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Canadian municipalities offer suggestions for federal budget

Federation of Canadian Municpalities table officers 1st VP Garth Frizzell, City of Prince George, CEO Brock Carlton, Mayor Ville de Magog, President Bill Karsten, Mayor of Strathroy-Caradoc, Past-President Vicki-May Hamm, 2nd VP Joanne Vanderheyden, 3rd Vice-President Darren Hill, Councillor City of Saskatoon.

Councillor Garth Frizzell is back from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities board meeting in St-Hyacinthe, Québec, where the association released recommendations for the upcoming federal budget. This budget represents a key opportunity to improve the everyday life of Canadians with critical investments in clean public transit, housing affordability and infrastructure for communities of all sizes, said Frizzell, who is the first vice-president of the organization that represents 2,000 local governments across Canada.

“Whether it’s permanent transit funding, climate action, or access to adequate broadband, municipalities are ready to bring life to the commitments we’ve heard from this government,” said Frizzell, in a news release. “It is an opportunity for the government to show it can deliver for Prince George, and FCM is offering a clear path to results that people see and feel in their daily lives.”

FCM’s submission lays out three paths to delivering for Canadians through Budget 2020:

  • Strengthening communities of all sizes: Shoring up key funding tools for better local infrastructure, investing directly in Canada’s rural and northern communities, including rural mobility and transportation solutions and access to adequate broadband. The submission also calls on the federal government to drive immediate progress for struggling western communities by implementing immediate-term proposals from FCM’s Western Economic Solutions Task Force, of which Frizzell is a member.
  • Local climate action that builds better lives: Cutting commutes and emissions with permanent transit funding, while accelerating transit electrification, making rental housing more energy efficient, strengthening tools for local disaster mitigation, climate resilience and natural infrastructure enhancement.
  • New progress on housing affordability: Filling key gaps in the National Housing Strategy by investing directly in supportive housing, along with social/affordable housing for Indigenous households — while opening a new front of leadership on the affordability of market rental housing.

“We’re offering solutions everyone can get behind and we are putting forward concrete climate action that builds better lives across the country,” said Frizzell. “Our public transit solutions mean faster commutes and lower emissions. Our disaster mitigation and climate adaptation solutions include protecting communities from the impacts of new weather extremes. We want to do more for Canadians and we’re looking to Budget 2020 to deepen our municipal-federal partnership.”

Shortly after last fall’s federal election, FCM released comprehensive recommendations for the new minority parliament in 15 policy areas. Today’s recommendations are a shortlist of proposals that Budget 2020 can implement immediately.

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