OTTAWA, Feb. 5 /CNW Telbec/ - The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) today applauded the Government of Canada for reaching an agreement in principle to exempt Canadian companies from "Buy American" trade restrictions.
"Canadian are fighting hard to recover from the recession, but they need to be on a level playing field with their neighbours south of the border," said FCM President Basil Stewart, mayor of Summerside, P.E.I. "Today's announcement gives them hope."
"This deal is a powerful reminder that all three orders of government must work together for Canada to meet its economic challenges," added Stewart. "This issue - and Canada's own economic stimulus plan - show there is no substitute for federal, provincial/territorial and municipal collaboration. We must keep this partnership strong."
Buy American became a national political priority when the Town of Halton Hills, Ont., grabbed international headlines with a resolution on the issue that it brought to FCM's annual conference in Whistler, B.C., in June 2009. The resolution, supported by mayors and councils from across the country, called for action on both sides of the border. It exposed a policy that was hurting communities - and the economy - reeling from the global recession, and set the stage for a negotiated solution.
"Today isn't just about a trade deal, it's about people. It's about protecting Canadian workers, families, businesses and communities," said Halton Hills mayor Rick Bonnette. "Those folks are hurting from the downturn and they need to know that all governments are working together to create jobs and give their communities a fair chance to compete. The progress we're seeing today is a product of that kind of cooperation."
"As we move ahead, Canadians will need to know more about how exactly the agreement will impact cities and communities and how quickly it can be implemented," said Stewart. "But as long as governments continue working together, in collaboration with businesses and communities, we're hopeful this agreement-in-principle can lead to a concrete solution."
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) has been the national voice of municipal government since 1901. With more than 1,800 members, FCM represents the interests of municipalities on policy and program matters that fall within federal jurisdiction. Members include Canada's largest cities, small urban and rural communities, and 18 provincial and territorial municipal associations.
SOURCE Federation of Canadian Municipalities
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