Statement by FCM President on the Federal Budget

    OTTAWA, Jan. 27 /CNW Telbec/ - Statement by Jean Perrault, President of
the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and Mayor of Sherbrooke, on
the Federal Budget:

    "Today the federal government took concrete action to create new jobs,
fight the recession and invest in a safer, greener, more competitive Canada.
    FCM strongly supports the federal government's commitment to invest
significant new dollars in infrastructure projects that will put Canadians to
work in 2009 and 2010.
    We are pleased by the federal budget's allocation of $4 billion to
upgrade existing infrastructure. These dollars will help cities and
communities begin to address the country's growing backlog in road, sewer,
bridge and public transit repairs.
    And new funding for recreational infrastructure will help jumpstart
municipal projects to build and repair local hockey rinks, swimming pools and
community centres.
    The federal budget states that infrastructure programs "will be
structured to flow funding and get shovels in the ground quickly." This is
critical. This plan must be implemented quickly to counter the economic
    In this downturn, new funding must be delivered through flexible programs
that make job creation and value for money their top priorities. Strict
cost-sharing requirements would be a roadblock to getting work started on many
worthwhile projects, particularly now that municipalities have approved their
2009 capital budgets.
    It is important that today's budget lead to increased flexibility in this
area. Federal, provincial and territorial governments must continue to work
with municipalities to ensure that cash-strapped cities and communities can
access funds to create new jobs quickly. Municipalities, who are going to
invest $15 billion in infrastructure this year, will continue doing their
    In addition to its significant new infrastructure investments, the
federal budget's new funding for affordable housing will put Canadian labour
and building materials to work providing adequate housing for low-income
families. New money for broadband Internet service and economic development
will strengthen rural and northern communities.
    Today's federal budget will help build more sustainable rural
communities, and more livable urban regions. Quality infrastructure will help
Canada compete for talent and investment in the global economy.
    During the past three months, the federal government has engaged
municipalities, provinces and territories in a new dialogue about how we can
work together to put the economy back on track and deliver long-term value to
Canadians. Municipalities look forward to continuing this collaboration.
    With all orders of government working around the same table, with the
same goal, today's budget will create tens of thousands of jobs, boost our
flagging economy, and deliver value to Canadians for generations to come.
    Municipalities are ready to get started."

For further information:

For further information: visit; To arrange
interviews: Maurice Gingues, (613) 907-6395,

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Federation of Canadian Municipalities

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