FCM Board of Directors map out nation-building priorities for the year ahead (15/09/2017)
Municipal leaders from across the country gathered this week in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo to discuss how imminent decisions on the federal government's national infrastructure plan and National Housing Strategy can transform cities and communities across Canada.
The federal government's new $81 billion Phase 2 infrastructure plan recognizes that investing in infrastructure unlocks productive potential for workers, businesses and community members. Designed and delivered right, this commitment can build a better Canada—funding public transit expansions, roads to water systems, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, building more climate-resilient communities, and supporting the growth priorities of rural, remote and northern communities.
"FCM has a critical year ahead to consolidate gains made for municipalities in Budget 2017 as the upcoming Integrated Bilateral Agreement negotiations get underway between the federal government, provinces and territories," said Jenny Gerbasi, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and Winnipeg Deputy Mayor. "Paramount to moving transformative projects forward, we'll need to see full and fair cost-sharing by all orders of government."
Board members also raised concerns about Canada's housing crisis. The forthcoming National Housing Strategy, along with Budget 2017 commitments to fund it, has offered hope for 1.5 million Canadian families struggling to find decent housing they can afford. But to have an impact, as housing becomes less affordable at every income level, the details of the Strategy matter.
"The National Housing Strategy has the potential to transform Canada's housing system, but the federal government needs to get this right. That means focusing on fundamentals, not quick fixes. That means repairing social housing so vulnerable Canadians won't see their homes shuttered. That means leveraging our local expertise to build new affordable homes that fit long-range community plans. This is the message we're driving home," added Gerbasi.
From coast to coast to coast, in communities large and small, urban and rural, municipalities are the order of government closest to people's lives. Their local solutions are helping tackle national challenges-from growth and productivity to climate change-and are building a more livable, competitive Canada.
FCM is the national voice of municipal government in Canada. Its Board of Directors represents communities of all sizes from coast to coast to coast.
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