - like parks, transit, rec centres, schools, hospitals - make areas of town more desirable to live in or do business in, the increased land value should be collected to pay for that redevelopment or new infrastructure. This way traditional municipal taxes don't rise anywhere in the city.

"Normally the increased economic rent goes (untaxed) to the person or company that owns affected land, even though governments paid for the improvements out of the tax base. Taxpayers everywhere are unjustly expected to pay for improvements that only benefit the local land-owning minority. Self-funding infrastructure remedies this problem."


by Frank de Jong, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

1. The following "Green taxation" resolution was passed at the Green Party of Ontario conference in June, 2010:

  • The Green Party of Ontario advocates fiscal policies that foster ecologically sustainable businesses, green jobs, preserve ecosystems and biodiversity, conserve resources for other species and future generations, shorten the work week, and ensures a high quality of life and basic economic equity for all;
  • The GPO proposes a natural resource levy so that those who use, monopolize or despoil our common wealth and reducing everyone else's access to and benefit from our common heritage, are obliged to reimburse society for this privilege;
  • The GPO would reduce taxes on labour, business and production and instead generate government revenue through fees and levies on the use and abuse of the global commons and on access to community assets;
  • The GPO proposes a green tax cut that distinguishes between earned and unearned income, and moves the tax burden from the former onto the latter. This shift will unburden the productive economy and instead finance government programs by collecting unearned income;
  • That institutions and businesses that enjoy access to community-built and tax-supported amenities and infrastructure be required to remit fees in the amount of the economic rent to government as compensation for the privileges granted;
  • The GPO further proposes that those who contribute back to the commons could be financially compensated by government. Companies and individuals who forgo income to conserve, protect or restore ecosystems could be partially reimbursed for expenses.

2. The following "Green Tax Reform", resolution will be considered at the Green Party of Canada convention in August:

  • WHEREAS land, minerals, aggregates, trees, fish, fossil fuels, wind, and clean air, water and soil... are gifts of nature, the benefits of which should accrue equitable to all Canadians;
  • WHEREAS taxing income, business, and consumption has the effect of reducing employment, burdening businesses and investors, and arbitrarily raising the prices of products;
  • WHEREAS title to land and monopoly control of natural resources often generate significant revenue without a corresponding cost of production (economic rent) which rightfully belongs to the community;
  • WHEREAS polluting is not a right but a privilege for which the community should be adequately compensated;
  • WHEREAS access to community-built and tax-funded amenities and infrastructure such as roads, stock markets, airspace, the internet..., is not a right but a privilege for which the community should be adequately compensated.
  • THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Green Party of Canada levy land, natural resource use, and pollution so that those who use the commons or restrict access to them for unearned income fairly reimburse society;
  • BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT there be a revenue-neutral shift of taxes from earned income to unearned income, unburdening the productive economy and recovering a portion of the economic rent that is generated by the commons;
  • BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT those who enjoy access to community-built and tax-supported amenities and infrastructure be required to remit to government a percentage of the economic rent collected as compensation for the access granted;
  • BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT those granted permits to emit pollutants remit to government Pigouvian taxes as deemed appropriate by legislators;
  • BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT those who contribute back to the commons -- the businesses and individuals who forgo opportunistic income to conserve, protect or restore ecosystems -- be financially compensated by the Canadian government.

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