TORONTO, November 12, 2004 - Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Local Government met today in Toronto and unanimously reaffirmed the principles agreed to last September in Québec City, that should underlie federal initiatives regarding municipalities. Ministers stressed their individual readiness to begin bi-lateral negotiations immediately with the federal government.
The ministers met in the afternoon with the federal Minister of State, Infrastructure and Communities, John Godfrey. Minister Godfrey supported the provincial and territorial principles which focus on respect for provincial and territorial jurisdiction, bi-lateral negotiations with the provinces and territories, and the need for reliable and sustainable federal funding for municipal and local needs.
"Collectively, we have reached an understanding with Minister Godfrey on several key issues that will lead to a constructive relationship with the federal government to meet pressing municipal and local needs", noted meeting chair Len Taylor, Saskatchewan Minister of Government Relations. "We each remain ready as provincial and territorial ministers to sit down immediately with the federal government to begin the negotiation process based on our principles.
" Provincial and territorial ministers emphasized to Minister Godfrey that federal funding for municipal and local needs must be flexible in recognition of specific conditions in each province and territory. Funding is expected to start in 2005, ramping up over five years, and be sustained permanently.
Each province and territory is committed to continuing to work with its municipal sector to ensure their needs are met.
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Dr. Harvey G. Brooks