Municipalities key to sustainable, inclusive Canada: NDP leader (03/06/2017)
FCM President Clark Somerville issued the following statement after an address today by New Democratic Party of Canada Leader Tom Mulcair at FCM's Annual Conference: Shaping Canada's Future (Ottawa, June 1-4).
"During his remarkable political career at the provincial and federal levels, Tom Mulcair has been a steadfast champion for municipal priorities. I want to thank him for sharing the NDP's views with municipal leaders gathered in Ottawa today, as we continue to discuss ways to shape a more sustainable, prosperous and inclusive Canada.
In Mr. Mulcair's words: "The municipal leaders in Canada are exceptional ... We believe that if the pursuit of equality informs federal policy, and if local governments and expertise are part of the process, that we can and will improve people's lives in every community across this country."
FCM works closely with Canada's opposition parties to keep local priorities on the national agenda. For instance, municipalities are responsible for 60 per cent of the public infrastructure in this country. And the NDP has consistently championed investments in that infrastructure to generate public value: growth, productivity, lower emissions and a higher quality of life.
Today, we have a historic opportunity to shape Canada's future by investing in communities. The federal government has committed unprecedented investment for public transit, affordable housing, rural infrastructure and climate action. These are long-standing priorities not just for local governments, but for the NDP as well.
Our next steps are to help design these programs so they work for municipalities, and then to get to work delivering results in communities of all sizes And we look forward to continuing our dialogue with Mr. Mulcair and the NDP on this road ahead. As Canadians celebrate 150 years of Confederation, this is our chance to come together to shape the next 150."
Clark Somerville is a local/regional councillor for the Town of Halton Hills and Halton Region. His one-year term as FCM President concludes on June 4, 2017.
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