April 7, 2022

Joanne Vanderheyden, President of FCM, issued this statement following the tabling of the 2022 Budget by the Government of Canada.

“Today’s budget recognizes municipalities as an essential partner in solving our greatest national challenges, including housing affordability as a top priority.  It makes bold investments to tackle the housing crisis for a truly inclusive recovery, including important steps to end chronic homelessness. The Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF) has transformative potential to help municipalities get housing built faster through direct and flexible investments in municipalities, who best understand local supply needs. As local leaders, we’re ready to do our part to improve housing options for Canadians, and this budget helps keep us moving. 

“FCM welcomes today’s investment to scale up the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) as well as the two-year extension of additional funding through the Reaching Home initiative. The RHI has been a genuine success, and we’ll continue to advocate for growing it into a long-term tool to eradicate chronic homelessness. There remains a significant need to co-develop an adequately funded Indigenous housing strategy, in partnership with Indigenous housing providers. This is critical for Indigenous households in urban, rural and Northern communities.

“Committing to improve the Rental Construction Financing Initiative and National Housing Co-Investment Fund is a welcome move. It means more affordable rental supply for more Canadians, in direct response to calls from local leaders. This is a critical component to expanding housing supply options for all Canadians. 

“Municipalities have significant ambitions to tackle the housing crisis, and today’s budget investments—especially the HAF—gives us the ability to take action and grow the right kind of affordable housing supply for Canadians. To make the HAF a success, it must be designed with municipalities to directly empower rapid action and results, building on the success of the Rapid Housing Initiative.      

“Municipalities are also on the frontlines of new climate extremes. New investments in this budget in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, building retrofits and nature-based solutions provide municipalities with tools to take local action on climate change. FCM welcomed the federal government’s recent recognition in the Emissions Reduction Plan that municipalities are critical to achieving Canada’s 2030 emission goals. We look forward to working together on the implementation of the climate plan to ensure that municipalities have the direct funding tools they need.

“Canada’s recovery needs to take root in our rural communities that drive one third of Canada’s economy. FCM welcomes new investments in natural climate solutions, wildfire prevention, physicians, and the commitment to ensuring that the HAF takes into account smaller and rural communities, especially those quickly growing. Also, many rural communities are grappling with retroactive contract policing costs resulting from the new federally negotiated RCMP labour agreement. This will continue to require urgent federal attention and collaboration with FCM and affected municipalities.  

“Like never before, the past two years exposed and highlighted our most pressing national challenges. They also taught us that when federal and municipal leaders work together, we can face these challenges in a way that supports our economy, builds stronger communities, and ensures Canadians’ quality of life. Local governments are ready to continue this vital work with our federal partners, and this budget keeps us moving in the right direction.”

For more information: FCM Media Relations, (613) 907-6395, media@fcm.ca

Federal Budget
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