Statement by FCM President on today's launch of the Recreational Infrastructure Canada program

    OTTAWA, May 11 /CNW Telbec/ - Statement by Jean Perrault, President of
the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and Mayor of Sherbrooke, Que.,
on today's launch of the Recreational Infrastructure Canada program:

    "FCM welcomes today's launch of the Recreational Infrastructure Canada
    (RInC) program.

    RInC will create thousands of jobs across the country on projects that
    repair aging recreation facilities. With speedy project approvals, RInC
    can get funding to front-line infrastructure projects quickly enough to
    put shovels in the ground this construction season.

    Not only will that help boost the economy, but it will deliver ongoing
    health and social benefits to cities and communities across the country.
    Quality hockey rinks, swimming pools, and other recreation facilities
    keep Canadians active, bring members of the community together, and give
    our children access to healthy pastimes.

    The launch of RInC, and the addition of recreational infrastructure as an
    eligible category under the Building Canada Fund, opens the door to an
    increased federal role in building healthy, physically active cities and

    Almost half of Canadians are overweight or obese. One in 10 children is
    overweight, and the trend is growing. This has serious consequences,
    because excess weight is linked to many diseases and to premature death.
    Because one of the leading causes of obesity and related health problems
    is lack of physical activity, one of the most important ways to combat
    obesity and ensure the health and well-being of citizens is to enable
    physical activity.

    Participation in sport and recreation is also widely accepted as a
    powerful contributor to personal and social development, particularly for
    individuals deemed to be 'at risk.' An increase in sport activity can
    result in better performance in school, reduced crime rates and reduced
    use of illicit drugs.

    As project proposals are submitted and reviewed for RInC funding, the
    federal government must continue its efforts to secure cost-sharing
    agreements with every province and territory. Municipalities welcome the
    federal government's commitment to provide one-third of project funding,
    but this funding must leverage matching contributions from provinces and
    territories so that municipal stimulus projects receive adequate funding.
    Under a full and fair funding partnership, municipalities can put the
    RInC program to work creating jobs and improving recreation facilities in
    all parts of the country."

For further information:

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

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Federation of Canadian Municipalities

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