This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
The Transport, Infrastructure and Communities Minister, Denis Lebel, has recently praised all Canadian municipalities for collectively gathering national support to enhance the federal funding for their local roads, bridges, water systems and public transit.
During an interview, Lebel claimed that cities played a key role, as they held conferences throughout the country over the past year, that helped them in forming and proposing the multi-billion dollar plan announced in the Harper government’s latest budget. A former mayor of Roberval, Que, Lebel, alleged that “it was a big team effort,” and “the finance minister and our government were sensitive to their demands and I’m happy to see the results for them today. We’re both satisfied so it’s a good decision that will help everyone.” Additionally, Lebel alleged that the next step is to settle agreements with the provinces, because they are constitutionally responsible for cities, and to start distributing the money when a new funding program begins on April 1, 2014.
In the recently announced budget, the government upheld a recommendation of increasing the $2 billion annual transfer by two per cent per year, over ten years. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities has mentioned that this funding will allow long-term dependable funding for major capital spending, such as for rapid public transit projects because they often take years to build. An Edmonton city councillor who is also president of the federation, Karen Leibovici, shared that “especially with those bigger projects, you don’t build them on the day that you announce them, so having the funding increase over a period of time actually makes a lot of sense.”