The president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Scott Pearce, issued the following statement at the conclusion of the FCM Board of Directors meetings.
“FCM’s Board of Directors convened this week against a backdrop of multiple national challenges that have all been met by municipal resilience and leadership.
“No issue feels more immediate than the impact of natural disasters affecting our communities, made worse by a changing climate. The recent wildfire crisis in the Northwest Territories resulted in FCM making the difficult decision to move our Board of Directors meeting from the city of Yellowknife to a virtual setting. Our thanks and support go to the people of that great city as they reopen following the evacuation order, and we acknowledge the important work of local officials who fought tirelessly to keep their communities safe.
“The devastation of extreme weather was not confined to Canada’s north this year. From Kelowna to Halifax, 2023 has witnessed a rising threat to Canadians’ safety and security due to natural disasters. Time and time again, municipalities find themselves on the front lines, responding to these crises, regardless of jurisdiction. This reality underscored an important motion, adopted by FCM’s Board of Directors this week. This motion calls upon on the federal government to take critical action, including expediting the development of a Canadian Wildland Fire Prevention and Mitigation Strategy, and increasing investments in the Disaster Mitigation Adaptation Fund.
"With Parliament set to resume shortly in Ottawa, FCM Board members, through the work of its standing committees, examined FCM’s current advocacy priorities. Foremost among these issues is the national housing crisis. With too many Canadians struggling to find a safe and affordable place to call home, municipalities are setting the conditions to build while also adhering to responsible planning and delivering the core infrastructure required to support greater housing supply. This week in London, Ontario, we saw a meaningful announcement—the first of many to come—made through the Housing Accelerator Fund. The program exemplifies the kind of much-needed progress municipal and federal governments can achieve when working together. FCM’s additional recommendations on housing, the next generation of infrastructure in Canada, climate adaptation and mitigation, and more can be found in our recent submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance.
“All of these priorities are inextricably linked to Canada’s growth. The FCM Board of Directors issued a clear and direct message of support for FCM’s Municipal Growth Framework advocacy. We need to better link municipal revenue with population growth, economic growth and the services municipalities provide in the 21st century. This is essential in providing Canadians both new and old the quality of life they deserve. To realize a country that is more affordable, accessible and adequately serviced, a country where its citizens can confidently rely on infrastructure to support their lives and our economy, FCM is calling on all orders of government to participate in a national conversation that redefines how we work together and an examines new tools that better link municipal revenue to Canada’s growth.
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) unites over 2,000 local governments at the national level, representing more than 90 per cent of Canadians in every province and territory.
For more information: FCM Media Relations, (613) 907-6395, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Board also passed resolutions related to a number of pressing challenges, including:
Implementing a Graduated Tier System for RCMP Cost-Sharing Agreements: This resolution directs FCM to advocate for the introduction of additional population tiers to the cost-sharing agreements for RCMP contract policing.
Increasing the Tax Credit for Volunteer Firefighters and Search and Rescue Volunteers: This resolution directs FCM to call on the Government of Canada to increase the existing tax credit from $3,000 to $10,000 in recognition of the invaluable contributions of our essential volunteer firefighters and volunteer search and rescue personnel across the country.
Federal Mechanisms to Address Inflationary Costs through DMAF: This resolution directs FCM to call on the federal government to work with municipalities to develop a funding mechanism to address inflationary cost escalation as it relates to the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF) program.
Insurability of Buildings in a Climate Crisis Context: This resolution directs FCM to make the required representations to the Government of Canada and other relevant organizations to guarantee the insurability of existing buildings against climate-related risks, including rain and river floods, in the context of the climate crisis.
Resilient National Corridors: This resolution directs FCM to urge the federal government, in collaboration with Provinces, Territories, First Nations, private stakeholders, and municipalities, to immediately invest in the adaptation and resiliency of nationally significant transportation routes, and single-access corridors, ensuring that these critical links remain viable in the face of a changing climate.
Rural Transit Operating Funding: This resolution directs FCM to advocate to the Government of Canada to ensure the new Rural Transit Solutions Fund be expanded to include further operational funding, outside of the Active Transportation Fund and the Zero Transmission Fund, for small to medium sized municipalities, and rural, remote, Northern, and Indigenous communities.
Federal Support for Literacy Programs: This resolution directs FCM to add Literacy to its “Inclusive Communities” advocacy work. It also directs FCM to call on the Government of Canada to add explicit references to Literacy in its various policies, for the Government of Canada to support literacy non-profits with core funding, including funding digital literacy programs at the introductory level in communities gaining broadband access, and by ensuring literacy initiatives and funding expand beyond employment programs.