WINNIPEG, MB – Dianne Watts, Member of Parliament for South Surrey-White Rock and Official Opposition Critic for Infrastructure and Communities, addressed the Federation of Canadian Municipalities on behalf of the Conservative Caucus today at the FCM 2016 Annual Conference and Trade Show.
“There has been an incredible amount of work done on the infrastructure file by the Conservatives, and I wanted to highlight that foundation and how the Liberals’ plan will impact municipalities going forward,” said MP Watts. “The fact that Canada went from $572 million in annual infrastructure spending in 2005 to $5 billion in annual spending in 2015 clearly demonstrates our Conservative government’s commitment to investing in important projects that created jobs and grew the economy. Meanwhile, instead of the $60 billion in new infrastructure spending the Liberals’ promised over the next ten years, their first budget only made reference to $11.9 billion over the next 5 years – mainly for maintenance and data collection. The Liberal government owes Canadians an explanation, where is the other $48.1 billion they promised, and when communities can expect to see that money?”
In her speech, MP Watts also touched on the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development’s Spring Report, which examined the federal Gas Tax Fund.
“It was our previous Conservative government that understood the importance of the Gas Tax Fund and extended it, doubled it from $1 billion to $2 billion annually, and legislated it as a permanent source of federal infrastructure funding for municipalities and communities,” said MP Watts. “In order for the Gas Tax Fund to be effective, it needs to be flexible enough to meet the diverse needs of Canadian municipalities. I hope that the Liberals do not change the current structure of the fund in response to the Commissioner’s report, especially when the Big-City Mayors have officially come out and said they want more flexibility in infrastructure spending.”
MP Watts also met with the FCM Executive during her time at the FCM’s annual conference.
“We had a productive discussion, and it was refreshing to sit at the table from the federal perspective after being a mayor for 10 years,” said MP Watts. “The FCM has done a lot of fantastic work on behalf of communities, and I look forward to continuing our strong working relationship.”
For more information:
Office of Dianne Watts, MP (South Surrey – White Rock)