Canada’s mayors are withdrawing their threat to boycott suppliers from the United States in retaliation of the Buy American laws.
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities says it won’t enact a resolution passed in June because municipal leaders see progress in talks between the two countries.
In a statement Saturday, federation president Basil Stewart said the mayors want to give negotiators in the talks the time and space to reach a successful conclusion.
“We are encouraged by the talks now under way between Canadian and U.S. officials and want to give them the time and space to reach a successful outcome,” he said.
“These talks can and should lead to a fair and mutually-beneficial agreement.”
Letter from Basil L. Stewart, president of Federation of Canadian Municipalities to Prime Minister Stephen Harper re: downloading wastewater treatment costs on to local municipalities and ratepayers.
FCM supports the proposed new federal regulations for the treatment
of wastewater. However, we are deeply concerned that the costs of
implementing these regulations will be offloaded on to local property
tax payers. We are calling on your government to commit to a national,
cost-shared plan to implement the regulations and help municipalities
protect Canada’s water resources.
By the federal government’s own estimates, upgrading wastewater
facilities across the country to meet the new regulations will cost at
least $12 billion over the next 20 years. Municipalities who receive just
eight cents of every tax dollar collected in Canada cannot absorb these
expenses on their own.
Canadian municipalities hope they are helping the federal government make a case against the Obama Administration’s “Buy American” policy, passing a resolution Saturday that would potentially shut out U.S. bidders from city contracts.
Delegates at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference narrowly passed the resolution 189 -175.
The organization representing Canada’s municipalities is trying to get out in front of the issue of potential budget cuts, insisting that a ballooning federal deficit must not be made up on the backs of cities and towns.
The concerns come as lobbying groups and organizations get accustomed to a deficit the government announced last week would hit $50-billion this year – $16-billion more than previously predicted.
Jean Perrault, president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, told The Globe and Mail in an interview Wednesday that the shortfall was leading to increasing concerns that Ottawa would cut spending on municipalities.