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Mayor Kelly off to Big City Mayors’ Caucus
(Wednesday, May 26, 2010) - Mayor Peter Kelly will be attending the Big City Mayors´ Caucus (BCMC) this Thursday where he will bring forward a resolution for cost-sharing to meet new federal wastewater regulations that will prove costly for municipalities.
“While the objectives of the wastewater strategy are laudable, the costs are exorbitant. In HRM alone we could be looking at estimated costs of $2 billion within the next three decades,” said Mayor Kelly. “This is a burden we cannot download to taxpayers.”
At Thursday’s meeting, Mayor Kelly will introduce a resolution in support of a cost-shared funding strategy to help municipalities meet the new obligations under the Canadian Council of Ministers of Environment (CCME) Wastewater Strategy, signed in February 2009 between the provinces and the federal government.
“Without a dedicated funding program cost-shared by the three levels of government, HRM and municipalities across the country face onerous costs at a time when they are already struggling to address infrastructure funding gaps,” said Mayor Kelly.
The CCME wastewater strategy defines national performance standards for treated wastewater effluent, moving to secondary-level treatment. The three Harbour Solutions wastewater treatment facilities are designed as advanced primary systems. The strategy also sets national standards for combined sewer overflows and sanitary sewer overflows which would mean extensive work to bring older parts of Halifax and Dartmouth into compliance.
The BCMC, which includes municipal leaders from Canada’s 22 largest municipalities, meets one day prior to the opening of the Federation of the Canadian Municipalities (FCM) annual conference. The meeting provides an opportunity for civic leaders to address major national issues that affect municipalities such as transportation, infrastructure, the environment, and long term economic viability.
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Mayor Peter Kelly