The mayors of Canada’s biggest cities are pledging to match new federal and provincial government funding dollar for dollar in an attempt to procure more funding from the federal government.
Modernizing Canada’s “crowded and rapidly-aging transportation networks” was cited as a major reason behind the need for increased funding.
According to the the 22-member big city mayors’ caucus, one out of every four roads is congested, with 50 per cent in need immediate repair.
“I don’t expect the federal and provincial governments to come to Calgary’s City Hall with a cheque for $3 billion tomorrow. I’d like it, but I think that’s a little bit unreasonable,” said Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “But what I need to know is if I build the $3-billion LRT, how am I going to pay it back over a long period of time?”
Collectively, Canadian cities invest approximately $12 billion per year in local infrastructure. The caucus is asking the federal government to add a $2.5 billion per year investment increase in the next budget, with cities prepared to match federal and provincial investments dollar for dollar for dollar.
According to the group, that would bring total finding to $5.75 billion a year from the federal government, which they claim would help to fight $10 billion a year in lost productivity due to traffic gridlock.