Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) President Vicki-May Hamm issued this statement following a meeting of FCM’s elected Board of Directors, held March 12-15 in Penticton, British Columbia.
“This week’s FCM board meetings took place at a critical time for municipalities and the Canadians we serve. Days before a federal budget, and months before a federal election, we continue to take our place as a full order of government—the one closest to people’s daily lives.
“Local leaders are Canada’s builders. As we build better infrastructure, services and communities, we’re building better lives for Canadians. And FCM’s recommendations for next week’s budget start with steps that will empower municipalities to keep delivering results.
“Those results include taking bold steps to achieve universal Internet access. FCM’s rural, northern and remote members have been overwhelmingly clear: in 2019, Canada’s economic future depends on closing the broadband gap nationwide, and improving connectivity in communities across the country.
“Next week’s budget is also a key opportunity to strengthen a direct federal-municipal partnership. Canadians expect all of their governments to work together to get more done. As a strong step forward, FCM is calling for a modernized relationship that brings our orders of government together at one table to tackle national challenges, develop new tools for collaboration, and build better lives.
“Modernizing this relationship is a long-term project, and board members spent much of this week strategizing long-term progress. We leave Penticton united behind a plan, unprecedented in scope, to bring local Canadian voices to the coming federal election.”
“FCM’s elected board members represent communities of all sizes, from every region of this country. I want to thank each and every one for their thoughtful contributions this week. I also want to thank the City of Penticton—including Mayor John Vassilaki, and so many staff and volunteers—for their wonderful hospitality.
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities is the national voice of local government, with nearly 2,000 member municipalities representing more than 90 per cent of the Canadian population.