Target 2014: FCM's Campaign for a Long-Term Infrastructure Plan
Today in Saskatoon, FCM President (and Rick Mercer impersonator) Berry Vrbanovic, with help from FCM CEO Brock Carleton, launched a campaign to advocate for municipal infrastructure as the federal government starts planning its next funding program.
When Building Canada expires in 2014, there will be a new infrastructure plan (according to federal promises). “It’s essential that we’re ready to participate in the formal process,” said Vrbanovic, who said that the campaign’s top priority is securing long-term infrastructure funding. That priority was echoed in the electronic polling results. For the first time, FCM used voting devices to get the 400 or so delegates in the room to weigh in on the plan. The results show that, at least those in the room, long-term funding is top of the wish list.
But that’s not surprising. One delegate tweeted: ”delegates prefer long-term infra $. A shock. Here’s an idea: vote on what cities are willing to do to secure it.”
When I asked incoming FCM president, Karen Leibovici, she said she noticed that tweet. “That’s what this is about.We’re rolling out an aggressive timetable; we want to see responses by next year; we’ve asked for a resolution from our 2,000 members to ask the federal government for a long-term plan.”
On stage, Leibovici asked FCM members to “be torch bearers to bring this message about investment in community infrastructure home.”
What do you think? What’s your community’s infrastructure priority and what are you prepared to do to get support?
Weigh in below, and, if you want, send our editor a photo of yourself holding a placard with the words “Target 2014″ plus your top infra priority, be it roads, transit, water, or community amenities. Be sure to include the subject line TARGET2014. We’ll create a gallery here on the website, and we may even run your photo in the magazine.