Parties need plan as 40% of municipal funding expires
OTTAWA, April 6 /CNW/ - Forty percent of federal investments in
municipalities are set to expire, but two weeks into the federal
election campaign, no Party has a concrete plan for the growing
challenges in cities and communities, said the Federation of Canadian
Municipalities (FCM) when it released its election platform today.
"It's time for leadership - traffic gridlock is choking our cities,
local police services are overstretched, and 175,000 Canadian families
are on affordable housing waiting lists," said FCM President Hans
Cunningham. "Municipalities just don't have the funding tools other
governments have, and they can't afford to meet these national
challenges all on their own."
FCM's platform, Strong Cities, Strong Communities, Strong Canada,
contains practical and affordable solutions to protect communities and
build on recent investments as the budget outlook improves. The
platform focuses on five key priority areas: infrastructure;
transportation and public transit; rural, remote and northern Canada;
policing and community safety; and housing.
FCM is calling on all federal party leaders to commit to renewing
expiring investments in infrastructure, policing and housing, and
indexing the gas-tax transfer to keep up with economic growth.
"Forty percent of federal investments in municipalities will expire in
the next 36 months. That's not stimulus money - that's 40 percent of
core funding - investments in roads, housing, and front-line police
officers," said Cunningham. "Across the country, voters are waiting for
Party Leaders to outline their plans for building the strong cities and
communities our country needs to strengthen its economy and protect its
quality of life."
Federal investments in need of renewal include recently expired
dedicated transit funding, affordable housing programs and subsidies,
the Police Officer Recruitment Fund, and the Building Canada Fund.
Together these investments are worth $1.9 billion per year.
* The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) has been the national
voice of municipal government since 1901. FCM represents close to 90
per cent of the Canadian population - more than 2,000 municipal
governments across the country.
SOURCE FEDERATION OF CANADIAN MUNICIPALITIES
For further information:
Mouktar Abdillahi, Media Relations Officer, 613-907-6395