Provincial-Territorial Meeting of Ministers responsible for Local Government


ST. JOHN’S, July 9, 2009 – At the conclusion of their annual meeting in St. John’s today, Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Local Government reaffirmed their commitment to continue a collaborative approach to municipal sustainability with a focus on municipal infrastructure and strengthening the rural municipal sector.

“Strong and viable municipalities and communities are the cornerstone of strong provinces and territories,” said the Honourable Dianne Whalen, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Minister of Municipal Affairs. “Municipalities continue to face challenges but we collectively believe that through this forum we learn from each other’s experiences and successes.”

Ministers heard from Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador on sustainability, economic development and demographic changes. They talked about how the issues and challenges in Newfoundland and Labrador are similar to those across the country.  Ministers expressed the importance of collaboration with all partners to address these challenges.

Municipal infrastructure is a priority for all Local Government Ministers. They are encouraged by the effort of the federal government to accelerate infrastructure funding. Ministers also talked about concerns related to program design and administration and the need to ensure long-term funding is strategically aligned with provincial and territorial priorities.

Ministers emphasized that there are implementation issues associated with the national Municipal Waste Water Effluent Strategy, in particular the need for dedicated long-term federal funding to meet the objectives of the strategy. They will continue to collaborate with the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment to address these implementation issues.

Ministers will communicate their shared perspective on both these issues to the Federal Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.

The Ministers agreed on the importance of constructive, cooperative provincial, territorial and municipal relationships and once again emphasized their desire to enhance the relationship they have with provincial and territorial municipal associations. These partnerships and collaboration will contribute to the development of innovative, new initiatives and approaches to sustainable communities and municipalities.

Other topics presented at the conference included the importance of the democratic process, climate change activities related to the municipal sector and municipal/Aboriginal engagement.

The 2010 annual meeting of Ministers Responsible for Local Government will be hosted by the Province of Ontario.

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Media Contact:

Bradley Power
Minister’s Conference Communications Lead
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
709-729-0857, 697-5216