How FCM is responding to COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, FCM is taking action to respond—and to support communities of all sizes. For FCM staff, we have implemented a work-at-home protocol and suspended all business travel to lessen burdens on our health care system. We are continually engaging federal officials and providing municipalities with COVID-19 tools and resources. After careful consideration—and with guidance from public health authorities—FCM has made the decision to cancel our 2020 Annual Conference and Trade Show, scheduled to take place June 4-7 in Toronto.

We’re urging everyone to follow the guidance of their provincial/territorial and local public health authorities.

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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.

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.

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FCM releases how-to guide to welcoming refugees - Welcoming Communities builds on municipal experience with Syrian newcomers

A year after Canada began opening its arms to tens of thousands of Syrian refugees, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) has released Welcoming Communities: A Toolkit for Municipal Governments. The practical guide builds on lessons learned by over 300 municipalities that have helped to welcome the newcomers

"I am proud of how Canadian municipalities stepped up and embraced our new Canadian family members," said FCM President Clark Somerville. "Now we've turned some of that experience into a practical guide to becoming truly welcoming communities for refugees.

"In September 2015, FCM launched a Task Force on Refugee Resettlement to share information across the country, to coordinate with federal, provincial and territorial governments, and to support frontline organziations and neighbourhood groups that led strong local responses. Welcoming Communities surveys the complex challenge of welcoming many refugees in a short period of time-focussing on priorities such as finding affordable housing, providing language and cultural supports, and building community connections.

"Once again, we are seeing how  municipal action helps meet national challenges," added Somerville, "Of course, as emergency federal support winds down now in 'Month 13', we'll need to help these refugees face new challenges, like finding affordable longer-term housing.

"A housing crisis continues to play out in communities across Canada, with a deepening shortage of affordable housing options. FCM has recommended a comprehensive response, calling for significant funding for housing solutions in Budget 2017.

Since November 2015, 35,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in Canada. FCM and its members recognize the cultural, social and economic value that newcomers contribute to our communities, and they will continue to be part of a solution to this tragic situation.

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


Michael FitzPatrick, Media Relations: or 613 907 6346

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