No review of St. Lawrence Parks payments to municipalities

Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism, and Culture Industries, talks with South Dundas deputy mayor Kirsten Gardner, mayor Steven Byvelds, and SLPC CEO Hollee Kew during MacLeod’s tour of the village. (The Leader/Blancher photo)

MORRISBURG – There will be no changes to how the St. Lawrence Parks Commission compensates municipalities in lieu of property taxes.

Currently, the SLPC pays a payment in lieu of municipal taxation to each municipality in which the SLPC owns property.

In the Municipality of South Dundas that amounts to a yearly payment of $5,444. The municipality sees more in property tax from a single residential property on Lakeshore Drive.

During a media scrum following the July 18th announcement of new funding for the SLPC at Upper Canada Village, Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism, and Culture Industries, was asked by The Leader if the payment in lieu of taxes amount would be reviewed.

MacLeod deferred the question to SLPC CEO Hollee Kew who said that the amount paid to municipalities is regulated by the legislation that created the commission.

“What we really try to celebrate is the economic impact that we have in the region,” Kew said.

She added that the commission employs up to 600 people per year accounting for approximately $14 million in salaries and wages.

“The major economic impact that we have is $85-100 million per year,” Kew said.

On follow up, the minister was asked if a review would occur because of the impact that COVID-19 is having on tourism businesses, where municipal revenue shortfalls may occur.

“The province isn’t looking at that,” MacLeod answered.

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