Building back better together: FCM releases municipal vision for a green, inclusive economic recovery
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) released detailed recommendations today for federal post-COVID economic recovery plans—urging a green and inclusive recovery that empowers local leaders to deliver results for Canadians on the ground while continuing to protect the frontline services they rely on.
Municipal leaders across the country are working hard to keep Canadians safe through the pandemic’s second wave, and they’ll be just as crucial to Canada’s recovery. FCM’s plan urges the federal government to work with its 2,000 municipal members to create jobs, promote equality and tackle climate change—in the places where people live, work, and raise families.
“Building back better starts on the ground,” said FCM President Garth Frizzell. “Municipalities have a track-record of turning federal investment into jobs and growth. We’re also uniquely positioned to do that in ways that achieve key national goals—from promoting equality to building a net-zero emissions economy. After everything we’ve learned in this pandemic, Canadians want the green and inclusive recovery that their local governments can drive.”
The pandemic has exposed real inequalities in Canada, with its disproportionate impacts on women and seniors, and on Indigenous, Black and racialized Canadians. These times are also particularly hard on people experiencing homelessness. FCM’s proposals include scaling up the new Rapid Housing Initiative to bring supportive housing to 27,000 Canadians—virtually achieving the federal goal to end chronic homelessness. Additional job-creating investments in affordable housing would help families living in inadequate or overcrowded housing—one of the biggest steps we can take to reduce inequality in many communities.
FCM’s green-recovery plan emphasizes public transit and community climate action. Investing in efficient transit and zero-emission transit vehicles will create jobs and shorten commutes while significantly reducing GHG emissions. Scaling up the federal Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund and investing in natural infrastructure will create more jobs as communities boost their climate resilience. And FCM’s Green Municipal Fund is ready to help communities create jobs and reduce emissions—through building retrofits, greener vehicle fleets, tree planting, and other green initiatives.
FCM also stressed the need for continued operating funding support so municipalities can protect frontline services and gear up for recovery: the critical first tranche delivered through the Safe Restart Agreement will need extending as pandemic impacts stretch through 2021. The recovery to come must also reflect the coast-to-coast-coast impact of the pandemic. Swiftly following through on recent commitments to universal Internet access will boost the economic and social health of rural, northern and remote communities—and stand as inspiration for a truly nationwide recovery that builds better lives in communities of all sizes and every region.
Read FCM’s recommendations: Building Back Better Together