Statement by FCM President on the New Building Canada Fund (13/02/2014)
OTTAWA - The following statement was released by Claude Dauphin, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) regarding the New Building Canada Fund announced by Prime Minister Harper today.
"Today's announcement brings cities and communities closer to accessing new infrastructure funding by April 1. We welcome the federal government's commitment to long-term, predictable and stable infrastructure funding for our cities and communities and FCM is ready to work with the federal government to address important outstanding questions on the New Building Canada Fund.
By indexing the Gas Tax Fund and delivering Canada's longest and largest infrastructure plan, the federal government has recognized the importance of predictable and stable infrastructure funding to cities and communities. Additionally, the dedicated Small Communities Fund recognizes that small, rural, remote and northern communities need greater predictability and access to infrastructure funding.
However, important questions remain about how the rest of the New Building Canada Fund will be used to meet local needs.
Municipalities own a significant majority of public infrastructure and, for a fund that will span the next decade, we must be sure that that it is used accordingly. This is the only way to ensure that local governments can address infrastructure challenges in their communities. We are also concerned by rule changes that could force municipalities to carry a larger share of infrastructure costs in the future, the eligibility rules for local roads, the screening process for projects structured as public/private partnerships (P3s).
There are 45 days before April 1 when the municipal construction season begins. The federal government needs to work with FCM on details of the New Building Canada Fund, which will be critical to ensuring it delivers the best value for Canadians."