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Mayor responds to 2015 federal budget

April 22, 2015 -

Yesterday, Finance Minister Joe Oliver announced the federal government's 2015 budget and fiscal outlook for Canadians. This budget contains a series of measures that, if passed, could be important for Kingston residents.

Going into this federal budget cycle as a first time mayor, my hope was to see defined municipal investment and a long-term national strategy for affordable housing.

I am pleased to see the government invest in a permanent transit fund for municipalities, something myself and other mayors have been calling for. My concern is that this investment only represents larger communities. Transit is important in Canada's largest cities because it benefits us all, but in a community like Kingston, we have transit priorities, too – new express routes, road construction, repairs and expansions that all require investment.

The government has signaled it is prepared to work with municipalities to address transit priorities and, in Kingston, we will continue to work with our federal partners to deliver on our transit priorities. 

Another aspect to yesterday's budget was affordable housing and, although we saw some progress, only a four-year funding commitment was included. Municipalities were looking to the budget for long-term measures and we will continue to press the federal government for long-term investment in affordable housing.  

Given the federal priorities outlined yesterday, I look forward to seeing where the province will invest when they release their budget on Thursday.

For more information contact
Bryan Paterson, Mayor of Kingston
613-546-4291, ext. 1405