September 11, 2020

Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) President Bill Karsten issued this statement following the meeting of FCM’s elected Board of Directors, held virtually from September 8-11.

“FCM’s first virtual board meeting took place at a critical time for municipalities and the Canadians we serve.

“The COVID-19 pandemic changed everything; it throttled our economy and confined millions of Canadians to their homes.  Municipal leaders across the country sprang into action, taking steps to protect people and businesses while keeping vital services running strong. And this pandemic has unmasked just how vulnerable we can be—but also how capable we can be when we work together, as Canadians and as governments.  

“Now, as we turn from response to recovery, all orders of government have an opportunity to bring Canada back stronger than ever. And as the governments closest to people’s daily challenges, the role of municipalities will be essential to a successful recovery. Our frontline expertise can ensure nationwide recovery efforts drive concrete results on the ground—where people live, work, and raise their families.

“In fact, just this week we released an ambitious new proposal to address Canada’s housing crisis, which has been pushed to the brink by the pandemic. With vulnerable Canadians at greater risk than ever, and the need for affordable housing higher than ever, we are urging federal initiative and partnership to help non-profit community housing providers rapidly acquire, renovate and retrofit buildings to better provide crucial housing where it’s most needed.

“This is how FCM is leading for our members. Municipalities deliver infrastructure-based stimulus efficiently and in ways that build better lives, with better housing and transit and more livable communities.  We envision a country more resilient, sustainable, and ready to withstand future shocks—be their health, economic or climate-related. 

“Municipalities will guide conversations on the recovery Canada needs. These range from unlocking potential in existing federal programs to driving major new nation-building investments. Cities and communities across the country are ready to partner with other orders of government, and we’re ready to get to work."

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) is the national voice of local government, with 2,000 members representing more than 90 per cent of Canada’s population. FCM’s elected board members represent communities of all sizes, from every region of this country.

For more information please contact:
FCM Media Relations, (613) 907-6395,


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