The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) released its 2016 Federal Budget submission this week, proposing solutions and a strong partnership with the federal government to solve national challenges.
The budget submission lays out a plan for investments in public transit, affordable housing, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. The submission highlights the importance of prioritizing upgrades to local wastewater treatment facilities deemed high risk and requiring action by 2020 under new federal regulations, and expanding upon the Green Infrastructure Fund.
“Budget 2016 is a potential turning point, when we shift from bold vision to real action,” stated Raymond Louie, President of the FCM. “The government has an opportunity to make a real difference for Canadians by making smart investments in our cities and communities.”
The submission stresses the importance of three areas of “green” infrastructure spending:
- Community resilience, including extreme weather adaptations (e.g. dams, dykes, barriers, seawalls, snow/wind load enhancements, surface water storage capacity); melting permafrost adaptations (e.g. thermo-syphons and other solutions to foundation loss);
- Core public infrastructure, including drinking water, wastewater treatment and rural septic system upgrades; stormwater management (e.g. storm sewer and culvert replacement); waste management improvements (e.g. solid waste diversion, recycling, organics); information systems (e.g. for transport, water quality and energy systems); and,
- Environmental protection, including contaminated site clean-up; water conservation enhancements (e.g. greywater systems, rainwater collection, fixture replacement); natural asset management (e.g. wetlands and riparian areas, tree canopy).
Specifically, it recommends the government 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; and to expand FCM’s $550-million Green Municipal Fund endowment and increase investments in climate change mitigation and adaptation projects.
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 President Raymond Louie presented the submission to the House of Commons Finance Committee on February 18th.
The full submission is available on the FCM website.