Municipalities to be given more say on infrastructure projects, says Trudeau
At the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Annual Conference in Winnipeg, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised that decisions on infrastructure spending would be given to the municipalities.
According to a report in the Globe and Mail, Trudeau told the municipality delegates, “We’re leaving the project selection to the experts: you.”
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said that leaving decisions to the municipalities was “a really, really big deal,” giving them more say in which transportation or other projects should be given the green light. It would also help municipalities to start projects without bureaucratic delays. In Alberta especially work on infrastructure projects is needed to spur the economy.
The city mayors would like a system that is similar to how the gas tax refund works, so that federal officials don’t have to sign off on every project. They complain that the federal government’s administrative system is burdensome.
On the other hand critics say the federal government is not being careful enough about overseeing how the infrastructure money is being spent by the municipalities.
Over 1,600 people attended the FCM annual conference in Winnipeg. On June 5, the final day, Clark Somerville, regional councillor for Halton Hills, Ontario, was elected as the federation’s new president. He succeeds Raymond Louie, acting mayor of the City of Vancouver.
To read the article “Infrastructure decisions will be left in hands of cities: Trudeau,” by Bill Curry in the Globe and Mail, click here.