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Federal roundtables on long-term infrastructure plan key in addressing ground level challenges facing municipalities
July 13, 2012 - The federal government roundtables on the new long-term infrastructure plan are a key opportunity to increase the government's understanding of the ground level challenges facing Canada's cities and communities, and to ensure the success of the new long-term plan, says the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).
"We look forward to working with Minister Lebel to strengthen our ongoing partnership with the federal government." said FCM president Karen Leibovici. "Together we can - and we must - build a plan that reaches out and fixes the ground-level infrastructure problems affecting Canada's families, businesses and economy: crumbling roads, rusting bridges, crowded buses, and broken water-mains."
The federal government announced today a series of regional roundtables across the country. The government has invited provincial, territorial, and municipal leaders, and other infrastructure stakeholders from business, industry, and the non-governmental organization sector. As part of its Target 2014 campaign, FCM will be continuing to mobilize cities and communities across the country to make sure the roundtables reflect municipal priorities and lead to action.
In the last few years federal, provincial and territorial governments have partnered with local governments to fight the recession and fix aging roads, bridges, and water systems. To continue building the economy - and meet the needs of Canadian families and businesses - the new long-term infrastructure plan must keep that partnership strong for the long-haul.
"Canada is at a tipping point: either we continue moving forward with the job of rebuilding our municipal infrastructure or we will fall behind as crumbling infrastructure costs our economy jobs and investment," said FCM president Karen Leibovici. "With close to $2 billion in federal-municipal funding set to expire in 2014, federal, provincial and territorial governments must protect and build on recent investments in municipal infrastructure."
The new long-term plan must attack the municipal infrastructure deficit's root cause: a broken tax system that takes too much money out of Canada's communities and puts too little back in. Today local governments build and repair well over half of all public infrastructure - and pay for responsibilities offloaded by other governments - while collecting on average just eight cents of every tax dollar paid in Canada. It's time to start fixing that broken system.
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