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Atlantic Mayors Congress Calls for Stronger Partnership with Provincial and Federal Governments
(Saturday, March 27, 2004) - MONCTON - Members of the Atlantic Mayors Congress wrapped up a two-day conference in Moncton today calling on both the provincial governments of Atlantic Canada and the Government of Canada to work with municipalities to ensure a new partnership between both levels of government and the municipalities across the region.
"This new partnership for municipalities is essential to our future growth and prosperity," says Atlantic Mayors Congress Chair, Halifax Regional Municipality Mayor Peter Kelly. "Municipalities need to have a greater say and a greater autonomy in how they move forward in a constantly changing economic and social environment."
The Atlantic Mayors Congress passed a number of resolutions during the two-day session including:
A resolution calling on the federal government to ensure that the Federal Government take immediate steps to finalize a deal with municipalities on how they plan to share a portion of the fuel tax, or some other mechanism, with municipalities;
A resolution calling on the federal government to review the exclusion of Atlantic Canada from the funds recently allocated for Urban Aboriginal Strategies;
A resolution calling on the federal government to ensure that important social and cultural events across Atlantic Canada still get funding consideration despite the recent cancellation of the federal sponsorship program;
A resolution calling on the federal government to convert the Commercial Heritage Properties Incentive Fund to a tax credit program; and
A resolution calling on the provincial premiers to promote a "Buy Atlantic First" program with respect to Atlantic Canadian agricultural products.
A resolution calling on the federal government to allow the Atlantic Mayors Congress to have a seat at the policy decision making process for the Federal Infrastructure Program.
"The Atlantic Mayors Congress is an important vehicle to ensure that municipalities in this region are given the opportunity to present their ideas and concerns with a single voice" says the host of the conference, Moncton Mayor Brian Murphy. "Moving forward, Atlantic Canadian municipalities will have to continue to combine their forces if we want all levels of government to work with municipalities to ensure that our cities, towns and villages continue to prosper."
The two-day conference also boasted a number of guest speakers who talked about the importance of economic development in Atlantic Canada including; Minister of State for Infrastructure, Andy Scott; Former New Brunswick Premier Frank McKenna; NDP Leader Jack Layton and President of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies Brian Lee Crowley.
The Atlantic Mayors Congress was established in November 2001. The congress is designed to allow mayors of Atlantic municipalities to work together as a united front on common issues, particularly in dealings with the federal and provincial governments.
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