Provincial-Territorial Meeting of Ministers responsible for Local Government


Long-Term Federal Funding for Municipal Infrastructure Critical

KANANASKIS, Alberta – July 12, 2012 – Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Local Government today renewed their commitment to work together to support strong and viable communities.

Ministers met to share information and ideas on key issues affecting municipalities across Canada, and learn from each other’s experiences and successes. Discussions occurred on topics such as municipal funding, service viability, and accountability. Ministers also discussed the importance of municipal infrastructure, and its contribution to strong communities, economic prosperity and job creation.

“Since 2010, the Ministers Responsible for Local Government in Canada have worked closely to ensure that the federal government commits to new long-term infrastructure funding, recognizing it as necessary for the health of our economy and our communities,” said Doug Griffiths, Alberta’s Minister of Municipal Affairs, and the 2012 chair of the provincial-territorial Ministers Responsible for Local Government. “Now that we have created momentum we believe that it is critical that the new federal plan be developed collaboratively while also respecting provincial/territorial jurisdiction.”

The Ministers reiterated this message during a discussion with The Honourable Steven Fletcher, federal Minister of State for Transport. In particular, Ministers reinforced to Minister Fletcher that the design of any future federal funding plan for municipal infrastructure must address three key elements:

  • Collaboration between the federal government and the Provinces’ and Territories’ Ministers Responsible for Local Government is critical to the development of a long-term funding plan for municipal infrastructure.
  • The next federal infrastructure plan must be flexible, stable, reliable and provide adequate funding for the various municipal infrastructure needs across the country. It must respect provincial-territorial jurisdiction and provincial-territorial principles for federal government initiatives regarding municipalities (approved in Quebec City in 2004 and attached for reference).
  • Provinces and territories, with the input of local municipalities, are in the best position to determine infrastructure priorities. Federal initiatives and regulatory requirements should not pressure provinces and territories to divert resources from current priorities or to focus on areas that are inconsistent with provincial-territorial priorities.

“Stable, predictable and adequate long-term infrastructure funding is essential for vibrant, healthy and sustainable communities, not only in the North, but in all of Canada," incoming chair and Yukon's Community Services Minister Elaine Taylor added. "We appreciate the recent years of federal support and investment in infrastructure from coast to coast to coast, and look forward to a new federal infrastructure plan that best meets local needs and priorities through flexible funding”.

The Ministers also heard from Mayor Karina Pillay-Kinnee of Slave Lake about disaster response following the devastating wildfires in 2011 and from Mayor Melissa Blake of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo on managing rapid growth.

The next annual meeting of Ministers Responsible for Local Government will be held July 9-11, 2013 in Whitehorse, Yukon.

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Contact Information

Sandi Walker, Communications
Alberta Municipal Affairs


Provincial and Territorial Meeting of Ministers responsible for Local Government
Québec City September 16-17, 2004

Respect for provincial and territorial fields of jurisdiction
Federal government initiatives must respect provincial and territorial jurisdiction over municipal matters and their legislative authority in this realm. In this spirit:

  • Programs stemming from federal initiatives in respect of the municipalities must be covered by federal and provincial-territorial agreements that should:
      • respect provincial and territorial priorities;
      • ensure that the projects and programs stemming from the federal government initiative are subject to the approval of the provinces and territories concerned.
  • It is incumbent upon the provinces and territories to determine individually the appropriate type of consultation with their municipalities.
  • Agreements and fiscal arrangements between the federal government and the provinces and territories in respect of federal initiatives and programs must be transparent as regards all of the provinces and territories.
  • Federal initiatives must recognize the different needs of and specific conditions in each province and territory and be flexible and adaptable.
  • Federal government initiatives and programs likely to concern the municipalities should be elaborated and planned following consultation and in agreement with the provinces and territories.


  • Any federal funding likely to concern the municipalities must be stable, ongoing and thus reflect a commitment to achieving long-term solutions.
  • Provinces/territories and municipalities will not be expected to sustain federal initiatives over the long term without federal funding.
  • Federal initiatives will not pressure provinces/territories to divert financial resources from current priorities or allocate their resources to areas that are not priorities of provinces/territories.
  • Federal initiatives will not create expectation of new revenues from provinces/territories to municipalities.
Federal initiatives and programs relating to municipalities will be available to all provinces and territories.