Budget 2019

Budget 2019: a turning point for cities and communities

Budget 2019 delivers major results for Canadians—directly through their local governments. From doubling this year’s federal Gas Tax Fund transfer to prioritizing universal broadband, this budget elevates the federal-municipal partnership as the way to build better lives.

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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.

National Housing Strategy: Getting it right

National Housing Strategy: Getting it right

Published: September 2017 - PDF (1.7 MB)

National Housing Strategy: Getting it right

Transforming Canadian housing through local innovation

Safe, affordable housing is the bedrock of livable, competitive cities—and of the stronger Canada we all aspire to build. Yet our cities are grappling with a serious housing crisis. As low and moderate-income households increasingly struggle to both pay the rent and feed the kids, this crisis is throttling human and economic potential from coast to coast to coast. Unprecedented housing market pressures, particularly in big cities, pose an unparalleled threat to our future economic prosperity.

These frontline realities inform these recommendations for the design of the National Housing Strategy. They are intended to ensure the strategy meets today’s urgent needs while simultaneously building a new social and affordable housing system for the 21st century—one that enables both social and geographic mobility among Canadians.

Municipalities across Canada to receive support for 67 new infrastructure initiatives

Investing in innovative green infrastructure projects contributes to a clean growth economy and strengthens the middle class by ensuring communities are healthy and sustainable places to live.

The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Jenny Gerbasi, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) today announced funding for 67 initiatives in communities across Canada through three programs: the Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program (MCIP), the Municipal Asset Management Program (MAMP), and the Green Municipal Fund (GMF).

Improving Canada's infrastructure lays — in large part — in the hands of the municipalities. Communities across the country want to be sure they are investing their infrastructure money wisely, and that they are ready to adapt to the potential effects of climate change as they make local infrastructure investment decisions. The projects announced today demonstrate the work being done on these fronts in municipalities large and small.

For example, the City of Montreal, Quebec, is receiving funding through MCIP for a pilot project that will create green spaces in alleyways. Rooftop drains will be disconnected from sewer systems and excess rainwater will be used to water plants and walkways between buildings, improving both public and private spaces. This project could potentially divert the equivalent of two Olympic-sized swimming pools worth of water from the city's sewers.

Funding through MAMP is helping Canadian municipalities make informed decisions on infrastructure investments based on sound asset management practices. In Newfoundland, seven municipalities are receiving funding to train local officials on asset management planning, preparing a local inventory of assets, and reporting on the preliminary state of infrastructure. This training will help communities make informed investment decisions for infrastructure assets that will deliver value for money, while serving their citizens' needs.

Through GMF, communities are not only improving the environment around them, they are maximizing municipal resources and improving the lives of their citizens. The Township of Douro-Dummer, Ontario will study the feasibility of constructing a net-zero energy centralized public works and emergency services building, which would produce at least as much energy as it consumes on an annual basis. This initiative will provide an example for other small rural towns that want to improve and consolidate municipal infrastructure in environmentally sustainable ways.

MCIP, MAMP, and GMF are funded by the Government of Canada and delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

Quotes

These investments will help municipalities across the country to plan, build and maintain their infrastructure more strategically. Investments in green infrastructure projects help build healthy, liveable, cleaner, and more sustainable communities now and for future generations.
— The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Energy efficiency is one of the most effective ways to support the transition to a low-carbon economy and meet our future energy needs. Our Government is looking to achieve this is by working collaboratively with provinces, territories, and industry to create a national model net-zero energy-ready code for new homes and buildings by 2022. We are proud to support projects that are charting our course to the low-carbon future.
— The Honourable Jim Carr, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources

It's exciting to see so many municipalities — big and small — stepping up to do things differently. All three programs behind today's announcement are helping communities do just that and learn from each other along the way. We are proud to fund these initiatives and know that local action in communities across Canada is driving change on a national scale. Together, we're making real progress toward Canada's climate and sustainability goals.
— Jenny Gerbasi, FCM President

Quick facts

  • The Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program is a five-year, $75-million program designed to encourage Canadian municipalities to better prepare for and adapt to the new realities of climate change as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The Municipal Asset Management Program is a five-year, $50-million program designed to help Canadian municipalities strengthen infrastructure investment decisions based on sound asset management practices.
  • The Green Municipal Fund is a program designed to support initiatives that demonstrate innovative solutions or approaches to a municipal environmental issue that can generate new lessons and models for communities of all sizes and types across Canada. The Government of Canada endowed FCM with $550 million to establish the program and an additional $125 million top-up was announced in Budget 2016.

Related product

Backgrounder: Municipalities to receive funding for 67 infrastructure initiatives across Canada 

Associated links

Municipal Asset Management Program
Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program
Green Municipal Fund
FCM Funding
Government of Canada's $180 billion+ infrastructure plan

Contacts

Brook Simpson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
613-219-0149
brook.simpson@canada.ca  

FCM Media Relations
613-907-6395
media@fcm.ca  

Infrastructure Canada
613-960-9251
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154
media@infc.gc.ca
Twitter: @INFC_eng
Infrastructure Canada  

Natural Resources Canada
Media Relations
343-292-6100

Climate change
Environment
Infrastructure

Municipalities across Canada to receive support for 67 new infrastructure initiatives

Investing in innovative green infrastructure projects contributes to a clean growth economy and strengthens the middle class by ensuring communities are healthy and sustainable places to live.

The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Jenny Gerbasi, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) today announced funding for 67 initiatives in communities across Canada through three programs: the Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program (MCIP), the Municipal Asset Management Program (MAMP), and the Green Municipal Fund (GMF).

Improving Canada's infrastructure lays — in large part — in the hands of the municipalities. Communities across the country want to be sure they are investing their infrastructure money wisely, and that they are ready to adapt to the potential effects of climate change as they make local infrastructure investment decisions. The projects announced today demonstrate the work being done on these fronts in municipalities large and small.

For example, the City of Montreal, Quebec, is receiving funding through MCIP for a pilot project that will create green spaces in alleyways. Rooftop drains will be disconnected from sewer systems and excess rainwater will be used to water plants and walkways between buildings, improving both public and private spaces. This project could potentially divert the equivalent of two Olympic-sized swimming pools worth of water from the city's sewers.

Funding through MAMP is helping Canadian municipalities make informed decisions on infrastructure investments based on sound asset management practices. In Newfoundland, seven municipalities are receiving funding to train local officials on asset management planning, preparing a local inventory of assets, and reporting on the preliminary state of infrastructure. This training will help communities make informed investment decisions for infrastructure assets that will deliver value for money, while serving their citizens' needs.

Through GMF, communities are not only improving the environment around them, they are maximizing municipal resources and improving the lives of their citizens. The Township of Douro-Dummer, Ontario will study the feasibility of constructing a net-zero energy centralized public works and emergency services building, which would produce at least as much energy as it consumes on an annual basis. This initiative will provide an example for other small rural towns that want to improve and consolidate municipal infrastructure in environmentally sustainable ways.

MCIP, MAMP, and GMF are funded by the Government of Canada and delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

Quotes

These investments will help municipalities across the country to plan, build and maintain their infrastructure more strategically. Investments in green infrastructure projects help build healthy, liveable, cleaner, and more sustainable communities now and for future generations.
— The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Energy efficiency is one of the most effective ways to support the transition to a low-carbon economy and meet our future energy needs. Our Government is looking to achieve this is by working collaboratively with provinces, territories, and industry to create a national model net-zero energy-ready code for new homes and buildings by 2022. We are proud to support projects that are charting our course to the low-carbon future.
— The Honourable Jim Carr, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources

It's exciting to see so many municipalities — big and small — stepping up to do things differently. All three programs behind today's announcement are helping communities do just that and learn from each other along the way. We are proud to fund these initiatives and know that local action in communities across Canada is driving change on a national scale. Together, we're making real progress toward Canada's climate and sustainability goals.
— Jenny Gerbasi, FCM President

Quick facts

  • The Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program is a five-year, $75-million program designed to encourage Canadian municipalities to better prepare for and adapt to the new realities of climate change as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The Municipal Asset Management Program is a five-year, $50-million program designed to help Canadian municipalities strengthen infrastructure investment decisions based on sound asset management practices.
  • The Green Municipal Fund is a program designed to support initiatives that demonstrate innovative solutions or approaches to a municipal environmental issue that can generate new lessons and models for communities of all sizes and types across Canada. The Government of Canada endowed FCM with $550 million to establish the program and an additional $125 million top-up was announced in Budget 2016.

Related product

Backgrounder: Municipalities to receive funding for 67 infrastructure initiatives across Canada 

Associated links

Municipal Asset Management Program
Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program
Green Municipal Fund
FCM Funding
Government of Canada's $180 billion+ infrastructure plan

Contacts

Brook Simpson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
613-219-0149
brook.simpson@canada.ca  

FCM Media Relations
613-907-6395
media@fcm.ca  

Infrastructure Canada
613-960-9251
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154
media@infc.gc.ca
Twitter: @INFC_eng
Infrastructure Canada  

Natural Resources Canada
Media Relations
343-292-6100

Climate change
Environment
Infrastructure

Diverse Voices: Tools and Practices to Support all Women

Diverse Voices: Tools and Practices to Support all WomenWomen are consistently underrepresented in leadership positions across the political and professional spheres, filling only 26 per cent of the seats in the House of Commons, Provincial and Municipal governments.

Diverse Voices: Tools and Practices to Support all Women explores how municipalities across Canada can work to reduce, and eventually eliminate, the leadership gap. Using examples from select municipalities, it provides resources and tools for local action to support women as leaders and agents of change.

Download the toolkit

Rural communities are shaping Canada’s future

Rural priorities led today's agenda at the biggest-ever national conference of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM). More than 2,000 municipal leaders are in the nation's capital this week to discuss municipalities' emerging role in shaping Canada's future.

"We're gathering here as Canadians get ready to celebrate 150 years of confederation. But today we're also showing how rural communities are already hard at work shaping the next 150," said FCM President Clark Somerville, himself a rural councillor in Ontario's Halton Region

Today's conference highlights included an interactive President's Rural Plenary featuring five panellists representing towns, villages, counties and regional municipalities across Canada:

  • Diana Rogerson, Councillor, Faro, Yukon
  • Martin Harder, Mayor, Winkler, Manitoba
  • J. Murray Jones, Councillor, Peterborough County, Ontario  
  • Jean Fortin, Maire, Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec
  • Mike Savage, Mayor, Halifax Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia

Responding to questions from delegates and FCM's president, panellists shared some of their most innovative local solutions to contemporary challenges-including stalled growth, youth-outmigration, aging populations, employer losses and inadequate communications links. Today's exchanges will inform an upcoming FCM report on the future of rural Canada.

"Our local challenges are also national challenges, and rural communities are responding with resilience and innovation. But we can't do this alone. That's why we're so creative about building partnerships-with stakeholders, other communities and other governments," said Somerville.

As the national voice of local government, FCM is successfully advocating for rural priorities with the federal government. For instance, Budget 2017 confirmed a $2 billion fund dedicated to the infrastructure priorities of rural, remote and northern communities. FCM played a key role in securing this unprecedented investment, and continues to press for federal programs and policies that align with rural realities.

"Our message to the federal government is that a thriving Canada needs a thriving rural Canada. From agriculture to manufacturing to tourism, our communities are vital economic players. Community-building is nation-building, today we're showcasing how nation-building plays out in communities of all sizes," said Somerville.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities is the national voice of local government, with nearly 2,000 member cities and communities representing more than 90 per cent of Canadians

Media Contact

Question for press and media?

613-907-6395
Rural communities

High-speed broadband is essential for rural and northern Canada

The following op-ed was published in The Hill Times on May 2, 2016.

By Raymond Louie, President, Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Acting Mayor of Vancouver
Ray Orb, Chair of FCM's Rural Forum & President of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM)

A long overdue conversation has begun in Canada about how to ensure large sections of our country are no longer cut off from an essential service which is taken for granted by so many others — access to high-speed Internet. For too long now, many people in rural, remote, and northern communities have either been forced to live with inadequate and spotty online services, or in many cases, no high-speed Internet at all. In fact, Canada's current broadband coverage standards for upload and download speeds fall well behind many industrialized nations.

In 2016, building a nationwide information superhighway is as important to Canada's future as building the transcontinental railroad was over 130 years ago. Simply put, it's hard to live without. Imagine a small business owner trying to compete in today's global economy without high-speed Internet. Or a patient waiting for crucial medical test results that are delayed because those results are not available online. Or a young person trying to improve their job skills without access to an online course. 

But in fact, too many Canadians do live without it. A recent report published by the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) found that only a fraction of people and businesses in rural and remote communities have access to the upload and download speeds that are almost universally available in our urban centres. For example, almost 100 per cent of people in urban areas have access to download speeds of between 16-25 Megabytes per second (Mbps), compared to only 29 per cent of Canadians in rural communities. That's a significant gap and it needs to be closed.

Not only are a large section of our fellow Canadians being cut off from vital services, they are also being prevented from fully participating in Canadian society and contributing the ideas and the innovations that make our country great. Rural Canada makes up 30 per cent of the country's population and produces one-third of our economic output.  It is time to get Internet service in rural and northern Canada moving at full speed.

The good news is that this conversation is shifting from a debate over whether broadband access is an essential service to how we can work together as a nation to get everyone connected.

The head of the CRTC Jean-Pierre Blais recently talked about the importance of developing a coherent national Internet deployment strategy in Canada. As municipal leaders, we entirely agree with that sentiment, as well as the insistence that it will take a collective effort from all quarters of society including the CRTC, governments, and private industry to make it happen. 

The CRTC is holding hearings right now to better understand broadband connectivity across Canada. FCM appeared there April 15 to lay out the case that high-speed broadband access must be considered an essential service. This means putting in place new funding mechanisms that will support universal access in areas not served through private investments or targeted government funding programs. 

But recognizing high-speed broadband as a basic service is only part of the solution. The CRTC must also ensure the system adapts to ever-changing technological advancements by regularly updating Canada's broadband speed targets. Otherwise we run the risk of drawing up plans for the best system with the fastest upload and download standards today only to see that system quickly become inadequate to people's needs tomorrow.

Canada also needs to ensure our national system includes backup connections for parts of the country where Internet outages can leave people without service for days or even weeks. For example, remote regions where repairing a broken cable is a lengthy and complicated affair, or in the north where there is simply no backup for satellite interruptions. 

Making sure high-speed service is available to everyone will require significant public and private investment. We will all need to work together to build this network. That is why FCM welcomed the federal government's commitment in the recent budget to spend an additional $500-million over the next five years to expand broadband services to rural and remote communities. These investments have the potential to make a significant difference in the lives of Canadians in underserved areas and should be taken into account by the CRTC as it studies additional mechanisms to fund the roll-out of universal broadband access.

Canadians have always been willing to work together to make sure that everyone enjoys the quality of life we all expect and deserve. Today that means pulling together as governments, businesses, and consumers to make sure that no matter where we live, a strong economy and connected, vibrant hometowns are always just a click away.

Media Contact

Question for press and media?

613-907-6395
Broadband
Rural communities

CRTC broadband decision: Big win for rural and northern communities

FCM President Clark Somerville issued the following statement in response to today's decision by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in the Review of Basic Telecommunications Services.

Broadband is now fundamental to modern life and commerce. The CRTC recognized this today in its Decision adopting a "universal service objective" mandating universal access to reliable broadband — in communities of all sizes — through both fixed and mobile wireless networks.

The CRTC launched its sweeping review of basic telecommunications services in April 2015. FCM's final submission to that process raised the alarm over the "broadband gap" that constrains so many northern and rural communities. Some struggle with bandwidth and network capacity that cannot meet user demands. Others have no broadband coverage at all.

For these communities, today's decision can be transformative. Expanding broadband access will improve local quality of life, help stem youth out-migration and support economic growth — by boosting productivity, supporting innovation and improving market access. The CRTC is responding to FCM's call by adopting a universal speed target of 50 mbps for downloads and 10 mbps for uploads, backed by a new long-term funding mechanism.

This decision comes less than a week after the federal government launched its Connect to Innovate program. First announced in Budget 2016, this five-year $500-million commitment will accelerate broadband upgrades in high-cost rural areas. This plan responds to many of FCM's recommendations and we will keep working with our federal partners to confirm its details.

Even with this new federal support, however, market forces alone will not close the broadband gap for many remote and northern communities. FCM will be examining the CRTC's new funding mechanism to ensure it complements Connect to Innnovate funding to best support the communities that need it most. The next step will be to develop a comprehensive, long-term plan and timeline to make universal broadband access a reality for Canadians. FCM is eager to work with all orders of government to make that happen.

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


Information: Michael FitzPatrick, Media Relations: mfitzpatrick@fcm.ca or 613 907 6346

Media Contact

Question for press and media?

613-907-6395
Broadband
Northern and remote communities
Rural communities

Mayors meet Prime Minister on housing and transit

In a substantive meeting this morning, Canada's big-city mayors urged the Prime Minister to use his government's next budget to launch a new era of public transit and to tackle Canada's housing affordability crisis head-on. 

"This government clearly appreciates that we can't build livable, globally-competitive cities on top of a housing crisis," said Don Iveson, Mayor of Edmonton and chair of FCM's Big-City Mayors' Caucus (BCMC). "Our discussion with the Prime Minister today focused on the budget - as really a once-in-a-generation opportunity both to expand transit and to fix the housing crisis."

A million and a half Canadian families cannot find decent housing they can afford. One in five renters spends more than half their income on shelter. And vulnerable Canadians are at risk as long-standing federal operating agreements for Canada's 600,000 social housing homes progressively expire. The mayors are urging the federal government to invest $12.6 billion in housing solutions over eight years, directing money already earmarked for the Social Infrastructure Fund. 

In budget recommendations submitted on Monday, the mayors laid out a plan to protect existing social housing, build new affordable housing and kick-start rental housing markets. They also outlined the funding mechanisms that will ensure major transit expansions move forward - shortening commutes, easing gridlock, reducing emissions and boosting productivity.

"This government put unprecedented money on the table for transit, green and social infrastructure. And with the right mechanisms in place, cities are ready to turn transit and green investment into big outcomes for Canadians. But now we also need a clear and bold federal decision to put those Social Infrastructure funds into housing," said Iveson.

Today's BCMC agenda also includes a panel discussion with six housing stakeholder organizations from across Canada, as well as discussion on the fentanyl public health crisis. Later, the mayors will review their full Budget 2017 recommendations with senior Infrastructure Canada officials and Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Intergovernmental Affairs).

"Canada's big cities are hubs of innovation, and our local solutions drive progress on national challenges. More than ever, city-building is nation-building, and it's heartening to see our Prime Minister share that broad vision," said Iveson.

 

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) is the national voice of Canada's local order of government, with nearly 2,000 members representing 91 per cent of the population. Its Big-City Mayors' Caucus brings together 22 of Canada's largest cities.

For more information

Michael FitzPatrick, FCM Media Relations: mfitzpatrick@fcm.ca  or 613 907 6346

Resources

Seizing the moment: FCM's Budget 2017 recommendations

Canada's Housing OpportunityFCM's national housing strategy recommendations

Media Contact

Question for press and media?

613-907-6395
Housing
Public transit
Transportation

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

National housing strategy: A breakthrough for affordable housing

"The national housing strategy released this afternoon is a breakthrough for cities and communities from coast to coast to coast. This is the kind of federal leadership that local governments have been seeking for more than 20 years.

"Municipal leaders work on the frontlines of Canada's housing crisis. We see its effects etched into the faces of parents who must choose between making rent and feeding the kids. We see it as local businesses struggle to attract talented workers. And FCM led an intensive campaign to shape a national housing strategy that will tackle this crisis at its roots.

"The federal government took our advice to focus on the fundamentals. Replacing expiring social housing rent subsidies is a breakthrough for thousands of families who fear losing their homes as long-term operating agreements wind down. Investing to repair and renew that social housing will keep more people in their homes and help secure tomorrow's supply. And getting back to investing in affordable housing construction is the breakthrough we needed to start tackling the supply crunch.

"FCM will continue to examine the national housing strategy in the coming days, and we'll naturally have outstanding issues and questions. For instance, it's not yet clear how this strategy will leverage municipal expertise in decision-making on housing development to match local needs with the best possible solutions.

"But at the end of the day, this strategy is a breakthrough for 1.7 million families who can't find a decent home they can afford. It's a breakthrough for mayors working to build more livable, inclusive, competitive cities and communities across Canada. And we look forward to working with all orders of government to unlock the incredible potential that this strategy represents.

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.

Media Contact

Question for press and media?

613-907-6395
Housing
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