Feds Need To Show Up For Rural Infrastructure

Charlie Angus says small rural municipalities need their own dedicated funding envelope in order to address the problem of aging infrastructure. He is supporting a New Democratic Party motion to establish a permanent Rural Infrastructure Fund to assist small municipalities across Canada in the development, repair, and upgrading of their core physical infrastructure. The motion (M-433) is being brought forth by Thunder Bay Rainy River MP John Rafferty.
 
The wording of Rafferty’s motion is as follows: 
“That, in the opinion of the House, the government should consider working with all levels of government to establish a long-term Rural Infrastructure Fund spanning a period of 20 years to assist rural municipalities with populations of ten thousand residents or less, in their efforts to develop, repair and upgrade core public infrastructure.”

Angus says he’s heard from many elected officials and community leaders across the region and it is clear that small rural communities are at a disadvantage when it comes to building and maintaining their infrastructure. “There simply isn’t the property tax base to draw from in small towns like Larder Lake or Iroquois Falls compared to larger and more densely populated cities like Toronto, Montreal, or Winnipeg.  We need to level the playing field when it comes to infrastructure spending.”
 
With both the Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund and the Building Canada Fund expiringz, the proposal could serve as the successor program for rural municipalities.
 
“We need predictable, strategic, and long-term funding for small rural communities to assist their economic development efforts and to raise the quality of life for their residents.”