From opportunities to outcomes: Budget 2018 must empower municipalities to deliver for Canadians (21/02/2018)
Budget 2018 must empower municipalities to deliver quality-of-life gains nationwide- by taking steps to ensure that historic opportunities from the last two budgets generate real outcomes on the ground. That is the message from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) today as it releases its budget recommendations: From Opportunities to Outcomes.
By working with municipalities to shape the Investing in Canada plan and National Housing Strategy, the federal government has created an unprecedented nation-building opportunity. The next step is to ensure municipalities have the right tools to deliver real outcomes-including more affordable housing, faster commutes, lower GHG emissions, and a higher quality of life.
ʺWe're looking for federal leadership to ensure this opportunity doesn't fade into a symbol of what might have been-but instead generates transformational outcomes across the country,ʺ said Jenny Gerbasi, FCM President and Deputy Mayor of the City of Winnipeg.
Gerbasi commended the federal decision to base the National Housing Strategy on FCM's recommendations to expand the affordable housing supply. However, she said the strategy's success hinges on swift action to renew Canada's 600,000 existing social housing units, before chronic underfunding for repairs forces housing providers to close more homes as unsafe.
"Delaying social housing repairs means more seniors, single parents and vulnerable families will lose their homes. And it means Canada's affordable housing supply will shrink even as we get to work trying to expand it," said Gerbasi. "To generate the housing outcomes Canadians want, this budget needs to pump up the urgency on essential social housing repairs."
FCM's submission also presents detailed recommendations for Investing in Canada. This long-term $180 billion infrastructure plan is a historic opportunity to strengthen communities of all sizes-in ways that meet national objectives on growth, climate change, and quality of life. But moving from opportunity to outcomes still depends on getting the practical toolbox right.
"Seizing the incredible opportunity of the Investing in Canada plan means getting the design right," said Gerbasi. "Full cost-sharing is key to moving projects forward, including transit expansions. Programs need to recognize the realities of rural and northern communities. With the right design, green infrastructure investment can scale up some of Canada's most promising environmental innovation-and that's local innovation."
FCM's submission includes recommendations to strengthen the federal-municipal partnership to tackle many national challenges-from legalizing cannabis, to tackling the opioid crisis, to deepening intergovernmental dialog toward meaningful reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
Read From Opportunities to Outcomes, FCM's pre-budget submission.
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities is the national voice of municipal governments, with nearly 2,000 members representing more than 90 per cent of the Canadian population.
For more information, please contact:
FCM Media Relations, (613) 907-6395, firstname.lastname@example.org