FCM president praises Minister Cannon's national transit announcement

    CALGARY, AB, June 2 /CNW Telbec/ - The following statement was released
today by Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) President, Councillor
Gord Steeves, following the announcement by Lawrence Cannon, Minister of
Transport, Infrastructure and Communities of a national transit strategy at
FCM's annual conference in Calgary.
    "Minister Cannon's announcement today of a national transit strategy was
very good news, and we look forward to working with him and his government to
make the strategy work for Canadians.
    FCM has been calling for a national transit strategy that would make our
cities more competitive and improve quality of life. Investing in transit can
also help Canada deal with climate change. The transportation sector accounts
for 30 per cent of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions, and passenger vehicles
contribute 70 per cent of transportation emissions. While we recognize that
the federal government is making investments in transit, the Canadian Urban
Transit Association says transit systems across the country need about
$4.2 billion a year to keep our systems running and expand them to accommodate
more riders. Without predictable, long-term funding, municipalities cannot
plan and finance long-term transit projects.
    FCM's Big City Mayors' Caucus has called for $2 billion a year for
capital expenses, as well as integrated land-use and transportation planning,
incentives to encourage people to use transit, research to support greater
transit use, and measures to ensure all governments are accountable.
    Minister Cannon said in his speech today that a great city is built by an
act of imagination. There is no shortage of imagination and vision in Canada's
cities and communities, and if we have the tools to put our imagination to
work, we can build a great country."

For further information:

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

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Federation of Canadian Municipalities

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