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.

Twelve organizations selected to help municipalities across the country adapt to the impacts of climate change

The Government of Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) are proud to announce the not-for-profit organizations chosen to help 72 municipalities across Canada strengthen their resilience to the effects of climate change.

Each of FCM's climate adaptation partners will provide expertise and guidance to a network of at least five municipalities that face similar geographic or climate conditions. They will design peer learning networks focused on climate change resilience activities and deliver training specific to their participating municipalities.  

Municipalities are on the front lines of climate change, making this work critical. With this guidance and support, participating municipalities will work with their peers toward similar goals using innovative approaches and solutions to the challenges they face. They will learn how to integrate climate change adaptation into new or existing plans and systems. The result will be a range of products including climate vulnerability assessments, adaptation plans for coastal communities, risk assessment for energy utilities, and cost-analyses of the benefits of integrating natural asset management.

For example, the Institut national de recherche scientifique (INRS) will work with six communities in the Outaouais region to develop stormwater management and flood intervention plans that respond to both regional and specific municipal concerns. Conservation Corps in Newfoundland and Labrador will work with the Miawpukek First Nation Reserve and five other communities to develop vulnerability assessments and/or response plans, as well as tools and case studies for future sharing.

Read the backgrounder for information on all initiatives.

Quotes

Protecting the environment and growing the economy go hand in hand. The Government of Canada is committed to invest in sustainable infrastructure that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, contributes to a clean growth economy and strengthens the middle class by ensuring communities are healthy and productive places to live. Thanks to the Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program, we continue to engage with municipalities across Canada to help build 21st century communities that will provide a high quality of life for generations to come.
— The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

FCM is proud to help communities lead the way on environmental, social and economic sustainability. After all, municipalities are on the front lines of climate change. This initiative will empower local leaders with skills and tools to build more climate-resilient communities - in ways that can guide and inspire other municipalities across Canada.
— Jenny Gerbasi, FCM President

Funding for these initiatives comes from FCM's climate adaptation partner grants. These grants are available through the Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program (MCIP) delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and funded by the Government of Canada. MCIP is a five-year, $75-million program designed to support and encourage Canadian municipalities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.

Related information

Climate adaptation partner grants 

FCM's Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program

Contacts

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

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

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

Partner grant
Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program
Climate change
Environment

Twelve organizations selected to help municipalities across the country adapt to the impacts of climate change

The Government of Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) are proud to announce the not-for-profit organizations chosen to help 72 municipalities across Canada strengthen their resilience to the effects of climate change.

Each of FCM's climate adaptation partners will provide expertise and guidance to a network of at least five municipalities that face similar geographic or climate conditions. They will design peer learning networks focused on climate change resilience activities and deliver training specific to their participating municipalities.  

Municipalities are on the front lines of climate change, making this work critical. With this guidance and support, participating municipalities will work with their peers toward similar goals using innovative approaches and solutions to the challenges they face. They will learn how to integrate climate change adaptation into new or existing plans and systems. The result will be a range of products including climate vulnerability assessments, adaptation plans for coastal communities, risk assessment for energy utilities, and cost-analyses of the benefits of integrating natural asset management.

For example, the Institut national de recherche scientifique (INRS) will work with six communities in the Outaouais region to develop stormwater management and flood intervention plans that respond to both regional and specific municipal concerns. Conservation Corps in Newfoundland and Labrador will work with the Miawpukek First Nation Reserve and five other communities to develop vulnerability assessments and/or response plans, as well as tools and case studies for future sharing.

Read the backgrounder for information on all initiatives.

Quotes

Protecting the environment and growing the economy go hand in hand. The Government of Canada is committed to invest in sustainable infrastructure that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, contributes to a clean growth economy and strengthens the middle class by ensuring communities are healthy and productive places to live. Thanks to the Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program, we continue to engage with municipalities across Canada to help build 21st century communities that will provide a high quality of life for generations to come.
— The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

FCM is proud to help communities lead the way on environmental, social and economic sustainability. After all, municipalities are on the front lines of climate change. This initiative will empower local leaders with skills and tools to build more climate-resilient communities - in ways that can guide and inspire other municipalities across Canada.
— Jenny Gerbasi, FCM President

Funding for these initiatives comes from FCM's climate adaptation partner grants. These grants are available through the Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program (MCIP) delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and funded by the Government of Canada. MCIP is a five-year, $75-million program designed to support and encourage Canadian municipalities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.

Related information

Climate adaptation partner grants 

FCM's Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program

Contacts

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

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

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

Partner grant
Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program
Climate change
Environment

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

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

Looking Back Series

In our Looking Back series of case studies, three of FCM's champion municipal volunteers tell stories of partnership, growth, and long-term sustainability. 

Follow Roger MacIsaac (Amherst, NS), Maurice Gallant (Fredericton, NS), Marten Kruysse (formerly District of North Vancouver, BC) and Nesen Naidoo (Drayton Valley, Alberta) as they return to visit friends and colleagues overseas, and learn more about the results of program activities that continue to grow after programs have ended.  

Local Economic Development in the City of Escalante, Philippines
Town of Amherst, NS, Canada and Escalante, Philippines

Lasting Results, Lasting Friendships
Fredericton NB, Canada and Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand

A Return to Soc Trang
District of North Vancouver, BC Canada and Soc Trang City, Vietnam

Back To Matagalpa
Town of Drayton Valley, Alberta and Matagalpa, Nicaragua

Looking Back Series

In our Looking Back series of case studies, three of FCM's champion municipal volunteers tell stories of partnership, growth, and long-term sustainability. 

Follow Roger MacIsaac (Amherst, NS), Maurice Gallant (Fredericton, NS), Marten Kruysse (formerly District of North Vancouver, BC) and Nesen Naidoo (Drayton Valley, Alberta) as they return to visit friends and colleagues overseas, and learn more about the results of program activities that continue to grow after programs have ended.  

Local Economic Development in the City of Escalante, Philippines
Town of Amherst, NS, Canada and Escalante, Philippines

Lasting Results, Lasting Friendships
Fredericton NB, Canada and Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand

A Return to Soc Trang
District of North Vancouver, BC Canada and Soc Trang City, Vietnam

Back To Matagalpa
Town of Drayton Valley, Alberta and Matagalpa, Nicaragua

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

Municipal Guide to Cannabis Legalization

Municipal Guide to Cannabis Legalization

Published: April 2018 - PDF (1.2 MB)

Municipal Guide to Cannabis Legalization

A roadmap for Canadian local governments

Canadians care about the impact of cannabis legalization and municipal governments will be the first place they turn to if they have concerns. Developing the rules and processes that will govern the legalization of non-medical cannabis is a complex task. Municipalities will need to make critical decisions about how and when to write new bylaws on a range of issues including land use planning, business licensing and public consumption.

FCM designed the Municipal Guide to Cannabis Legalization to provide an overview of the work ahead for local governments and offer both policy and regulatory options to choose from. It will take coordinated effort from all orders of government to ensure that Canadians are safe and well-served during the process of cannabis legalization. This guide can help communities get it right.

Municipal Guide to Cannabis Legalization

Municipal Guide to Cannabis Legalization

Published: April 2018 - PDF (1.2 MB)

Municipal Guide to Cannabis Legalization

A roadmap for Canadian local governments

Canadians care about the impact of cannabis legalization and municipal governments will be the first place they turn to if they have concerns. Developing the rules and processes that will govern the legalization of non-medical cannabis is a complex task. Municipalities will need to make critical decisions about how and when to write new bylaws on a range of issues including land use planning, business licensing and public consumption.

FCM designed the Municipal Guide to Cannabis Legalization to provide an overview of the work ahead for local governments and offer both policy and regulatory options to choose from. It will take coordinated effort from all orders of government to ensure that Canadians are safe and well-served during the process of cannabis legalization. This guide can help communities get it right.

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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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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