FCM President and Big City Mayors’ Caucus Chair respond to launch of infrastructure negotiations (06/07/2017)
FCM President Jenny Gerbasi and Mayor Don Iveson, Big City Mayors' Caucus Chair, issued the following statement on the launch of Phase 2 federal-provincial/territorial infrastructure negotiations and the release of the federal position on the negotiation of Integrated Bilateral Agreements.
ʺThis has been a big year for municipalities on the national stage. Budget 2017 committed historic federal investments for local priorities-investments that can transform our cities and communities and improve the lives of Canadians. Turning these historic investments into historic outcomes will require the full partnership of all orders of government.
The infrastructure bilateral agreement negotiations launched today will shape-or limit-this opportunity to strengthen cities and communities across the country. Done right, they will launch the next era of nation-building infrastructure, from transit systems to rural roads to water systems.
Focused federal leadership is needed to engage the provinces as full financial partners and to work with municipal leaders to get the program design right. This includes full and fair cost-sharing for infrastructure projects. The federal decision to offer a 40 per cent cost share and require a minimum 33 percent provincial share for municipal projects acknowledges that local fiscal limits shouldn't halt progress. Now we need to see similar provincial leadership to match the federal share. That's why FCM is recommending a 40/40/20 cost-sharing framework-40 per cent federal, 40 per cent provincial and 20 per cent municipal.
We're also looking for more clarity on what access local governments will have to federal green infrastructure funding. We are pleased that the federal government has indicated its expectation of a "fair balance" between municipal and provincial projects in all funding streams, including green infrastructure projects. Achieving this balance in the final bilateral agreements and the roll-out of new funding programs is critical.
These bilateral infrastructure negotiations also need to optimize investments for rural, northern and remote communities. We'll be working to ensure that rural communities are able to access all funding streams under Phase 2. Municipalities, working through their provincial and territorial municipal associations, will also need to be engaged as partners in defining eligible population thresholds for the rural and northern infrastructure stream.
The long-term infrastructure plan enabled by new federal investments is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to shape Canada's future-to build a country of more livable cities and communities in more competitive provinces. All orders of government need to work together to deliver transformative results for Canadians.ʺ
For more information, please contact:
FCM Media Relations, (613) 907-6395, firstname.lastname@example.org