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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ottawa announces national transit strategy to improve collaboration

CALGARY (CP) - Canada's transportation and infrastructure minister said Saturday the government is going to draw up a national urban transit strategy.

It's a piece of policy urban groups and municipalities have requested for years, saying Canada has fallen far behind other Western countries in terms of long-term federal government funding and strategies.

"You have asked the federal government to take leadership, we have heard your message," Lawrence Cannon told the annual conference of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

The government will meet with provinces, territories and municipal groups over the next several month to put together the policy, he said.

In March, the Canadian Municipalities Big City Mayors' Caucus released a document outlining the need for a national transit strategy.

The document says an appropriate strategy must increase transit ridership, improve the economic competitiveness of Canadian cities, enhance the quality of urban life and reduce greenhouse gas reductions and improve air quality.

Cannon agreed with these broad goals, saying the government "recognizes that increasing the use of public transit can help reduce traffic congestion in cities, help reduce air pollution and the growth of greenhouse gas emissions."

The mayors' document also cities a $4.2-billion annual funding requirement over the next four years, as outlined by the Canadian Urban Transit Association.

But Cannon said the strategy won't add new funding beyond $33 billion currently earmarked for infrastructure projects.

"This national transit strategy is not about new funding beyond what is already committed, nor is it about federal intrusion," he said.

"It is about facilitating greater co-ordination and co-operation and collaboration between key funders and stakeholders."

In a speech later that day, NDP Leader Jack Layton said while he was glad to hear about the government's commitment to a transportation strategy, any plan without funding isn't going to cut it.

"(Cannon) made a point of underlining there wouldn't be any money attached to it . . .," he said.

"I'd simply like to say to him - you want to run a transit system, you need some financial resources to put into it."

Calgary Mayor Dave Bronconnier, a member of the caucus, said they're looking forward to hearing the details of the government strategy - something he said Cannon told him would be available around September.

"Launching the strategy is something positive from the Big City Mayor's Caucus, positive from the city of Calgary," he said.

Bronconnier said he and the minister met after the announcement to talk about different ways governments can fund major transit projects.

"Nothing firm, other than he was supportive, saying, 'If you have a proposal that's innovative that brings in the private sector, that deals with land use and a possibility for an innovative solution that may be available to other municipalities besides Calgary, then send it to me," he said.

© The Canadian Press, 2007
 

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I didn't make news anywhere. I haven't seen it on TV. This article isn't even from a news site, it's straight from CP, so I guess the news companies just didn't pick it up.
 

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NEWSFLASH >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Ottawa has set a timelime for reaching Mars by 2018.........but the cities have to pay for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
NEWSFLASH >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Ottawa has set a timelime for reaching Mars by 2018.........but the cities have to pay for it.
haha, great analogy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
An announcement of a "strategy" without funding attached is usually nothing.

..and when funding is talked about for cities, it gets watered down until the money is ultimately spent on more rural and suburban highways.
yup, like Ottawa's billion dollar contribution towards B.C.'s $3 billion Pacific Gateway highway expansion project.
 
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