Today’s Poll

RDCK Director takes local infrastructure priorities to Parliament

By Contributor
November 29th, 2016

Always looking to catch the ears of federal politicians, Regional District of Central Kootenay Director and Village of Silverton Councillor Leah Main took local priorities directly to Parliament last week.

Main was part of a delegation of municipal leaders from across Canada in the nation’s capital for meetings with parliamentarians this past week (November 24– 26) The purpose was to guide the design of Phase 2 of the federal plan to invest in transit, social and green infrastructure.

“This infrastructure plan has tremendous potential to boost our economy and quality of life here in the Village of Silverton and the Regional District of Central Kootenay,” Main said in a media release from the RDCK.

“But to unlock that potential, the federal government needs to get the programs right, and we’re here to ensure they improve lives here and across the country.”

Main met with five MPs from BC ridings, including NDP MP’s South Richard Cannings of Okanagan/West Kootenay and Wayne Stetski Kootenay/Columbia, making the case that the federal infrastructure plan should be based on local input and knowledge.

Main said municipalities deliver cost-effective solutions to local needs in ways that tackle national challenges — like creating jobs and reducing GHG emissions — and to bring that strength to Phase 2, local politicians are urging Ottawa to provide the predictable allocations communities need to plan, tap local know-how and move forward. 

Main said cost-sharing should be modernized so local fiscal limits don’t block progress and also recommend dedicating most of the Social Infrastructure Fund to affordable housing.

“Ottawa just committed billions to rural and northern infrastructure needs specifically. If they get those program details right, we can look forward to better roads and bridges, better water and waste systems, more affordable housing, and a boost for our economy and quality of life,” said Main.  

Rural communities will not be limited to applying for Phase 2 funding under the rural stream – they will still be eligible to apply under the other programs that will be announced in Budget 2017.

The federal government’s recent Fall Economic Statement expanded its Phase 2 infrastructure commitment to $81 billion over 11 years, while announcing dedicated support for smaller and remote communities. Program details for Phase 2 are expected no later than Budget 2017.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ 2,000 member communities represent more than 90 per cent of Canada’s population. Main serves as a member on FCM’s Board of Directors.

Categories: General

Other News Stories