Statement by FCM President on research showing that Canadian infrastructure is vulnerable to extreme weather caused by climate change



    OTTAWA, July 31 /CNW Telbec/ - The following statement was released today
by the President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), Mayor
Jean Perrault of Sherbrooke, Que., responding to news coverage of the recently
released report entitled "Adapting to Climate Change: Canada's First National
Engineering Vulnerability Assessment of Public Infrastructure." The report
concerns itself with the vulnerability to climate change of Canada's public
infrastructure.
    "This report is a critical reminder of the urgent need to ensure that
Canada's municipal infrastructure--vital to our economic prosperity and
quality of life--can withstand extreme weather caused by climate change."
    During the four years since the federal gas tax fund was launched - and
during the past twelve months in particular - we have seen accelerated federal
investments to repair and upgrade our infrastructure. The gas tax fund, now
permanent, and the Building Canada Fund together lay the groundwork for a
national plan to eliminate the $123-billion municipal infrastructure deficit
and meet the challenges of the future. We congratulate the Government of
Canada for its leadership on infrastructure issues and look forward to
building on the progress to date.
    While the groundwork for a national infrastructure strategy is beginning
to take shape, more needs to be done to repair and maintain our aging assets
and protect them from extreme weather caused by climate change. As these
reports demonstrate, the urgency and scope of the problem leave no time to
waste. We must begin now to develop and implement a national plan with clear
targets and supported by long-term funding.
    Municipalities build, own and maintain more than half of Canada's
infrastructure. The work of developing a national plan to protect our
country's roads, bridges and water supply from damage by extreme weather must
involve federal, provincial/territorial and municipal governments in a real
partnership.
    "We are confident that, working together, we can build on the progress
already made and forge the partnership that will keep Canada's municipal
infrastructure secure. Canada's cities and communities stand ready to do their
part."




For further information:

For further information: Maurice Gingues, (613) 907-6395

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Federation of Canadian Municipalities

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