Our House is Open: Municipal Infrastructure in Crisis

NDP Muncipal Affairs Critic George Murphy (MHA, St. John’s East) called on the government today to work out a better funding deal with municipalities so that more Newfoundlanders and Labradorians can have access to basic infrastructure needs.

“Too many of our communities are under what amounts to permanent boil-orders,” Murphy said. “Our towns, particularly our smaller towns, are stretched to the financial breaking point trying to keep up the basic services like garbage collection and snow clearing.

“Meeting the provisions of the new federal wastewater regulations is simply beyond the financial reach of our municipalities. Our provincial government must acknowledge the responsibility it has to all the people of the province, and sit down with municipalities to come up with a fairer deal.”



NDP Caucus: Our House is Open
Question for December 1, 2011
George Murphy, MHA, St. John’s East

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Municipal Affairs.

Currently 161 or 20% of Newfoundland and Labrador communities are under boil water orders. Many of them can’t afford to keep their chlorine systems running while also repairing roads and buildings, clearing snow and moving garbage.

Mayors are saying they can’t comply with new federal wastewater regulations because conventional sewage treatment is costly to install and maintain.

Mr. Speaker, government must direct more revenues to help municipalities provide infrastructure and services lasting well into the future.

Mr. Speaker, I ask the Minister, when will he sit down with municipalities to work out a better funding deal, so that everyone in this province can enjoy a basic level of municipal infrastructure and services?

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