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Atlantic mayors press for federal and provincial governments to join municipalities in creating jobs and fixing crumbling infrastructure
(Friday, April 17, 2009, Halifax) - Mayors from Atlantic Canada are calling on provinces and territories to sit down with the federal government and establish fast-moving programs that get money to municipal projects in time to do work during this construction season.
The municipal leaders are gathered in Halifax today to discuss the economic crisis and the federal infrastructure stimulus package.
The mayors noted that the Federal Government is taking concrete steps to put its economic stimulus plan to work. In Quebec, Ontario and BC, federal and provincial governments have recently announced programs to flow stimulus dollars to frontline, municipal infrastructure projects.
“We need more programs like these in every region of the country to fight the recession and strengthen communities for the future. But there are some big challenges to overcome before funding reaches new projects and creates new jobs,” noted the host of the forum, Halifax Mayor Peter Kelly.
“The biggest challenge is to get stimulus programs up and running. Municipalities across the country have identified more than 2,000 construction-ready municipal projects, but in most provinces there’s still no way for municipalities to access stimulus dollars for those projects.”
Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee said, “Regardless of which avenue is used, we need to have the dollars delivered now so we can start work and put Canadians back to work.”
“We are calling on the federal government to speed up the roll out of their stimulus funding so we can start construction and put people to work,” Mr. Lee said.
Getting these programs up and running will require a once-in-a-generation commitment by all levels of government to work together to fight the global economic crisis.
“Municipalities are ready and waiting to play their part,” Mr. Kelly added.
Mayor Peter Kelly
Chairman of Atlantic Mayors’ Congress
Mayor Bruce MacDougall
Mayor Basil Stewart
Mayor Clifford Lee
Mayor David Hanson
Mayor Graham Letto
Mayor Leo Abbass
Mayor Woodrow French