Prime minister, mayor talk infrastructure during Edmonton meeting
The pair discussed the federal government’s Municipal Infrastructure Top-Up program, which Iveson said will be a significant contribution to municipalities.
“We firmly believe that investments in cities help grow the economy and that’s going to help grow the tax base for all orders of government, but especially provincial and federal governments,” Iveson said Friday.
“So [there will be] some return on that investment in the form of additional grants and transfers to us that help us improve Canadian productivity, improve environmental performance, support job creation — we think these things all pay for themselves in the fullness of time with economic growth that’s enable in the nation’s largest cities.”
The funding, announced in the 2019 federal budget, doubles the amount of money that municipalities get through the gas tax transfer for 2018-19, and provides much-needed support for local priorities.
The budget outlined the funding could be used to complete projects currently underway, and help address short-term priorities including road repair, expanding bus fleets and building water treatment facilities.
Iveson said city council will determine on June 4 what Edmonton will do with the federal money.
“We haven’t had a chance to prioritize yet but we are very, very grateful,” Iveson said. “Even though this is a re-announcement, it is a significant signal from our federal government of a strengthening desire to work directly with cities.”
Watch below: For the first time since the UCP won Alberta’s provincial election, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Edmonton on Friday. As Fletcher Kent reports, Trudeau spoke about a number of things, including the carbon tax and pipelines.
Iveson said Friday’s meeting was also a chance for him to discuss with the prime minister more opportunities like this.
“The federal government has clearly acknowledged the desire to work with cities, they see results from working with us, and we appreciate the chance to do more.
“We want to explore: what can we do next? Going into the election discussions, the platform and then beyond that, what can we do more to achieve national goals at the local level?”
Natural Resources Minister and local MP Amarjeet Sohi was also hand for the announcement Friday morning.
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