The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) is calling on government officials to “build back better together” when the country begins to enter the post-COVID era.
The group outlined its thoughts on post-COVID recovery in a newly released report that focuses on inclusive housing solutions, community infrastructure, sustainable solutions, resiliency and improving funding tools.
“Our recommendations for Canada’s post-COVID recovery show how municipalities are ready to work with the federal government to kickstart Canada’s economy and put people back to work,” reads a statement from FCM president Garth Frizzell. “Municipalities are uniquely capable of doing that in ways that will drive progress on key national goals, from achieving net-zero emissions and universal internet access to ending chronic homelessness. We can work together to tackle today’s urgent pandemic challenges, with solutions that deliberately lay ground for tomorrow’s recovery.”
Here are just some of the FCM’s recommendations that pertain to the construction sector:
- Scale up the Rapid Housing initiative by allocating $7 billion for no less than 24,000 additional supportive and deeply affordable housing units over the National Housing Strategy’s (NHS) seven remaining years.
- Launch a non-market housing construction program targeting 90,000 new units of mixed-income, multi-unit housing over the seven remaining years of the NHS ($15 billion).
- Protect and improve social/affordable housing by investing an additional $600 million over four to five years through the Green Municipal Fund’s Sustainable Affordable Housing initiative, to energy-retrofit up to 11,000 units, lowering emissions and operating costs.
- Expand municipal tools and housing innovation through an intergovernmental approach.
- Invest directly in community, culture and recreation infrastructure through the proposed Municipal Economic Recovery Fund.
- Enable major transit expansions by launching the promised Permanent Transit Fund.
- Support rural and regional transportation by creating a new federal funding program — $350 million over three years— for eligible capital costs for inter-city and regional mobility services across the country.
- Rapidly deliver $2.5 to $5 billion of economic recovery funding directly to the municipal sector to help communities finance and scale proven climate change mitigation and resilience solutions.
- Support deep energy retrofits and clean energy generation in 200 to 300 arenas or recreation/community centres.
- Build up to 2,600 kilometres of multi-use active transportation pathways, 50 pedestrian bridges and 100 multi-modal transportation interventions.
- Drive more local adaptation projects by doubling the proposed new federal investment in the federal Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund to $2 billion and accelerating it to a three-year window.
- Commit to a dialogue with FCM on municipal resilience, including steps required to modernize municipal finances and authorities, to align with local governments’ contemporary role in Canadians’ daily lives and national economy.
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