The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) released a report today that details the important contribution rural municipalities make and outlines the unique challenges they face. The comprehensive report titled Rural Challenges, national opportunity - Shaping the future of rural Canada includes recommendations encouraging the federal government to tackle these challenges head-on and raise Canadians' quality of life nationwide.
"When it comes to providing the infrastructure necessary to support a strong economy and high quality of life, rural governments are faced with two key problems-the challenge of serving dispersed communities and the limits of their fiscal and administrative capacity," said FCM's Rural Forum Chair, Ray Orb.
Today's report provides recommendations to address the realities rural municipalities face. Key recommendations of this report include:
- Applying a 'rural lens' to all federal policies and programs aimed at empowering smaller communities to better support local needs.
- Designing future rural infrastructure programs that provide long-term predictable funding with flexibility to account for rural realities.
- Committing long-term predictable resources to expanding broadband internet access in rural, northern and remote communities.
"This report tells the story of the significant contribution rural municipalities make to the nation's economy, but it also highlights the fiscal squeeze they face due to low population densities and the exodus of younger generations," added Orb. "But as a key driver of economic growth, we know that investing in rural Canada means building a better country for everyone."
FCM is leading the way in advocating for new tools that empower rural communities to build tomorrow's Canada and has secured unprecedented federal investment in recent years.
The full report is available here.
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) is the national voice of municipal governments, with nearly 2,000 members representing more than 90 per cent of the Canadian population.