November 24, 2017

“Local solutions are tackling some of Canada’s biggest national challenges, from productivity to public safety to climate change. So as FCM President, I was proud to lead a delegation of 100 municipal leaders to Parliament this week — to discuss the best ways to unlock that municipal potential to build tomorrow’s Canada.

“Meeting with 200 Parliamentarians from all federal parties, including members of Cabinet, was a chance to dig deep into two major nation-building opportunities. The $81 billion Investing in Canada infrastructure plan and this week’s breakthrough National Housing Strategy can transform this country. But if we’re going to tackle the housing crisis, build the new generation of public transit, generate significant rural growth, and make progress on climate change, the federal government still has important steps to take.

“Getting this right starts with making sure local governments have the tools they need to get moving. With fair cost sharing, they’ll be ready to move transit and other infrastructure projects forward. With streamlined project administration, our rural, remote and northern communities can kick local plans into gear. Meaningful Green Infrastructure Fund support can scale up local solutions to Canada’s environmental and climate challenges. And if the National Housing Strategy makes the most of municipal expertise, we can bring hope to millions of Canadians.  

“As the order of government closest to daily life, municipalities know what’s needed and what works. As the deadline for cannabis legalization draws near, local governments are getting ready to meet this national challenge as well. Keeping Canadians safe and well-serviced means bringing municipalities to the table with other orders of government and ensuring they have the right financial tools to implement, administer and enforce this new reality.  

“I especially want to thank our keynote speakers who took time to engage our full delegation. We heard from Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi, Conservative Deputy Leader Lisa Raitt, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, and Andrew Leslie, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. While each brought a distinct vision to the table, each clearly recognized municipalities as critical partners in building a more livable, competitive, sustainable Canada.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) is the national voice of municipal government, with 2,000 members representing 90 per cent of the Canadian population.

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