July 10, 2009
ST. JOHN'S, Nfld. (CNB) - Provincial and territorial ministers responsible for local government have reaffirmed their commitment to support municipalities wishing to undertake projects to make themselves environmentally sustainable. The ministers also reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen rural communities.
They reached these positions during their most recent annual meeting, held in St. John's, Nfld. New Brunswick was represented by Local Government Minister Bernard LeBlanc. The ministers will be communicating their shared perspective to John Baird, federal minister of transport, infrastructure and communities.
"Municipal infrastructure is a priority for all local government ministers." said LeBlanc. "As a group, we are encouraged by the effort of the federal government to accelerate infrastructure funding and to ensure funding is strategically aligned with provincial and territorial priorities."
The ministers emphasized that the national Municipal Waste Water Effluent Strategy still has issues to be resolved, especially with its implementation and the need for dedicated long-term federal funding to meet its objectives. They will continue to collaborate with the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment to address these issues.
"I am pleased that ministers agreed to the importance of constructive and co-operative provincial, territorial and municipal relationships and once again emphasized the desire to enhance the relationship with provincial and territorial municipal associations," said LeBlanc. "These partnerships and collaborative efforts will contribute to the development of new and innovative initiatives and approaches to sustainable communities and municipalities. Regional collaboration to ensure the sustainability of our communities was also a central theme to our conference."
Other topics presented at the conference included the importance of the democratic process, climate change activities related to the municipal sector and municipal / Aboriginal engagement.
The 2010 annual meeting of ministers responsible for local government will be hosted by Ontario.
MEDIA CONTACT: Jennifer Graham, public affairs, Department of Local Government, 506-453-3700.