FCM RELEASES FEDERAL ELECTION PLATFORM

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

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FEDERATION OF CANADIAN MUNICIPALITIES

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