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EOWC, FCM call for more municipal infrastructure funding in federal budget

Municipalities need more support to maintain infrastructure, says the Eastern Ontario Warden’s Caucus (EOWC). 

The Caucus, made up of leaders from thirteen counties including Leeds and Grenville, has put out a statement alongside the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), calling for more infrastructure funding from the federal government. 

They say that municipalities don’t receive enough tax funding compared to the amount they need to spend on things like road maintenance and sewers. 

“We tend to take infrastructure for granted because most of us only think about it when it’s not working,” FCM President Scott Pearce says. “We expect our first responders to show up when there’s a crisis, our local recreation centre to have space for kids to play, and our buses to get us to work on time but this critical infrastructure and these services costs money. Municipalities can’t be expected to keep raising property taxes to pay for it.” 

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EOWC Chair Peter Emon echoes similar sentiments, saying municipalities have been funded the same way since Confederation, and that changes need to be made. 

“It was a sensible system when horse-and-buggy was the primary mode of transportation and when populations were measured in the thousands, not millions,” Emon adds. “Things have changed and it’s time we had a modernized municipal growth framework to reflect that.” 

The statement urges the federal government to include infrastructure funding for municipalities in this year’s budget. The budget date has yet to be announced. 

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