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July 17, 2014
For immediate release

Local Government Ministers focus on disaster mitigation and strengthening communities

Finance and Energy

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Provincial and territorial ministers responsible for local government today renewed their commitment to work together to support viable and safe communities.

The ministers meet annually to share information and ideas on key issues relating to municipalities and communities across Canada, and to learn from each other’s experiences and successes.

“I am especially honoured to host our meeting this year,” said Wes Sheridan, Prince Edward Island’s Minister of Finance, Energy and Municipal Affairs and Chair of the 2014 Provincial-Territorial Ministers Responsible for Local Government. “Our province is commemorating the 150th anniversary of the 1864 Charlottetown Conference, the event that led to Canadian Confederation. It is most fitting that our group is focusing on issues of national interest.”

The provincial and territorial ministers held discussions on a number of topics. Given the increased public expectations of accountability for all orders of government, ministers discussed approaches in promoting public trust in local government through education, capacity-building, and strong legislative frameworks to encourage a spirit of partnership.

Again this year, ministers took the opportunity to emphasize the importance of infrastructure funding and program flexibility to assist in meeting the needs of municipalities.

Ministers also held a panel discussion on disaster mitigation. “The discussion on disaster mitigation was timely given recent and more frequently occurring events such as flooding, severe storms and fires,” said Minister Sheridan. “As emergency preparedness and disaster mitigation are a responsibility of all orders of government, it was beneficial to learn more about the experiences of provinces and territories in relation to disasters and mitigation efforts. Provinces and territories are looking forward to hearing more from the federal government about its commitment to establish a distinct Canada-wide disaster mitigation program.”

Prince Edward Island also made a presentation to the ministers on the province’s advances in wind energy. The province shared information on the possibilities that exist for municipalities and local governments large and small to take advantage of this renewable resource.

The next annual meeting of Ministers Responsible for Local Government will be held in British Columbia in July 2015.

Media Contact: Brad Chatfield
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