Our communities are the places where Canadians live, work, raise families and start businesses. As frontline governments, we understand the challenges people face, and we deliver cost-effective solutions that work. Those local solutions are the best way to tackle many of Canada’s biggest national challenges—from housing to climate—and that makes municipalities key to Canada’s national recovery.
We’re proposing solutions that build on our federal-municipal partnership to drive the inclusive, sustainable recovery Canadians deserve. And we’re ready to work with every party and every stakeholder to get the job done. After everything Canadians have been through, they want their political leaders working together to deliver results they can see and feel—and that’s what local governments do best.
Learn more about each priority for building a better future:
Secure, affordable housing
Federal parties agree: tackling Canada’s housing challenges must be a cornerstone of a strong, inclusive recovery. Local governments bring crucial frontline expertise to our shared objectives of improving housing affordability, addressing inequality and eliminating chronic homelessness.
The new Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) is helping local leaders help Canadians facing homelessness—by repurposing available buildings, lands and modular housing to deliver at least 9,200 permanent affordable homes. Scaling up the RHI can anchor a full-court press to finally end chronic homelessness. But this is the time to go further and scale up the principle that makes the RHI work: direct, intentional partnership among our governments. As partners for Canada’s recovery, let’s seize this opportunity to drive real progress on housing affordability for Canadians—across the housing spectrum, in communities of sizes.
Strong communities of all sizes
Our cities and communities are where Canadians live, work, raise families and start businesses. From big cities to rural towns, these are the engines of our economy and everyday quality of life. And these are the places where a strong and inclusive national recovery needs to take root.
Every dollar invested in infrastructure generates at least $1.60 in economic growth, and the projects that municipalities are ready to move forward will support the inclusive, sustainable recovery we all want. That includes setting this country on a path to reliable path to safe, clean water supplies for all Canadians. We’re also looking to our federal partners to support frontline services and efforts to build safer, healthier communities on the other side of COVID-19.
Local pathways to net-zero
Municipalities are on the front lines of new climate extremes, and they are leading the way on bringing emissions down. Scaling up local initiatives is essential for Canada to achieve our 2030 GHG reduction targets and put communities on a clear path to net-zero emissions by 2050.
Municipalities are setting ambitious reduction targets, and federal investments are helping to scale up local efforts. The progress we are driving shows what’s possible when our governments work together. But to meet the scale of our climate challenge, and with municipalities influencing more than half of Canada’s emissions, we need to scale up our joint efforts now. Canada’s recovery phase presents a critical opportunity to do exactly that.
Modern transit and mobility
Growing and modernizing Canada’s transit systems—urban, rural and regional—is another cornerstone of an inclusive, sustainable recovery. It’s a reliable way to drive economic growth while supporting both socio-economic inclusion and Canada’s progress to net-zero emissions.
Public transit is a backbone for inclusive, livable, competitive communities. It connects people with employers, schools and community services—especially frontline workers, women, new immigrants, people living with disabilities, seniors, and low-income and racialized communities. Every dollar invested in modernizing local transit generates three dollars in economic growth, even as it drives higher productivity, shorter commutes, less congestion—and reliable progress toward our national goal of net-zero GHG emissions.
Local leaders can help drive Canada’s recovery through transit. But before they can fully lean into this work, we’ll need to tackle the COVID-driven farebox revenue shortfalls that continue to plague transit systems across the country. And to promote mobility among municipalities, FCM is also seeking federal leadership on the deepening crisis in inter-community passenger bus services.
Digital inclusion for all Canadians
Fast and reliable broadband Internet is essential to our economy and our daily lives. Ensuring all Canadians can connect online is key to building a strong recovery that everyone can take part in.
FCM has worked with successive government to prioritize Internet access for all Canadians. We’re ready to work with the current government as it applies a “use it or lose it” approach to spectrum rights policy. Above all, we have welcomed new investments in broadband infrastructure, including the $2.75 billion Universal Broadband Fund. Now let’s work together to ensure these investments drive results for people on the ground.
The pandemic laid bare the digital divide, but our recovery response can go a long way toward tackling it. Together, we can build a Canada where everyone can connect to modern commerce, to modern opportunities, and to each other. We know that’s a goal this minority parliament can get behind.