"Following this week's announcement in Saskatchewan, Canada now has bilateral infrastructure agreements in place in every province and territory—a milestone achievement. These agreements set the stage for a decade of transformational progress driven by local governments: better roads and transit, modern wastewater systems, more resilient and sustainable infrastructure, and more.
"For more than two years, FCM has helped shape the long-term federal plan to invest in Canada's transit, social, green and rural infrastructure. As a result, we have set in motion a historic opportunity to strengthen the cities and communities that Canadians call home. And this opportunity was always going to rely on strong agreements with provinces and territories.
"These bilateral agreements make major commitments that recognize local governments' central role in nation-building. Raising the bar on cost-sharing—to at least 40 per cent federal and 33 per cent provincial—empowers municipalities to move projects forward. And with strong follow-through, committing to fund a fair 'balance' of municipal and provincial priorities breaks new ground in this relationship.
"For rural, northern and remote communities, even stronger cost-sharing and streamlined project administration means more projects can go ahead. At the same time, predictable, allocation-based public transit funding puts Canadian cities in the driver's seat, as they plan and deliver the next decade of ambitious transit expansions.
"Municipalities deliver local solutions to national challenges, from economic productivity to public safety to climate change. With infrastructure agreements in place, the next step is provincial and territorial intake processes that work locally. Provincial-territorial municipal associations across the country are ready to help get this right and get projects moving. This is about orders of government working together to build tomorrow's Canada-livable, competitive and sustainable."
Vicki-May Hamm is President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and Mayor of the City of Magog, QC. FCM is the national voice of local government, with nearly 2,000 members representing more than 90 per cent of Canada's population.