With plenty of talk around Prince George lately about municipal infrastructure, it’s good news that the recent federal budget is providing some dollars to help.
Since adopting its budget earlier this year, the city has moved forward on borrowing close to $40 million for a baker’s dozen of infrastructure projects.
Coun. Garth Frizzell, who is also second vice-president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, says the federal budget contains a significant amount of money for Prince George.
“Problems with our infrastructure in Prince George has delivered multiple blows and escalating costs the last decade, and that is a common problem across Canada,” said Frizzell. “Through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), we joined with municipalities across Canada who are experiencing these same serious challenges; we explained those challenges to our federal partners, and this budget shows that our message got through. It directly means our city will receive (at least) $3.2 million dollars in additional infrastructure funding at a time when we need it.”
He adds that based on the federal budget announcement, Prince George should actually receive more funding. The city did budget to receive $3.2 million, so that amount won’t be surplus to the 2019 budget.
Frizzell also called the federal budget a “turning point” in federal funding for municipalities as it also provides funding for rural internet.
“It sets Canada on a path to a more modernized federal-municipal relationship—one that empowers Prince George and communities everywhere to get even more done for our citizens,” he said.
In 2019, high-speed Internet is an essential service—for businesses looking to compete and for our everyday quality of life, he said. The increase to the Gas Tax Fund means local governments can deliver thousands of infrastructure projects better roads, bridges, transit, recreation centres and more. And the investments in energy efficient housing through FCM will make life more affordable for Canadians across the country, he added.
“Today’s budget elevates this federal-municipal partnership as the way to build better lives for Canadians,” said Federation of Canadian Municipalities President Vicki-May Hamm.” It puts community-building tools directly in local hands by growing next year’s federal transfer to municipalities.”
FCM is the national voice of municipal government in Canada. Its Board of Directors represents communities of all sizes from coast to coast to coast.