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ATLANTIC MAYORS CALL FOR LONG-TERM FERRY FUNDING FROM PROVINCES, FEDERAL GOVERNMENT - Atlantic Mayors’ Congress wraps up two days of meetings

Halifax, April 16-At the end of two days of meetings that saw them tackle issues ranging from funding for wastewater upgrades to ways to increase immigration to the region to funding for urban search and rescue, the mayors of Atlantic Canada’s largest communities issued a call to provincial and federal governments to provide long-term funding for Atlantic ferry services.

The mayors, members of the Atlantic Mayors’ Congress (AMC) were in Halifax for their spring meeting.
According to the mayors, the immediate and pressing issue is the lack of a coordinated regional long-term plan to maintain and enhance ferry services. This has resulted over the years to ad-hoc funding decisions that create uncertainty in the region and affect economic development prospects.

“For much of Atlantic Canada, ferry service is an extension of our regional and national highway system,” said Atlantic Mayors’ Congress chair HRM Mayor Peter Kelly. “Cutting off funding for this essential service would be like cutting off funding for highway maintenance and construction; no one would stand for it.”

The mayors are calling on the Atlantic Gateway Council to give greater weight to the role played by ferry service in the region and making it a key component of the Atlantic Gateway Initiative. The AMC also plans to continue its efforts to secure a long-term funding commitment from provincial and federal governments.
The mayors also agreed to organize a second immigration summit early next year. The summit would be to take stock of the outcomes and lessons learned from the Atlantic Immigration Conference held in Halifax in 2005.

Public safety was also on the agenda for the mayors who heard a presentation from the HRM Atlantic Heavy Urban Search and Rescue Team. The unit, which is based in Halifax, is designed to provide specialized search and rescue services in the event of major natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods or forest fires. It hopes to extend its reach region-wide but will need financial support from the various provincial governments. The mayors agreed to support the unit in their funding requests.

“Our two days of meetings helped illustrate just how important a group like the Atlantic Mayors’ Congress is,” said Mayor Kelly. “Many of the issues we face municipalities have a common root; the lack of resources at our disposal. Working together, developing one voce is the surest way to get the attention of our provincial and federal governments.”

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For more information:
Mayor Peter Kelly 902-490-4010

 

 

 

Above content last modified Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 8:49am.