THE DEMOCRATIC REPORTER
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National Post - Apr. 8, 2010 - By Megan O'Toole - firstname.lastname@example.org
Infrastructure spending'drop in bucket,'
Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion greeted a joint federal-provincial infrastructure announcement yesterday with great skepticism, calling it "a drop in a big bucket."
From an industrial garage in the city's north end, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty announced $138.7-million in funding for highway, bridge and road improvements across the province, including a couple of projects in Mississauga.
But Ms. McCallion says the funding -- which falls under the national infrastructure stimulus plan-- "doesn't come anywhere near" to what is needed and will leave municipalities struggling to fund maintenance and operating costs.
"The amount of money that is allocated today has very little impact -- sorry -- on the infrastructure needs across the country and in Ontario," said Ms. McCallion, who sits on the mayors' caucus for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and noted the FCM has called for $135-billion countrywide to bring municipal infrastructure up to date.
As Ms. McCallion spoke to a throng of reporters, Conservative MP Bob Dechert (Mississauga-Erindale) hovered on the edge of the scrum and occasionally attempted to interject; at one point he lauded the announcement of "new money, new projects. New things are happening."
Ms. McCallion quickly shot him down: "No, no, no. That's not what we were discussing."
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