Mayor and Council seek firm commitment to five-year $300 million capital plan
Created: Thursday, 28 March 2013 10:10
March 28, 2013
SYDNEY, NS – The Cape Breton Regional Municipality is seeking a firm commitment from the provincial government for the region's cost-shared capital plan in next week's budget.
In a speech to a Sydney Chamber of Commerce luncheon today, Mayor Cecil Clarke listed over a dozen infrastructure projects that are on the municipality's priority list to comply with wastewater regulations.
"We have dozens upon dozens of projects. $454 million in total. A 20 per cent share of all Atlantic Canadian projects," said Clarke. "The five-year, $300 million plan we have proposed is responsible, achievable and necessary. It is now time for the provincial government to commit to partnering with us to move forward. The consequences of inaction is the failure of service delivery, as we now see with our inability to fund road construction."
CBRM council unanimously passed a budget vote yesterday that included no capital for road construction. Last year the region spent $9 million on roads, half of which was cost shared. This year the municipality had to absorb $7.1 million in extra costs downloaded from the provincial government.
"As a municipality, we can not afford to borrow money and spend 100 cent dollars," continued Clarke. "We are taking the responsible and long-term approach to cost-share and get more value from our dollars invested."
The Mayor and Council are encouraged by the Premier's initial response to the CBRM's plan. In Sydney last week, the Premier told CBC Radio: "I think the approach is the right one. I think long-term planning on infrastructure is a good thing to do. We'll work with them. We'll look to the federal government to see what their infrastructure program is going to look like. We do infrastructure funding every year in the provincial government and, of course, we look to be able to share that kind of program."
Last week's federal budget said "infrastructure funding will total $70 billion over 10 years, the largest federal investment in job-creating infrastructure in Canadian history."