Watch above: As Edmonton grows, it’s facing plenty of infrastructure challenges. The Liberal party is promising to help, if elected. Vinesh Pratap reports.
EDMONTON – Edmonton mayor Don Iveson wants the country’s next federal government to provide stable infrastructure funding.
During a meeting with the federal Liberal caucus in Edmonton Wednesday morning, Iveson told the Liberals he wants the politics taken out of federal infrastructure funding announcements, and stressed the importance of stable funding to ensure the growth of the city.
“The Federation of Canadian Municipalities has been talking about economic competitiveness and how cities in particular are engines of the economy, but with the support that cities need.”
Iveson said that cities especially need support with infrastructure, housing, and policing.
The Conservative government distributes infrastructure cash through the Building Canada fund, something cities welcome. However, some mayors believe the funding formula could be improved.
“It’s conditional funding, and it’s very small,” said Regina’s mayor, Michael Fougere, who was also in attendance. “The funding for 2014 is literally a drop in the bucket.”
Iveson added: “You have to jump through a p-3 screen, which isn’t always a good fit, adds a lot of cost and time for cities. You can’t use it for important recreational infrastructure anymore.”
Promising to help, the Liberal party has passed a resolution to increase infrastructure funding up to one per cent of the GDP.
“The federal government needs to be a much better partner with our municipalities, with provinces, in order to build a stronger prosperity that goes beyond our cities and covers our entire country,” said federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau.
Fougere said Trudeau’s promises “sound good on paper,” but many questions still remain.
The Liberals anticipate Prime Minister Stephen Harper will call a spring election.
Iveson has also been invited to speak with the federal NDP when the party visits Edmonton in September.
With files from Vinesh Pratap, Global News
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