Provincial-Territorial Meeting of Ministers responsible for Local Government

NEWS RELEASE – Local government ministers today called on the federal government to help close the infrastructure funding gap

CHARLOTTETOWN, Prince Edward Island, Tuesday, September 16, 2003 -
Provincial and Territorial Ministers responsible for local governments concluded their meeting today in Charlottetown and reinforced the need for the federal government to work collaboratively with provinces and territories in respect of their exclusive jurisdiction for municipal affairs.

Despite significant investments by provinces, territories and municipalities and contributions from the federal government, more funding is needed to continue to meet the basic infrastructure needs of communities.

"Clean drinking water, effective sanitation systems, and good transportation are vital to the safety and prosperity of our communities," said George Abbott, BC Minister responsible for municipal affairs and chair of the conference. "As ministers responsible for local government, we will pursue a strategy to ensure that infrastructure priorities are respected and continue to develop a case for meeting local government needs."

The strategy includes an ongoing assessment of infrastructure needs, with an initial review by January 2004, in collaboration with municipalities.

The ministers ongoing work is guided by the following principles:

  • long term, sustained and enhanced federal programs and transfers;
  • respect for provincial/territorial jurisdiction and priorities;
  • flexible arrangements that meet the varied needs of Canada's urban, rural and remote northern communities; and,
  • continuing commitment to constructive and collaborative relationships with municipalities.

“Provinces and territories take their constitutional responsibilities seriously," said Minister Abbott. "We have demonstrated leadership in addressing municipal needs including significant infrastructure investments. As provinces and territories, we are uniquely positioned to work with communities to identify their diverse needs whether in urban, rural or northern areas."

Ministers echoed the premiers' call for federal action to remedy the fiscal imbalance. The ministers stressed that until the federal government addresses the fiscal imbalance, these constraints will continue to limit the provinces'and territories' ability to deal with competing priorities.

The 2004 Provincial/Territorial Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Local Government will be hosted by Minister Jean-Marc Fournier in Quebec.


For information, contact:

Jennifer MacLeod
PEI Department of Community and Cultural Affairs
Tel.: (902) 368-5829
Cell: (902) 626-6927