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Kelly Says HRM Not Prepared to Lower its Expectations
(Friday, September 13/2002)-- The residents of Halifax Regional Municipality are not willing to lower their expectations for anything less than $75 million from the federal government as its share towards the Harbour Solutions Project, Mayor Peter Kelly said today.
Mayor Kelly said he was concerned by remarks attributed in the media today to Fisheries Minister Robert Thibault, Nova Scotia's representative in the federal Cabinet, that the Province may not be able to get all the funding it is looking for from the Canadian Strategic Infrastructure Fund (CSIF).
Emerging from a meeting with Premier John Hamm yesterday, Mr. Thibault said there may be money in the Fund for Halifax Harbour clean-up and highways, but "you won't be able to do everything."
Mayor Kelly said Halifax Regional Council has been consistent in its discussions with both levels of government during the past several years-- it requires $30 million in funding from the Province and $75 million from the Federal government-- or any other combination they may deem appropriate to achieve the $105 million. The Province has indicated its share could be forthcoming in the next number of weeks.
He said "Council has committed to funding two-thirds of the total project cost, up to $210 million, and the remaining third will be funded by the Province and the Federal government. Residents on the municipal water system are already paying towards their share of the Project through their quarterly billings. We are not prepared to accept any lower expectations from the two other levels of government."
Mayor Kelly said the Provincial government must push for the $75 million from the Federal government and he agreed with Premier John Hamm that Nova Scotia Liberal MPs should be pressuring the Chretien government to fund both the Halifax Harbour clean-up and highway improvements in the province.
"However, the municipality and the Province can't be sitting back and hoping that the MPs and Minister Thibault will be doing all of the work. Representatives of all three governments in Nova Scotia should be working overtime to make sure that HRM receives the one-third funding it is requesting from the Infrastructure Fund" the Mayor said.
Mayor Peter Kelly