The provincial urban and rural municipal associations from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba met today in Regina to discuss issues of common interest. Of significance to all associations is the need for greater investment in municipal infrastructure by the federal and provincial governments.
"The west is where economic activity is happening in this country," said Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association Vice-President for Towns Rolly Zimmer. "We are deeply concerned that the economic growth of our region will be severely impacted by the lack of investment through federal/provincial programs in municipal infrastructure."
"Local governments provide the necessary infrastructure required to grow an economy," said Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities President David Marit. "Unfortunately, rural and urban governments have a limited number of tools to raise funds necessary and are restricted in borrowing to address the challenge of rehabilitating and constructing growth-related infrastructure such as roads, bridges, water systems, and recreational facilities."
"It is critical that the provincial and federal governments increase investment in municipal infrastructure," said Alberta Urban Municipalities Association President Linda Sloan. "They must commit to a long-term funding partnership with local governments to address essential infrastructure."
"There is a tremendous need for infrastructure investment in our communities," said Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties President Bob Barss. "Local governments are in need of an infrastructure program that helps us to address the challenges we face, without this investment our economies will suffer."
All municipal associations are currently engaged with their respective provincial governments on the issue of infrastructure. In addition, they are working through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, to ensure these concerns are also being communicated to the federal government.
A common request among all associations is that any new infrastructure program must be long- term, sustainable and that funding should be substantial to make a considerable impact on the infrastructure deficit.
"Local governments play a pivotal role in a province's economy by providing the services and infrastructure necessary to attract people and investment," said Association of Manitoba Municipalities President Doug Dobrowolski. "Ensuring local governments have the funding needed to continue in this role is crucial to the future of all three provinces."
For more information please contact:
SUMA: Rolly Zimmer, VP Towns (306) 873-2001
SARM: David Marit, President (306) 476-7754
AAMDC: Gerald Rhodes, Executive Director (780) 955-3639
AUMA: Linda Sloan, President (780) 915-8880
AMM: Lynne Bereza, Communications Coordinator (204) 856-2366