May 11, 2020

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ President Bill Karsten issued the following statement following the Canadian Medical Association Foundation funding announcement: 

“The Federation of Canadian Municipalities welcomes this unprecedented philanthropic contribution from the Canadian Medical Association Foundation (CMAF) that will directly support vulnerable populations struggling with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 Community Response Fund for Vulnerable Populations will empower municipalities across Canada to better reach, protect and assist the most vulnerable among us—including those experiencing homelessness or grappling with mental health and substance use challenges. 

“With a $10 million donation from CMAF, designated cities and communities will receive funding to identify and target urgent local responses to COVID-19 that improve the health and well-being of vulnerable populations. This will complement funding provided through federal homelessness programs, allowing municipalities to target additional needs and improve the resiliency of efforts to support vulnerable populations through the pandemic. 

“Municipalities have been working flat out during the pandemic: deploying extra-ordinary measures to protect people who face enormous challenges staying safe—in our shelters, on our streets. As frontline governments, we see first-hand how vulnerable populations have been hit hardest. Local governments are well placed to effectively direct funds to deliver results. This donation will enable us to urgently help those who need it the most and support local and community-level action.” 

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities unites nearly 2,000 local governments representing more than 90 percent of Canadians. The Canadian Medical Association Foundation provides impactful, charitable giving to further excellence in health care, aligning to the Canadian Medical Association’s vision for a healthy population and vibrant medical profession. Read the CMAF press release here.  

For more information on the initiative: COVID-19 Community Response Fund for Vulnerable Populations  

For more information, please contact:   
FCM Media Relations, (613) 907-6395,
CMA Media Relations, 613-807-0457,

Additional information 

FCM is supporting the CMA Foundation with the delivery of this funding initiative, providing expertise on community needs and engaging recipients on behalf of CMAF. This joint effort by two of Canada’s largest membership organizations will save lives and help keep those needing medical assistance out of emergency rooms and community health centres.  

Examples of initiatives that could be funded through this program include securing or repurposing of facilities for overnight shelter or daytime use that allow for physical distancing or isolation, along with associated supports and services; the creation or expansion of community hygiene facilities; the provision of emergency food access; the provision of emergency mental health services; and others.

The COVID-19 Community Response Fund for Vulnerable Populations will direct allocations to communities with homeless populations according to needs, based on the Designated Communities and Indigenous Homelessness Streams of the federal Reaching Home program for homelessness interventions.  

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