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Long meets minister on infrastructure funding

The federal government has launched a new infrastructure planning process

Last week, recently re-elected Township Councillor Bob Long joined more than 100 other municipal leaders in Ottawa for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ (FCM) annual meetings on Parliament Hill.

FCM met with more than 100 MPs, including party leaders and cabinet ministers, to build practical partnership and protect core investments in the Langleys and municipalities across Canada.

“As a member of the board of FCM, I found it extremely effective to meet face-to-face with our MPs and discuss ways that we as municipalities can partner with the federal government in addressing our infrastructure needs,” Long said.

The week’s most significant achievement was the launch of the federal government’s new infrastructure planning process, which aims to stop the decline in municipal infrastructure and build the roads, bridges, water and transit systems that support communities, businesses and economic growth.

In recent years, Ottawa has worked with Langley and other municipalities to repair aging infrastructure, but 40 per cent of federal-municipal funding is set to expire by 2014. The new, long-term plan promised by the government will protect essential investments and reduce the burden on local property taxpayers in the years ahead.

Long said that during a presentation to municipal leaders in Ottawa on Nov. 30, Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, spoke of a clearly laid out timetable by the federal government to take stock of recent investments in cities and communities, identify where investments need to be made in the future, and replace soon to expire programs with a new generation of long-term infrastructure investments.

Municipal leaders also received a report about FCM’s meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper which discussed ways that federal and municipal governments have worked together to fight the recession and how they can continue working together to keep Canada’s economic foundations secure.