Community Capacity Building: A Priority For Ministers of Local Government

OTTAWA, July 15 /CNW/ - Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Local Government today reaffirmed their commitment to support municipal and community economic development.

"Canada needs prosperous and viable municipalities and communities," said Jim Bradley, Ontario's Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. "Local government ministers believe collectively that we can better help our municipalities and communities prepare for a new economic climate by learning from each other's experiences and successes."

Municipal infrastructure such as transportation, water and wastewater is a priority for all local government ministers. Local infrastructure investment creates jobs, advances green energy efforts, addresses community priorities and stimulates private sector investment. Provincial and territorial ministers called on the federal government to commit to adequate, predictable, flexible and long-term funding to address municipal infrastructure needs. Ministers had an opportunity to discuss this with John Baird, the federal Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.

The heads of two municipal associations met with the ministers during their annual conference in Ottawa. Peter Hume, the President of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, spoke on the value of municipal-provincial/territorial collaboration and Harry Nyce, the President of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities, shared his experiences with Aboriginal engagement and community economic development. Ministers recognized the strengthened relationship with provincial and territorial municipal associations is contributing to initiatives and approaches for sustainable communities and municipalities.

Provinces and territories are using innovative approaches to stimulate the development of local economies. Dr. Rob Greenwood from the Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development at Memorial University shared his experience regarding rural and regional economic development and capacity building for local sustainability.

Ministers also considered research aimed at enhancing the role of the municipal sector in responding to climate change challenges. The research looked at what could be done to support municipalities in adapting to the effects of climate change.

The 2011 annual meeting of Ministers Responsible for Local Government will be hosted by the government of New Brunswick.

SOURCE Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

For further information: For further information: Joe Kim, Minister's Office, Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, 416 585-7686

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Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

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