OTTAWA, Feb. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - The following statement was released today
by the President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), Winnipeg
Councillor Gord Steeves, in response to the speech by Jack Layton, Leader of
the New Democratic Party of Canada, to delegates at FCM's Sustainable
Communities Conference in Ottawa.
"Jack Layton has long been a friend of FCM, and his call on the federal
government to include new funds for municipal transit in the next budget
demonstrates that friendship continues.
Speaking to delegates at our Sustainable Communities Conference in
Ottawa, Mr. Layton called for an additional one cent per litre of the federal
gas tax to be transferred to municipalities for transit.
Municipal governments need dedicated, federal transit funding provide the
level of transit services that will encourage people to leave their cars at
home and help fight gridlock and congestion.
According to the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA), transit
systems in Canada need $40.1 billion over the next five years to rehabilitate,
replace and expand existing systems to accommodate the growing numbers of
public transit users.
In its pre-budget submission to the federal government, FCM calls on the
federal government to develop a fully funded, national transit plan, first by
extending the dedicated transit funding provided by the Public Transit Capital
Trust, set to expire this year, and then by ramping up that investment to an
annual contribution of $2 billion.
Safe, reliable and efficient public transit delivers substantial
economic, environmental and social benefits to our cities and communities. It
must become a national priority, and we thank Mr. Layton for his support."
For further information:
For further information: Maurice Gingues, (613) 907-6395