I want to thank our residents for their interest and involvement in the Cities NOW!
campaign. I continue to hear from residents and businesses who tell me that they support
our efforts to urge the Provincial and Federal Governments to provide permanent infrastructure
funding for cities.
We have highlighted to you the facts:
- that 80 per cent of Canada's population lives in urban areas
- that municipalities own 58 per cent of the nation's infrastructure, compared to the
Province who owns 30 per cent and the Federal Government who owns only 12 per cent
- that Canadian municipalities own the majority of Canada's infrastructure, yet we receive
only 8 cents from every tax dollar (whereas the Federal and Provincial Governments receive 92
cents between them)
- that with just 8 cents, cities have been asked to fund all city services and maintain
current, and build new, infrastructure
- that the Federal Government is the right level to invest in infrastructure and should make
funding public infrastructure a national priority, as Canada's municipal infrastructure deficit
is estimated to be $123 billion and growing
- that the Federal Government needs to assess the impact of retiring the federal debt over a
longer period of time and use the resulting fiscal capacity to fund municipal
- that the Federal Government needs to provide municipalities across Canada with permanent
additional infrastructure funding, as cities are Canada's economic engine and it is where the
majority of its citizens and voters reside
There has been significant debate in our community about whether we need to impose a Special
Infrastructure Levy to help fund our infrastructure needs. On April 23, 2008, Council received
two reports from staff and
voted to approve a 1 per cent Special Infrastructure Levy. This levy will generate
approximately $2.5 million for Mississauga's future infrastructure needs, which is a small
amount when you consider that our infrastructure deficit is estimated to be $1.5 billion over
the next 20 years. Still, we must do our part as a City to maintain our infrastructure
despite the limited resources we have at our disposal.
There is universal agreement among those consulted, and who wrote or e-mailed our campaign,
that cities need additional and permanent infrastructure funding from the Provincial and
We are entering a new phase of our campaign, one where we need your help in taking this issue
to the next level: to the elected federal politicians who can decide to provide cities with
permanent infrastructure funding. With a possible federal election on the horizon, the time has
never been better to get involved and to tell the Federal Government where you stand.
There is a growing tide and consensus among Canadians that both levels of government need to do
more to assist cities with their growing infrastructure problems. In fact, a recent survey by
the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) found that 90 per cent of Canadians believe
that the Federal Government should provide financial assistance to assist municipal governments
with infrastructure. Also, in a recent survey, 87 per cent of Mississauga residents, who
are aware of our Cities NOW! campaign, support the need for permanent infrastructure funding
beyond what has already been announced.
There is no better time than now. Investing in infrastructure benefits the economy by creating
jobs and stimulating trade. In fact, the Federal and Provincial Governments would especially
benefit through the increased tax revenues created.
Our residents, ratepayers and businesses have told us to continue lobbying the government to
provide permanent infrastructure funding for Mississauga and to work with other cities across
Canada. We will do our part, and we ask you to continue to mobilize your support by urging the
Federal Government to do more.
What can you do? You can become involved by learning more about the issues which we have
outlined on the Cities NOW! website. As a resident, taxpayer and a voter, you can e-mail
your MP and the Prime Minister from this website ("Write to
your MP") to tell them that you support cities and the need for permanent
infrastructure funding for municipalities across Canada.
Thank you for your continued support.
Hazel McCallion, C.M.