FCM's 2016 Budget Submission calls for smart investments in housing, transit and green infrastructure (18/02/2016)
OTTAWA - The Federation of Canadian Municipalities is releasing its 2016 Federal Budget submission today, proposing solutions and a strong partnership with the federal government to solve national challenges. The release comes as FCM President Raymond Louie prepares to present the submission to the House of Commons Finance Committee Thursday afternoon.
FCM's budget submission lays out a plan for smart investments in public transit, affordable housing and climate change mitigation and adaptation. These investments are needed, and will deliver jobs and economic growth in the short term, while enabling long-term, sustainable growth.
"Budget 2016 is a potential turning point, when we shift from bold vision to real action", stated Raymond Louie, FCM President. "The government has an opportunity to make a real difference for Canadians by making smart investments in our cities and communities."
The federal government has committed to making significant investments in infrastructure, transit, housing, and climate protection. FCM's budget submission outlines a clear plan to ensure those investments are smart, effective, and contribute to enhancing the quality of life of Canadians in communities of all sizes.
"The federal government has laid out a bold vision for infrastructure investments. Municipalities are rising to the moment to ensure government policy makes a real difference in the daily lives of Canadians." added Raymond Louie.
In its submission, FCM acknowledges that a strong partnership between Canada's municipalities and the federal government is the best way to achieve significant progress in renewing and expanding public transit, affordable housing and green infrastructure for Canadians. FCM is also proposing that funding be delivered through predictable mechanisms similar to the existing federal Gas Tax Fund transfer program, which builds on local knowledge and evidence-based decision making.
By investing in both short-term repair and renewal, municipalities can create jobs immediately, and have long-term strategic investments that lay the foundations for Canada's future.
FCM's 2016 Federal Budget Submission highlights:
- Reinvest expiring federal funding into new long-term rent subsidies for rent-geared-to-income units.
- Make accelerated investments in capital repair and renewal through a carve-out within the Social Infrastructure Fund while maintaining flexibility for priority new construction.
- Partner with FCM and other stakeholders to develop a comprehensive national housing strategy.
- Establish a Transit Infrastructure Fund as a dedicated, predictable funding source for transit investments, including repairs and new construction.
- Build maximum flexibility into stacking rules, allowing municipalities' local discretion to pool these funds with other federal funding sources, and increase federal contributions to major transit projects.
- Establish a Green Infrastructure Fund as a dedicated, predicable funding source for municipal infrastructure projects designed to mitigate and adapt to climate change and make other green improvements such as improvements to drinking water, stormwater and wastewater infrastructure.
- Expand FCM's $550-million Green Municipal Fund endowment and increase investments in climate change mitigation and adaptation projects.
- Work with local governments on expanding national disaster mitigation strategies to cover the full spectrum of disaster risks, including drought and forest fires.
- Work with FCM to develop an application-based program within the Social Infrastructure Fund focused on renewal of sport, recreation and cultural infrastructure to divert youth from crime.
- Develop a national plan to adequately invest in local policing to reflect the changing and complex nature of crime.