Local governments are shaping Canada: Official Opposition (02/06/2017)
FCM President Clark Somerville issued the following statement today after a keynote address by Official Opposition Finance Critic Gérard Deltell at FCM's Annual Conference: Shaping Canada's Future (Ottawa, June 1-4).
"It was FCM's pleasure to welcome Gérard Deltell to our podium today here in Ottawa. As Official Opposition Finance Critic, he plays an important role in the nation-building dialogue that increasingly frames our work as municipal leaders. Mr. Deltell clearly recognizes that communities of all sizes increasingly drive Canada's economy and quality of life.
In his own words: "The federal government should be a full partner in the decisions you take as elected municipal leaders-you, who are closest to citizens' needs, so those needs can be met effectively, with federal support and assistance." [translation]
As the national voice of local government, FCM builds strong working relationships with Canada's federal parties. FCM worked in partnership with the previous Conservative government on important municipal priorities-including launching the New Building Canada Fund and the Small Communities Fund, and raising the bar on transit investment.
That Conservative government also indexed and made permanent the Gas Tax Fund, which remains a benchmark of empowering municipalities through predictable transfers. And our working relationship has continued with the Conservatives serving as Official Opposition.
Today's new long-term federal infrastructure plan is unprecedented opportunity to strengthen Canada by building stronger communities. To unlock that potential, it will be critical to get the program designs right, and to ensure exceptional returns on investment for Canadians.
Local governments have a proven record of turning infrastructure dollars into outcomes-cost-effectively and with accountability-and Mr. Deltell made it clear that these are priorities for his party as well. FCM looks forward to continuing our work with the Official Opposition and incoming leader Andrew Scheer, on the road to building a better Canada.
Clark Somerville is a local/regional councillor for the Town of Halton Hills and Halton Region. His one-year term as FCM President concludes on June 4, 2017.
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FCM Media Relations, (613) 907-6395, firstname.lastname@example.org