The following statement was issued by Garth Frizzell, President of FCM after the Government of Canada tabled its 2021-22 budget today.
"From coast to coast to coast, cities and communities are the places where Canadians are living the realities of the pandemic. These are also the places where Canada’s post-COVID recovery needs to take root. Today’s federal budget recognizes this by equipping local leaders with some critical tools to help lead that nation-building effort.
“Key investments announced today will help cities and communities of all sizes create jobs, continue tackling homelessness challenges, and build a greener, more sustainable post-COVID Canada. Together with other recent federal commitments—including to local infrastructure and transit—this budget features measures that strengthen the municipal toolbox for recovery.
“This budget takes concrete steps to support rural communities. Those include new broadband funding to expand rural Internet access faster, as well as easier access to expanded funding for climate adaptation and disaster mitigation projects. This budget also responds directly to recommendations from FCM’s Western Economic Solutions Taskforce that will support hard-hit communities—including moving forward with major new investments in trade infrastructure and regional economic growth.
"Growing the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund, as FCM recommended, will unlock job-creating local projects to protect communities from new climate extremes. We also welcome the expansion of the federal-municipal Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI), along with additional emergency supports through the Reaching Home homelessness program. This RHI boost will help municipalities deliver affordable and supportive housing to more Canadians—through it does not yet meet the ambition of ending chronic homelessness. We'll need to do much more together, quickly, to reach that shared goal.
“Leading up to today’s budget, the federal government also committed additional investment to municipalities to support Canada’s recovery. Doubling next year’s Gas Tax Fund transfer for infrastructure (as a new Canada Community-Building Fund) will empower communities of all sizes to create 20,000 jobs while improving people’s quality of life. As well, major near-term investments in public transit—urban and rural—will create jobs, reduce emissions and shorten commutes.
“As municipalities focus on supporting Canadians through the pandemic’s third wave, many still face operating budget shortfalls. FCM will continue to seek solutions with our federal, provincial and territorial partners—for the duration of the pandemic—so communities of all sizes are in a strong position to drive the green and inclusive recovery Canadians want.”
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) is the national voice of local government, with 2,000 members representing more than 90 per cent of Canada’s population.
For more information: FCM Media Relations, (613) 907-6395, email@example.com