Statement by FCM President following speech by NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair at today's FCM luncheon (22/11/2012)
OTTAWA - The following statement was released today by FCM president Karen Leibovici following NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair's speech at FCM's Advocacy Days luncheon in Ottawa:
"Municipal leaders welcome Mr. Mulcair's inspiring vision for a new partnership among all orders of government which strengthens our long-term economic foundations and improves Canadians' day-to-day lives. We appreciate Mr. Mulcair's commitment to work closely with local governments on the national issues playing out in our communities.
Mr. Mulcair called for the renewal of key federal housing programs, scheduled to expire in 2014. Rising housing costs, combined with rental and affordable housing shortages, are making it harder for families to make ends meet and businesses to attract new workers.
He also reinforced the New Democratic Party's well-established support for a new long-term infrastructure plan and endorsed FCM's recent proposal for a 20-year federal plan.
Municipalities are responsible for 60 per cent of Canada's public infrastructure, but collect just 8 cents out of every tax dollar paid in Canada. Mr. Mulcair understands the limits of Canada's antiquated property tax system, and the need for all governments to make secure, predictable investments in the local roads, bridges and water systems which support economic growth. He highlighted the heavy toll traffic congestion is taking on the national economy, and called for immediate and sustained action to alleviate the problem.
We look forward to continuing to work with Mr. Mulcair, the NDP, and all Members of Parliament to invest in our communities and build a stronger future for Canadians.