February 6, 2020

Ottawa – With Parliament back in session, mayors from some of Canada’s biggest cities met to craft a shortlist of federal budget proposals—to turn election commitments into faster commutes, more affordable housing and other concrete outcomes for Canadians.

“This first budget is a litmus test for this Parliament,” said Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson, who chairs the Big City Mayors’ Caucus (BCMC) of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM). “This is where the new government needs to show it can get things done for Canadians. That includes working with municipal governments to deliver real results on the ground.”

Today’s full-day session included meetings with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, along with the ministers responsible for finance, infrastructure and housing. Together, they discussed a range of proposals, including:

  • Transit: Implement the election commitment to permanently fund public transit expansions, so cities can continue cutting commutes and emissions—while building on election commitments to support faster transitions to zero-emission transit fleets.
  • Housing: Launch a program to preserve lower-cost market rental housing, while making it more energy-efficient—and grow the National Housing Strategy to build more affordable housing for Indigenous Canadians and people living with mental illness and substance use.
  • Climate adaptation: Empower municipalities to continue adapting communities and local infrastructure to new climate extremes, by topping up the successful but depleted federal Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund.

The mayors’ proposals build on progress achieved in the last Parliament. FCM and the BCMC significantly shaped the National Housing Strategy that has restored federal leadership in affordable housing. On transit, they are proposing to eliminate the 2027 sunset date from a new federal funding plan that has kick-started major system expansions across the country.

“Our message today is that when Ottawa invests in municipalities, we deliver for Canadians. We’re ready to deliver faster commutes, more affordable housing and a richer quality of life—and by doing that, we’ll deliver the climate progress that our federal partners stressed today. This is about deepening our municipal-federal partnership to get more done,” said Iveson.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) unites nearly 2,000 local governments at the national level, representing more than 90 per cent of Canadians in every province and territory. FCM’s Big City Mayors’ Caucus (BCMC) convenes the mayors of 22 major Canadian cities. 

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

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