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. 

Webinar recording: Opportunities and best practices in climate change action

Are you an elected official looking for a clear understanding of why your municipality should focus on climate change? Are you wondering how and where to start? 

This introductory webinar explores how Canada's climate is changing and the challenges and opportunities this creates for municipalities. Learn ways you can champion climate change action in your community and how you can gain support for climate related initiatives from internal and external stakeholders. 

Discover how Leduc, AB is adapting to climate change impacts and how they gained support to develop their Weather and Climate Readiness Action Plan. Hear about the steps Oxford County, ON took to gain support from their council for a resolution that would move them to 100% renewable energy by 2050.

This webinar is intended for elected officials from Canadian communities of all sizes.

What you will learn:

  • Understand the challenges that climate change represents for municipalities
  • Recognize the benefits of taking action on climate change in your municipality
  • Learn ways to get support for climate related initiatives from internal and external stakeholders

Speakers:

  • Bob Young, Mayor, Leduc, AB
  • Trevor Birtch, Mayor, Woodstock, ON

Read the transcript

 

Webinar recording: How to build partnerships to help revitalize your brownfields

Learn from the City of Nanaimo's experience in reviving its downtown and waterfront

Downtown waterfronts are at the heart of many Canadian communities. For many, waterfronts were once bustling engines of a past industrial economy; some now sit vacant — void of the productivity that once supported their communities. Often derelict and sometimes contaminated, these brownfield sites create barriers between citizens and their waterfronts — and there are often challenges for redeveloping these sites. 

Watch this webinar to find out how municipalities can work through partnerships to move beyond these barriers. Speakers will describe how partnerships have been central to efforts in the City of Nanaimo, BC, in reconnecting its shoreline and downtown communities. Since 2000, the city has collaborated with local businesses, property owners, the Snuneymuxw First Nation, the Government of Canada and the Province of BC. FCM's Green Municipal Fund has supported Nanaimo's brownfield redevelopment strategy to help guide this progress.

You'll learn:

  • How visioning and planning has set Nanaimo's course toward implementing successful brownfield redevelopment initiatives
  • How strong partnerships with stakeholders are vital to brownfield redevelopment
  • How the city set its risk tolerance in acquiring a contaminated site  

Speakers

  • Bill Corsan, Manager, Real Estate — City of Nanaimo, BC
  • Darren Moss, Chair of Planning, Design & Development Committee — Downtown Nanaimo BIA, and Professional Engineer, Tectonica

Request this resource

Would you like to receive this resource by email? Contact us today. In your request, please include the full name of the resource.

Webinar recording: Opportunities and best practices in climate change action

Are you an elected official looking for a clear understanding of why your municipality should focus on climate change? Are you wondering how and where to start? 

This introductory webinar explores how Canada's climate is changing and the challenges and opportunities this creates for municipalities. Learn ways you can champion climate change action in your community and how you can gain support for climate related initiatives from internal and external stakeholders. 

Discover how Leduc, AB is adapting to climate change impacts and how they gained support to develop their Weather and Climate Readiness Action Plan. Hear about the steps Oxford County, ON took to gain support from their council for a resolution that would move them to 100% renewable energy by 2050.

This webinar is intended for elected officials from Canadian communities of all sizes.

What you will learn:

  • Understand the challenges that climate change represents for municipalities
  • Recognize the benefits of taking action on climate change in your municipality
  • Learn ways to get support for climate related initiatives from internal and external stakeholders

Speakers:

  • Bob Young, Mayor, Leduc, AB
  • Trevor Birtch, Mayor, Woodstock, ON

Read the transcript

 

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

City-led economic development and entrepreneurship: The story of Mr. Ngan

City-led economic development and entrepreneurship: The story of Mr. NganThis article is part of a series written to highlight some of the success stories from FCM’s Municipal Partners for Economic Development (MPED) program. MPED projects seeks to improve local governance and economic policy development around the world while, at the same time, emphasizing the importance of gender equality and environmental sustainability. From 2011 to 2014, the Township of Langley, Canada, worked with the City of Hà T˜ınh, Vietnam, to support and improve local economic development (LED) in Hà T˜ınh.

Download the document

 

Cannabis legalization: Municipalities key to keeping Canadians safe and well-served

Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) President Vicki-May Hamm issued the following statement to mark the legalization of non-medical cannabis across Canada today.

“Today marks a significant shift in how our society operates. From public safety to retail services, to transit and labour law, keeping Canadians safe and well-served in a world of legal cannabis will require significant coordination among all orders of government.

“Local governments are on the front lines of cannabis legalization. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities has been helping cities and communities get ready nationwide by providing tools and engaging our various partners. We also know that keeping Canadians safe and well-served will require a clear framework for sharing the costs that come with this new policy.

“Legalization has operational and cost implications for as many as 17 municipal departments. This is why the federal government also released half of its share of cannabis excise tax revenues to provinces and territories—to support municipalities. Yet, only three provinces have revealed plans to share those funds with local governments. Too many of our members across Canada do not have any clarity on how cannabis costs will be covered through provincial revenue sharing frameworks. As the lead on cannabis legalization, the Government of Canada will need to ensure adequate revenue-sharing plans are in place and municipalities are made whole for the costs of this federal policy.

“In September 2017, the federal government also committed $81 million to help our local police services manage a reality of legal cannabis—including through training and technology to tackle drug-impaired driving. Yet as legalization day comes and goes, we are still waiting for details on how this support will flow.

“Local governments have been hard at work changing bylaws, building capacity and engaging citizens to get ready for legalization. Canadians can count on local leaders to be ready to adapt to challenges on the road ahead. One challenge we cannot tackle alone, however, is ensuring local costs are fully and sustainably covered for this new federal initiative.

“Safe and effective cannabis legalization requires collaboration across orders of government and municipalities are ready to do their part. We all need to work together to get this right.”

Vicki-May Hamm is President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and Mayor of the City of Magog, Quebec. FCM is the national voice of local government, with nearly 2,000 members representing more than 90 per cent of Canada’s population.

Media Contact

Question for press and media?

613-907-6395
Cannabis

Big City Mayors release recommendations on opioid crisis

VANCOUVER — FCM’s Big-City Mayors’ Caucus (BCMC) released its report on the opioid crisis today, calling for coordinated, pan-Canadian action by all orders of government to solve the opioid crisis, which has already claimed thousands of lives and continues to escalate.

As a first step, the BCMC is calling for the federal government to immediately establish targets and timelines for the reduction of overdoses and overdose fatalities, with a progress report to be issued in September.

ʺOur first responders and community workers are on the front lines of this crisis, and cities are working together to save more lives—but we can’t do this alone. We need a coordinated, pan-Canadian response involving all orders of government,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, who chairs the BCMC Mayors’ Task Force on the Opioid Crisis. “We are seeing this crisis impact cities across the country, yet there are no targets to reduce and ultimately end overdose deaths. That needs to change right away and the first step to doing that is by setting clear targets for reducing deaths that all orders of government work towards.

Key recommendations in the Task Force’s report include:

  • The adoption of a comprehensive and coordinated pan-Canadian action plan that addresses the root causes of the opioid crisis;
  • Expand access to a range of treatment options, including medically-supervised opioid substitution therapy, and reducing delays in the time it takes to access treatment;
  • Establish a standardized, pan-Canadian format for the collection of death and non-fatal overdose data, with minimum quarterly public reports;

All governments need to be at the table to assess how this crisis is playing out on the ground across the country. Coordination is also essential to ensure that federal funds are directed to removing real barriers to people seeking help and treatment. The Federal Ministers of Health and Public Safety committed in February to sitting down with the BCMC Opioids Task Force and provincial representatives to discuss how all levels of government can work together to address the opioid crisis, and the Task Force looks forward to this meeting taking place.

“The federal response so far isn’t reaching the frontlines in the way we need to save lives and tackle this crisis. Mayors are ready to help turn this around, but we need to be at the table. It’s time for all orders of government to get behind a coordinated action plan, before this opioid crisis spirals further out of control,” said Robertson.

The Mayors’ Task Force on the Opioid Crisis convenes mayors of 13 cities: Vancouver, Surrey, Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Hamilton, London, Kitchener, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. The Task Force was launched on February 3, 2017, by the Big-City Mayors’ Caucus of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
Read the full report here. 

For more information, please contact:  
FCM Media Relations, (613) 907-6395, media@fcm.ca

Media Contact

Question for press and media?

613-907-6395
Big City Mayors' Caucus
Opioid crisis
Public safety

Statement by Mayor Gregor Robertson, Chair of Big City Mayors’ Caucus’ Task Force on the Opioid Crisis on the meeting of the FPT Health Ministers

"The opioid overdose crisis is having a devastating impact on Canadian families and communities, with thousands of lives lost to preventable causes. It's also taking a heavy toll on our cities' first responders, front-line workers and community volunteers, who are working around the clock to save lives.  

"Canada's cities are the front lines of the overdose crisis, where the death toll is spiking due to the gaps in addictions treatment and care. Convening a ministers' meeting without bringing mayors to the table is another missed opportunity to bring all orders of government together. We need to join forces to effectively tackle this crisis, and identify specific actions to connect people to the health services and supportive housing they need to end this tragic epidemic.

"Despite some progress on opening harm reduction services and improving data and reporting, this overdose crisis is escalating. We've seen almost no national progress to improve access to treatment, minimal awareness and education campaigns, and there are no established timelines or evidence-based targets to end opioid overdoses and deaths, as recommended by the Mayors' Task Force earlier this year.

"We urgently need a co-ordinated, pan-Canadian response led by the federal government - that sets clear targets and timelines for solving the overdose crisis, sharing information, and coordinating action across all orders of government. Canada must build and track evidence-based solutions and ensure that federal dollars urgently save lives through the Four Pillars - treatment, education, harm reduction and enforcement."  

The Mayors' Task Force on the Opioid Crisis convenes mayors of 13 cities: Vancouver, Surrey, Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Hamilton, London, Kitchener, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. The Task Force was launched on February 3, 2017, by the Big-City Mayors' Caucus of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Read the full report here

Media Contact

Question for press and media?

613-907-6395
Big City Mayors' Caucus
Opioid crisis
Public safety

Webinar recording: How to build partnerships to help revitalize your brownfields

Learn from the City of Nanaimo's experience in reviving its downtown and waterfront

Downtown waterfronts are at the heart of many Canadian communities. For many, waterfronts were once bustling engines of a past industrial economy; some now sit vacant — void of the productivity that once supported their communities. Often derelict and sometimes contaminated, these brownfield sites create barriers between citizens and their waterfronts — and there are often challenges for redeveloping these sites. 

Watch this webinar to find out how municipalities can work through partnerships to move beyond these barriers. Speakers will describe how partnerships have been central to efforts in the City of Nanaimo, BC, in reconnecting its shoreline and downtown communities. Since 2000, the city has collaborated with local businesses, property owners, the Snuneymuxw First Nation, the Government of Canada and the Province of BC. FCM's Green Municipal Fund has supported Nanaimo's brownfield redevelopment strategy to help guide this progress.

You'll learn:

  • How visioning and planning has set Nanaimo's course toward implementing successful brownfield redevelopment initiatives
  • How strong partnerships with stakeholders are vital to brownfield redevelopment
  • How the city set its risk tolerance in acquiring a contaminated site  

Speakers

  • Bill Corsan, Manager, Real Estate — City of Nanaimo, BC
  • Darren Moss, Chair of Planning, Design & Development Committee — Downtown Nanaimo BIA, and Professional Engineer, Tectonica

Request this resource

Would you like to receive this resource by email? Contact us today. In your request, please include the full name of the resource.

What we do
Explore these key areas to find out how we’re helping to build stronger communities—and a better Canada.
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Resources

This library contains reports, toolkits, recommendations and other resources that are designed to help you address challenges in your community.

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Funding

We’ve got you covered with the right type of funding, from plans and studies, to pilots, capital projects and more.

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Focus areas

Learn how we’re working with local governments of all sizes to tackle national and global challenges.

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Programs

Increasing sustainability and enhancing the quality of life for people across Canada and around the world.

Canadian municipalities benefit with FCM

FCM works on behalf of 2,000+ member municipalities to shape the national agenda, and delivers tools that empower local governments. Together, we are building stronger communities—and a better Canada.

2019 Federation of Canadian Municipalities