Municipal leaders ready to take action to strengthen the economy (04/03/2016)
SHERBROOKE - Today, municipal leaders from across Canada emerged from a week-long meeting more united than ever to address national challenges by working closely with the federal government to build a strong Canada. The upcoming federal budget was a key topic of discussion during the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Board of Directors' meeting in Sherbrooke, Quebec.
More than 100 mayors and councillors representing municipalities of all sizes across the country converged to discuss FCM's pre-budget submission Rising to the Moment and its companion piece, A Thriving Rural Canada. These documents provide a blueprint to turn the federal government's bold vision of building Canada into real action for Canadians.
"With our support and expertise on the ground, municipalities are ideally positioned to deliver on the priorities that are critical to Canadians and their quality of life," said FCM President Raymond Louie. "Whether we're talking about affordable housing, maintaining and building good transportation infrastructure, or fighting climate change, municipalities are ready."
The FCM Board of Directors welcomed this week's announcement of $75 million in funding to expand the municipal role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Board applauded the federal government's leadership in taking action on climate change, and confirmed that municipal leaders are equally committed to meeting the challenge of a slow economy and improving the quality of life of Canadians.
During the week-long meeting, FCM's Board of Directors took steps to ensure municipal priorities figure prominently in the upcoming federal budget. Directors were equipped with tools to enable them to outline that investment in municipal priorities is essential in the lead-up to March 22.
The Board reviewed polling data which confirms that municipal priorities for Budget 2016 are Canadian priorities. The FCM-commissioned public opinion survey confirms that Canadians believe their local governments are best positioned to understand the value of infrastructure investments for their communities, now and for the future, and that they strongly support federal investments in community infrastructure and climate action. In fact, 74 per cent of respondents to the Abacus Data poll agreed that the federal government should make investment in local infrastructure a top priority.
"Canadians expect all orders of government to work on their behalf with one common goal, which is building a better nation," said FCM President Louie. "Canadian municipalities are ready to make the strategic infrastructure investments this country needs."