Lack of action on oil and gas issues at 2019 FCM conference may prompt Northern Sunrise to boycott 2020 conference

Susan Thompson
South Peace News

The Town of Peace River continues to fight against a Canada Revenue Agency decision that upheld a GST audit which assessed the Town’s inter-municipal cost sharing agreements as taxable and hit the town with a surprise $600,000 tax bill for the new arena.

As a result, council has decided to put forward a resolution on the issue at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities [FCM] conference in June 2020.

The resolution seeks to confirm the cost sharing agreements are made for the public purpose and so don’t constitute a taxable supply.

Meanwhile, municipal neighbour Northern Sunrise County is openly discussing pulling out of FCM over what they see as lack of action on Alberta’s concerns, such as the downturn in the oil and gas industr.

Although the county was invited to take part in a special Alberta reception at the 2020 conference that would have cost the county up to $10,000 for their portion of an up to $100,000 budget, the county rejected the idea because of their lack of success advocating for oil and gas with FCM at past events.

Deputy reeve Norm Duvall suggests the county may want to encourage other municipalities to consider pulling their memberships as a way to get the organization to take more significant action.

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