OTTAWA —The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) welcomed the release of the New Democratic Party of Canada’s election platform costing today. It confirms a major commitment to affordable housing, along with commitments to strengthen public transit, adapt communities to new climate extremes, and strengthen rural broadband connectivity.
“The NDP’s plan to build on the national housing strategy by building more affordable homes is the strongest we’ve seen yet,” said FCM President Bill Karsten. “We also welcome the NDP’s commitment to the principle of permanent, allocation-based transit funding—along with today’s ambitious, costed commitment to accelerate local transitions to zero-emission vehicles. A four-year boost to disaster mitigation funding will unlock ready-to-go projects to protect communities from new weather extremes. And we welcome the NDP’s costed commitments to empowering our rural communities with faster, more reliable Internet access.”
The NDP’s platform costing does not account for a permanent doubling of the federal Gas Tax Fund transfer—a cornerstone of FCM’s recommendations to build better lives. This transfer is the proven, predictable, but modest-scale funding tool that municipalities use to renew core infrastructure including roads, bridges and water systems. This week’s Canadian Infrastructure Report Card showed that 30-40 percent of key infrastructure categories require upgrades within a decade. Budget 2019 doubled this year’s transfer to move more projects forward, but FCM is calling on all parties to commit to a permanent doubling before Canadians vote.
“The NDP’s platform recognizes municipalities’ central role in building better lives. Key questions remain, however, especially in the absence of strengthened funding tools for core infrastructure,” said Karsten. “We will continue the conversation with the NDP about the shape and scale of a permanent funding mechanism for transit. We’re also calling for longer-term tools to keep Canadians safe from floods, wildfires and other effects of our changing climate.”
Today’s platform costing also includes notable commitments to address homelessness in our communities and to help tackle the public health emergency centred on opioid and other substance use. FCM will continue to analyze the costed commitments put forward by the New Democratic Party of Canada and all federal parties ahead of the October 21 election.
Contact: FCM Media Relations: (613) 907-6395, firstname.lastname@example.org
FCM’s election recommendations: BuildingBetterLives.ca