Municipal leaders make big push ahead of critical federal budget (17/03/2017)
Budget 2017 needs to empower cities and communities of all sizes
Municipal leaders gathered this week to cap a historic effort to show the federal government that the key to building a better Canada with Budget 2017 lies in empowering cities and communities of all sizes.
Board members from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities met in Whistler, BC, on the eve of next week's critical federal budget. Their meeting follows two years of unprecedented dialogue between FCM and senior federal officials, cabinet ministers and the Prime Minister. At every step, FCM has delivered a clear message: municipalities are ready to deliver cost-effective local solutions to national challenges-including jobs, growth and emission reductions.
"Budget 2017 is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a better Canada by building stronger cities and communities," said FCM President Clark Somerville. "Municipal leaders are ready to help revolutionize transit, tackle climate change and fix the housing crisis - if this budget delivers the right tools."
FCM's recommendations for Budget 2017 include predictable, long-term allocations to launch the next era of public transit - with reasonable cost-sharing so local fiscal limits don't hamper progress. FCM is also calling for major investments to tackle Canada's housing crisis by protecting social housing and building new affordable homes. Lastly, the municipal leaders are calling on the federal government to support local green innovation and to implement a plan to spark economic growth in rural, remote and northern communities.
"Local governments understand local needs, and we know how to deliver results with national impact," said Somerville. "Municipal leaders are proven nation-builders. By unlocking this local potential now, we can build a more livable and prosperous Canada."
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) is the national voice of municipal government, with nearly 2,000 members representing 91 per cent of the Canadian population.
Michael FitzPatrick, Media Relations: firstname.lastname@example.org or 613-907-6346