New FCM survey shows Canadians want federal infrastructure funding protected
as government reduces deficit

OTTAWA, Jan. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - A new national survey released today in Ottawa by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) shows Canadians want the Government of Canada to protect investments in their local infrastructure as it eliminates its budget deficit.

"Ninety-six per cent of Canadians want the government to maintain or increase its funding for local infrastructure and they're ready to invest more of their tax dollars to make sure it happens," said FCM President Basil Stewart, the mayor of Summerside, P.E.I., today in Ottawa during the release of the survey. "Canadians have a clear message for the government: do not balance your books by cutting badly-needed investments in our community infrastructure."

The survey shows that an overwhelming number of Canadians believe that local infrastructure is among the most important areas to protect from federal spending cuts, second only to health care.

The opinion poll, the first comprehensive survey of Canadians' views on post-recession spending priorities, was conducted for FCM by the Strategic Counsel, which surveyed more than 2,000 Canadians in early January. Entitled, Cities, Communities, and the Federal Budget Deficit, the opinion poll examines Canadians' views on the deficit, taxes, and federal spending priorities.

The poll shows that 32 per cent of Canadians would support raising the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to pay down the federal deficit, but up to 70 per cent would support an increase dedicated to local infrastructure repairs and upgrades. Survey results reveal that Canadians believe the country is falling behind on infrastructure investments and that this is a threat to their future prosperity.

"Seventy-one percent of Canadians expect the government to take at least a decade to get out of deficit, and they don't want it delaying infrastructure repairs to get there," said Tim Woolstencroft of The Strategic Counsel. "Stimulus spending will come to an end, but Canadians want the federal government to protect its long-term investments in community infrastructure."

The results are based on a national survey of 2,168 Canadians aged 18 years and older, with a margin of error of 2.11 per cent, 19 times out of 20. Results are based on interviews conducted during the first week of January 2010.

To view the report, visit www.fcm.ca/fcmsurvey2010.

FCM The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) has been the national voice of municipal government since 1901. With 1,796 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

For further information: For further information: Maurice Gingues at (613) 907-6395 or mgingues@fcm.ca

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Federation of Canadian Municipalities

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