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The Federation of Canadian Municipalities has launched an important new group that will advise the federal government on the next wave of federal infrastructure funding.

The FCM’s Municipal Infrastructure Forum brings municipalities and other infrastructure experts together to evaluate and advocate for community infrastructure needs. CUPE National President Paul Moist is a member of the forum, and will be sharing our union’s priorities for public, stable, long-term funding.

The 2011 federal budget committed to develop a long-term infrastructure plan, working with provincial, terriorital and municipal governments, as well as other infrastructure experts.

There’s a pressing need to invest in Canada’s cities and towns. The Building Canada Plan expires in 2014 – and much of the federal funding available to renew and build roads, bridges, water treatment facilities and other critical infrastructure has already been spent.

Public infrastructure built our country, and keeps it strong today. Investing in renewing and expanding these public assets will be good for the economy, and for the residents of our cities and towns,” says Moist.

This forum’s positive and collaborative approach lays the groundwork for a federal program that meets local needs for the long haul. We need a commitment to finally tackling the funding gap that’s left us with an infrastructure deficit of more than $123 billion. We also need a plan that tackles 21st century concerns by making sustainability and environmental protection a priority,” says Moist.

The forum will meet regularly over the coming year. It will explore the current state of Canada’s infrastructure and funding needs, identify research priorities and develop recommendations for the federal government.

FCM launches Municipal Infrastructure Forum (FCM, February 7, 2012)