OTTAWA, Sept. 21 /CNW Telbec/ - The following statement was released today by Federation of Canadian Municipalities' (FCM) President Basil Stewart, Mayor of Summerside, P.E.I., following the speech by Leader of the Official Opposition Michael Ignatieff before the Toronto Board of Trade:
"FCM applauds today's commitment by Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff to invest in Canada's cities and communities by increasing the federal Gas Tax Fund (GTF). By increasing investments in quality roads, bridges, public transit, and water systems, an enhanced GTF would help protect Canada's quality of life - and strengthen the physical foundations of our economy - as we emerge from the global recession.
Canada can't grow its economy or compete in the post-recession world without healthy, vibrant cities and communities. The GTF gives municipalities a powerful tool to build and maintain the core infrastructure and transportation networks we need to serve growing businesses and attract new investment and jobs.
Today's commitment recognizes that municipalities need new revenue tools to meet their growing responsibilities. The permanent GTF gave cities and communities a long-term, predictable share of new revenues for the first time. Expanding the fund will help us build the foundation for a 21st century economy.
The permanent GTF is the most important federal investment ever made in cities and communities and one of several recent commitments that lay the foundation for a national plan to strengthen cities and communities over the long haul.
Investing in cities and communities will help Canada position itself to succeed in a more competitive and uncertain post-recession world. Using the GTF to deliver dollars will help ensure we make the most of our investments at a time when federal deficits will once again demand fiscal restraint.
What is essential is that we not repeat the errors of Canada's last deficit fight, when offloading and spending cuts hurt property tax payers and weakened communities across Canada.
Canadians know their country is only as strong as the places where they live and work and they don't want to relive the mistakes of the past. They want to move forward - not backwards. Today's commitment is an important step in the right direction."
SOURCE Federation of Canadian Municipalities
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