Featured news and resources

FCM’s programs and advocacy help secure new tools that empower municipalities to build stronger communities of all sizes. Explore below to find out what’s new with us.

Updates to Green Municipal Fund funding offer

To ensure our funding best serves Canadian municipalities, the Green Municipal Fund (GMF) occasionally makes updates to application criteria, deadlines and other key components of our funding products. Read below to learn about the latest changes.

Advanced funding disbursement now available for GMF plans, studies and pilot projects

SEPTEMBER 24, 2019 - GMF now offers advanced grant payments for plans, studies and pilot projects, where available.*

Contact us to find out if your municipality qualifies.

*Conditions apply. Not applicable to Quebec municipalities.

Brownfield capital projects now offers grant with loan option

SEPTEMBER 24, 2019 - GMF may offer grants to be combined with our existing low-interest loans for brownfield capital projects. Funding amount is determined on a per-project basis. Learn more.

Staff costs now eligible for reimbursement through GMF plans, studies and pilot projects

SEPTEMBER 24, 2019 - Internal costs incurred by grant recipients, to allocate time to work on the initiative by their permanent or contract employees, are now eligible for reimbursement for GMF plans, studies and pilot projects.*

* For private entities, the proportion of eligible internal staff costs is limited to 10 per cent of total budget costs.

New maximum amounts for GMF pilot projects

AUGUST 29, 2019 - GMF now offers up to $500,000 to cover up to 50 per cent of eligible costs for pilot projects.

Municipalities with a population of 20,000 or less, including municipal partners, may qualify to receive up to 80 per cent of eligible costs.

Interested in learning if your municipality qualifies? Contact us.

Learn more about pilot projects.

GMF capital projects moving to a continuous application process

AUGUST 2, 2019 - As of April 1, 2020, GMF will accept capital project applications on a continuous, year-round basis. While we prepare for this change, you can still download and submit the capital projects initial review form at any time. Application forms will be provided to eligible applicants after April 1, 2020.

Learn more about capital projects

Capital project
Pilot project
Plan
Study
Green Municipal Fund
Sustainability

Updates to Green Municipal Fund funding offer

To ensure our funding best serves Canadian municipalities, the Green Municipal Fund (GMF) occasionally makes updates to application criteria, deadlines and other key components of our funding products. Read below to learn about the latest changes.

Advanced funding disbursement now available for GMF plans, studies and pilot projects

SEPTEMBER 24, 2019 - GMF now offers advanced grant payments for plans, studies and pilot projects, where available.*

Contact us to find out if your municipality qualifies.

*Conditions apply. Not applicable to Quebec municipalities.

Brownfield capital projects now offers grant with loan option

SEPTEMBER 24, 2019 - GMF may offer grants to be combined with our existing low-interest loans for brownfield capital projects. Funding amount is determined on a per-project basis. Learn more.

Staff costs now eligible for reimbursement through GMF plans, studies and pilot projects

SEPTEMBER 24, 2019 - Internal costs incurred by grant recipients, to allocate time to work on the initiative by their permanent or contract employees, are now eligible for reimbursement for GMF plans, studies and pilot projects.*

* For private entities, the proportion of eligible internal staff costs is limited to 10 per cent of total budget costs.

New maximum amounts for GMF pilot projects

AUGUST 29, 2019 - GMF now offers up to $500,000 to cover up to 50 per cent of eligible costs for pilot projects.

Municipalities with a population of 20,000 or less, including municipal partners, may qualify to receive up to 80 per cent of eligible costs.

Interested in learning if your municipality qualifies? Contact us.

Learn more about pilot projects.

GMF capital projects moving to a continuous application process

AUGUST 2, 2019 - As of April 1, 2020, GMF will accept capital project applications on a continuous, year-round basis. While we prepare for this change, you can still download and submit the capital projects initial review form at any time. Application forms will be provided to eligible applicants after April 1, 2020.

Learn more about capital projects

Capital project
Pilot project
Plan
Study
Green Municipal Fund
Sustainability

Case study: Saint John explores options for district energy system

Feasibility Study for a Green Thermal Utility (GTU) District Heating and Cooling Loop in Downtown Saint John

City of Saint John

The City of Saint John studied the feasibility of a district energy system to serve buildings in the downtown area. These systems distribute thermal energy from a central facility to heat and cool multiple buildings.

Saint John's study examined various energy options including raw sewage heat recovery from the nearby waste water treatment plant and energy recovery from  Saint John Harbour seawater and industrial waste. In the end, the recommended approach was to use waste energy from the nearby Irving pulp and paper mill. Initially, 15 buildings would be connected. The district energy system would reduce energy costs, greenhouse-gas emissions and the city's fossil-fuel dependency. It would also encourage the development of green buildings in the heart of the city.

Results

Environmental Economic Social
  • GHG emissions reduced by 9,500 tonnes per year
  • Reduced reliance on fossil fuels
  • Annual energy savings of $2.2 million
  • Six full-time operations jobs and 200 construction jobs
  • Green development revitalizes the downtown core
  • Building residents enjoy the lack of boilers, furnaces and other equipment

Challenges

  • The lack of a project champion in city government and limited city staffing capacity to oversee the study.
  • Limited understanding of the potential of a district energy system among property managers and owners.
  • Financial constraints at the city, which put the district energy system project on hold in 2011.

Lessons learned

  • Visit district energy sites in other municipalities and consult with managers, designers and developers to clearly understand the potential of these systems.
  • Develop a master community energy plan to list local energy sources, buildings and future infrastructure projects before undertaking this kind of study.
  • Consult early and often with the public and local developers and property managers throughout the project.

Resources

Partners and Collaborators

Project Contact

Samir Yammine
Energy Manager
City of Saint John, NB
T. 506-648-4667

Case study: Saint John explores options for district energy system

Feasibility Study for a Green Thermal Utility (GTU) District Heating and Cooling Loop in Downtown Saint John

City of Saint John

The City of Saint John studied the feasibility of a district energy system to serve buildings in the downtown area. These systems distribute thermal energy from a central facility to heat and cool multiple buildings.

Saint John's study examined various energy options including raw sewage heat recovery from the nearby waste water treatment plant and energy recovery from  Saint John Harbour seawater and industrial waste. In the end, the recommended approach was to use waste energy from the nearby Irving pulp and paper mill. Initially, 15 buildings would be connected. The district energy system would reduce energy costs, greenhouse-gas emissions and the city's fossil-fuel dependency. It would also encourage the development of green buildings in the heart of the city.

Results

Environmental Economic Social
  • GHG emissions reduced by 9,500 tonnes per year
  • Reduced reliance on fossil fuels
  • Annual energy savings of $2.2 million
  • Six full-time operations jobs and 200 construction jobs
  • Green development revitalizes the downtown core
  • Building residents enjoy the lack of boilers, furnaces and other equipment

Challenges

  • The lack of a project champion in city government and limited city staffing capacity to oversee the study.
  • Limited understanding of the potential of a district energy system among property managers and owners.
  • Financial constraints at the city, which put the district energy system project on hold in 2011.

Lessons learned

  • Visit district energy sites in other municipalities and consult with managers, designers and developers to clearly understand the potential of these systems.
  • Develop a master community energy plan to list local energy sources, buildings and future infrastructure projects before undertaking this kind of study.
  • Consult early and often with the public and local developers and property managers throughout the project.

Resources

Partners and Collaborators

Project Contact

Samir Yammine
Energy Manager
City of Saint John, NB
T. 506-648-4667

Big City Mayors meet in Halifax, focus on Tools for Cities

Canada’s Big City Mayors met today in Halifax to discuss how to build on recent progress in the federal-municipal partnership and ensure cities have the right tools to tackle future national challenges.

“From the breakthrough National Housing Strategy and the transformative federal infrastructure plan, Canada’s big cities are driving the national agenda and delivering outcomes like never before,” said newly re-elected Big City Mayors’ Caucus (BCMC) chair and Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson. “Today’s meeting was a critical next step for our federal-municipal partnership, not just to help entrench and build on these important gains, but to set our sights on expanding on new tools for cities.”

A key part of the mayors’ agenda was hosting Canada’s Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, the Hon. Amarjeet Sohi. During their meeting, Minister Sohi provided the mayors with an update on how the Investing in Canada plan was progressing nation-wide, while the mayors offered feedback on the roll out of local infrastructure projects.

Also discussed was the Edmonton Declaration (PDF), which calls on mayors from around the world to ramp up their leadership in driving urgent, evidence-based action on climate change. While cities account for a large amount of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, they are also leading the way on solutions to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

“With the challenges of growth and climate change in front of us, mayors know we need new tools to tackle these national priorities,” added Iveson. “But as we’ve seen, remarkable progress is possible when you start with local solutions and a strong federal-municipal partnership. And as we continue to build that partnership, we’re building strong cities and a more livable, inclusive and sustainable Canada.”

The meeting of FCM’s Big City Mayors Caucus kicked off FCM’s four-day Annual Conference dedicated to exploring, strengthening and re-imagining the tools local governments need to build tomorrow’s Canada. 

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities is the national voice of municipal governments, with nearly 2,000 members representing more than 90 per cent of the Canadian population. Its Big-City Mayors' Caucus brings together 22 of Canada's largest cities.

Media Contact

Question for press and media?

613-907-6395
Big City Mayors' Caucus

Big City Mayors meet in Halifax, focus on Tools for Cities

Canada’s Big City Mayors met today in Halifax to discuss how to build on recent progress in the federal-municipal partnership and ensure cities have the right tools to tackle future national challenges.

“From the breakthrough National Housing Strategy and the transformative federal infrastructure plan, Canada’s big cities are driving the national agenda and delivering outcomes like never before,” said newly re-elected Big City Mayors’ Caucus (BCMC) chair and Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson. “Today’s meeting was a critical next step for our federal-municipal partnership, not just to help entrench and build on these important gains, but to set our sights on expanding on new tools for cities.”

A key part of the mayors’ agenda was hosting Canada’s Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, the Hon. Amarjeet Sohi. During their meeting, Minister Sohi provided the mayors with an update on how the Investing in Canada plan was progressing nation-wide, while the mayors offered feedback on the roll out of local infrastructure projects.

Also discussed was the Edmonton Declaration (PDF), which calls on mayors from around the world to ramp up their leadership in driving urgent, evidence-based action on climate change. While cities account for a large amount of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, they are also leading the way on solutions to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

“With the challenges of growth and climate change in front of us, mayors know we need new tools to tackle these national priorities,” added Iveson. “But as we’ve seen, remarkable progress is possible when you start with local solutions and a strong federal-municipal partnership. And as we continue to build that partnership, we’re building strong cities and a more livable, inclusive and sustainable Canada.”

The meeting of FCM’s Big City Mayors Caucus kicked off FCM’s four-day Annual Conference dedicated to exploring, strengthening and re-imagining the tools local governments need to build tomorrow’s Canada. 

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities is the national voice of municipal governments, with nearly 2,000 members representing more than 90 per cent of the Canadian population. Its Big-City Mayors' Caucus brings together 22 of Canada's largest cities.

Media Contact

Question for press and media?

613-907-6395
Big City Mayors' Caucus

Cannabis Excise Tax Submission

Cannabis Excise Tax Submission

Cannabis Excise Tax Submission

Published: 2018 - PDF (0.75 MB)

Our cities and communities are where non-medical cannabis will be produced, sold and consumed—and the proposed legislation places municipalities on the front lines of keeping Canadians safe and well served.

FCM recognizes the Budget 2017 commitment of $81 million over 5 years that is being made available to provinces and territories to support police training and other capacity building related to enforcement. This type of program could be scaled up to better reflect policing costs, start-up and ongoing, particularly where excise tax revenue is lower than anticipated.

Case study: Quebec community serves as a model zero-waste example

Project type Grant amount Community
Pilot project $32,700 Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie, Montréal, QC

Montreal Zero Waste Challenge participants
ABOVE, LEFT TO RIGHT: Roxanne Comtois, representative of a Défi zéro déchet centre, Laure Caillot, specialist, Défi zéro déchet, and Claudette Therrien, representative of a Défi zéro déchet centre.

Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie is a densely populated central part of Montréal with nearly 140,000 residents. In 2016, 63 per cent of its household garbage ended up in a landfill, so the borough developed the Défi zéro déchet (Zero Waste Challenge) to reduce that number.

The program was inspired by the concept of zero waste, a movement that is gaining momentum in Quebec and other cities around the world, which focuses on five principles: 

  • Refuse
  • Reduce
  • Reuse
  • Recycle 
  • Compost

This pilot project should: 

  • Reduce household waste by 30 to 50 per cent (i.e., reduce the waste per person, per year by 109 to 181 kg)
  • Reduce 16,390 tonnes in household waste per year at the district level, in the long term

People on a stage talking at the Zero Waste Challenge panel
ABOVE, LEFT TO RIGHT: Gabrielle Lamontagne-Hallé, Amélie Côté, Laure Caillot, Bchira Dhouib, Douglas Besson

Out of 569 applications, 50 households participated in the pilot between October 2018 and June 2019, and each one weighed its waste throughout the project. The organizers also recruited three professional zero-waste specialists, who worked closely with each household.

“Midway through the project, the volunteers had reduced their waste by 20 per cent on average—a remarkable outcome four months into the challenge,” states Marilou Deschênes, a Sustainable Development Research Officer of the borough.

“The Zero Waste Challenge, as small as it may seem, has enormous potential to turn Montréal into a sustainable city. The fact that the project was so popular shows that municipalities have a role to play in helping residents transition to a low-impact lifestyle.”

—Marilou Deschênes, Sustainable Development Research Officer, Communications Division, Borough of Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie

Participants were offered support activities based on their needs, including telephone support, individual and group meetings, special thematic workshops and a private Facebook group. The public could access information about the participants on a website, along with their testimonies, goals and achievements.

The borough estimates that in its first edition, Défi zéro déchet will reduce the total household waste generated by 10 to 17 tonnes.

Overall, the goal of the challenge is to position borough citizens as leaders in reducing waste before it goes to landfills. The pilot aims to test an innovative solution that is replicable and inspires other communities. 

“During the challenge, I was able to enjoy workshops and the feeling that I was part of a community, with all the support that entails. …  My responsible consumption is my own contribution to the fight against climate change.”

Jean Gagnon Doré, Défi zéro déchet participant

Additional resources 

FCM applauds Supreme Court decision on Windsor v. Canadian Transit Company

This morning, in a dispute between the City of Windsor and the Canadian Transit Company, the federally regulated corporation that operates the international bridge crossing between Windsor and Detroit (Corporation of the City of Windsor v. Canadian Transit Company), the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that issues relating to the application of municipal bylaws to federal undertakings should be decided by the Superior Courts of each province, not by the Federal Court of Canada.

FCM intervened in this case at Windsor's request and is pleased by this outcome. As stated by the Court, resolving federal-municipal jurisdictional questions in Superior Courts is not only in keeping with the Constitution, but it guarantees greater access to justice for municipalities and community groups across the country by ensuring that such cases are heard locally.

This case relates to CTC's attempt to have the Federal Court of Canada decide whether Windsor's property standards bylaw applied to its 114 derelict properties. Windsor was of the view that this matter should be decided locally by the Ontario Superior Court, as has been the case for all federal-municipal jurisdictional disputes since Confederation. The matter can now proceed to Superior Court in Windsor to determine the real issue at play: whether the property standards bylaw applies to the CTC's properties and whether the CTC has violated these bylaws.

FCM supported the argument that the Federal Court does not have jurisdiction over issues of this type and that these must be decided in the local courthouse by a Superior Court Justice. FCM will continue to defend the constitutional rights of local governments to enact and enforce bylaws that protect the interest of their residents by making legal interventions on issues of broad national interest to Canada's municipalities.

Media Contact

Question for press and media?

613-907-6395
Public transit
Transportation

Case study: Manitoba town leads innovation in northern communities

Project type Amount Community
Capital project

Loan: $4,368,300
Grant: $655,200

Neepawa, MB

Sign for the Town of Neepawa

In 2016, the growing Town of Neepawa had pushed its lagoon system to the brink. The community decided to upgrade its wastewater system while taking future growth and sustainable development into consideration. 

The town’s conventional lagoon system can accommodate sewage waste from 4,500 residents. The Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor (MBBR) technology, upon which the town’s new design is based, can serve a population of 7,500. This approach, not usually used in cold weather climates, will inform initiatives in other northern communities facing similar challenges. The technology is compact, can be easily replicated and maintained and works well where land is at a premium or limited. 

“The incorporation of the new technology will modernize the way effluent is treated. The entire community will benefit from this project, not only in relation to efficient wastewater treatment, but by repurposing the two lagoon cells into a licensed compost and an area for water retention.”

Colleen Synchyshyn, Chief Administrative Officer, Town of Neepawa 

The upgraded process will allow the town to meet nutrient removal limits and extend the lagoon system’s lifespan so it can easily accommodate future growth and the community’s needs. Another key advantage of this new system is that its design is self-adapting to seasonal changes and will be able to accommodate extremely low temperatures in winter. Furthermore, the organic treatment process could divert approximately 30 per cent of the waste currently going to a landfill. 

“The wastewater processing has not always been adequate, and MBBR is entirely new technology that will lead to better results. I think the biggest highlight for me is that this project will increase the capacity for our community. It will allow industrial, commercial and residential growth.”

Ken Waddell, Publisher: Neepawa Banner & Press, Rivers Banner (see: myWestman.ca)

Neepawa’s MBBR project will provide efficient and effective wastewater treatment and will result in continuous discharge into the water system. This differs from conventional storage which, at given times of the year, can emit an offensive odor. The MBBR will also help address the significantly increased load that’s been put on the system in the last decade, via the expansion of a local processing plant. That expansions will also increase the community’s labour opportunities. 

We expect this project to: 

  • Reduce total suspended solids (TSS) by 85 percent
  • Increase treatment capacity from 611,000 m3/year to 1,007,400 m3/year (65 percent increase)
  • Reduce energy consumption by 2,690 GJ/year

Additional resources 

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