FCM delegates welcome Minister Lawrence Cannon to annual conference in Quebec City



    QUEBEC CITY, June 2 /CNW Telbec/ - The following statement was released
today by Federation of Canadian Municipalities' (FCM) President, Mayor Jean
Perrault, following the speech by Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport,
Infrastructure and Communities at FCM's annual conference in Quebec City, Que.

    "FCM delegates welcomed Minister Cannon today and responded warmly to his
expression of support for municipal governments and his promise "to continue
to deliver on the Government's long-term commitment."
    We agree with the Minister that his government has made an "unprecedented
commitment to the well-being of our communities," making the "largest
infrastructure investment in Canadian history."
    The decision in Budget 2008 to make the federal gas tax transfer
permanent is a critical first step toward tackling the municipal fiscal
imbalance and building vibrant cities and communities. The permanent gas tax
fund sets a new standard for the way the Government of Canada supports cities
and communities. It will provide the kind of funding support our cities and
communities need: significant, sustained and predictable.
    We also acknowledge the importance of the $500 million for public transit
that was announced in Budget 2008, which will help meet critical community
needs. FCM will continue working with Minister Cannon to develop a long-term
national transit strategy that will deliver safe and reliable public
transportation.
    We are pleased to hear the Minister say that "the job of Building Canada
is underway," but we urge the Government to expedite the process or we will
lose another construction season while agreements are negotiated with the
provinces and territories.
    FCM looks forward to working with Minister Cannon and his Government to
make Canadian cities and communities the best places to live, work and raise
our families."




For further information:

For further information: Maurice Gingues, (613) 907-6395; Robert Ross,
InterChange Public Affairs, Ottawa, ON  Canada, (613) 290-5341

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Federation of Canadian Municipalities

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