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Local Government Ministers Advocate for Continued Investment in Communities

Federal Commitment to Infrastructure Critical

WHITEHORSE, YUKON -- (Marketwired) -- 07/11/13 -- Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Local Government reaffirmed the importance of long-term federal funding for infrastructure, while renewing their commitment to cooperate in support of strong and viable municipalities and communities at a meeting in Whitehorse.

Local government Ministers used this meeting to help share information relating to municipalities and communities, promote sustainability, and work collaboratively, in particular on new initiatives that support infrastructure across Canada.

"As Ministers Responsible for Local Government in Canada, we recognize recent federal budget announcements regarding long-term infrastructure funding", noted Elaine Taylor, Yukon's Minister of Community Services and the 2013 chair of the provincial-territorial Ministers Responsible for Local Government. "The key now is to ensure that funding flows to our provinces and territories in a timely, efficient and flexible manner to support the needs of our citizens."

Discussions emphasized the importance of moving forward immediately in a meaningful dialogue with the federal government about infrastructure to avoid impacting the 2014 construction season. Infrastructure is a key building block for growth, contributing to regional economies and job creation. Ministers were disappointed that federal representatives were unable to participate in the meeting and to provide concrete details about the new Building Canada Plan. Ministers will seek a meeting with the federal minister responsible as soon as possible.

During their meetings, Ministers heard presentations on diverse subjects including municipal capacity, local government financial arrangements and municipal-First Nation relationships. Ministers also heard from community leaders on the importance of partnership among governments when creating innovative public infrastructure, and received a presentation from the Yukon Research Centre on cold climate innovations. They shared information on alternative approaches to these and other issues, learning from each jurisdiction's experiences and contemplating new approaches to support strong local government in Canada.

The next annual meeting of Ministers Responsible for Local Government will be held in July, 2014 in Prince Edward Island.

Ben Yu Schott, Director of Communications
Department of Community Service, Government of Yukon

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