The Mayor's of Canada's largest cities will be gathering tomorrow for a news conference to be held in Ottawa at 11 a.m. EST. They plan to announce what they dub 'shovel-ready' infrastructure projects in the hope that the Federal Government will shovel a wad of cash their way in the upcoming budget.
Over the course of my time at City Hall, I had the opportunity to attend a number of these one-day conferences. They tend to be long on discussion, short on specifics and much too focused on a cookie-cutter news conference which coincidentally always seems to profile the Mayor of Toronto.
You can expect the Big City Mayor's Caucus (BCMC) will have a lengthy shopping list of special projects they claim are essential to keeping our cities operating. The wish list will include more money for highways, roads, sewers, bridges and other pet projects. The total bill will be in the billions of dollars.
If there were ever a budget that Canada's big cities could expect additional funds, it is likely this one. However, I rather doubt they will get everything they want, given the list of projects they'll trot out tomorrow will likely be too rich for any government to fund.
In a media advisory released today, the FCM states:
'FCM is calling for investments in infrastructure projects as an effective stimulus to create jobs"
FCM is the national voice of municipal governments, established in 1901, representing the interests of municipalities on policy and program matters that fall within federal jurisdiction. With more than 1,775 members representing 90% of Canadians, FCM members include Canada's largest cities, small urban and rural communities, and 18 provincial and territorial municipal associations.