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FCM praises budget’s rural, Indigenous housing pledge

FCM praises budget’s rural, Indigenous housing pledge

OTTAWA — The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) has issued a post-budget statement saying it welcomes a new funding commitment from the federal government for rural and Indigenous housing and also a pledge by the government to review long-term infrastructure needs.

The statement was issued by FCM president Taneen Rudyk. The budget was tabled by federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland on March 28.

The new spending of $4 billion over seven years in an Urban, Rural and Indigenous Housing Strategy responds to a long-standing FCM priority, stated Rudyk. The FCM continues to urge that the effort remain Indigenous-led. The FCM said it continues to call for additional investment in other programs addressing both housing and chronic homelessness challenges in Canada, such as Reaching Home and the Rapid Housing Initiative.

The budget “represents progress on some priority issues for Canadian municipalities and leaves significant gaps on other critical challenges facing communities and cities,” said the FCM.

“FCM appreciates the commitment in this budget to review Canada’s infrastructure needs, to chart a course for future federal infrastructure programming, and to provide an update later in the year, including the next steps on permanent public transit funding.

“With major federal infrastructure funding programs either ending, coming up for renegotiation, or oversubscribed, FCM urges that municipalities be an integral part of the design of the future of federal infrastructure.”

Other FCM recommendations include a dedicated water and wastewater fund, annual investments in community infrastructure, prioritizing the Permanent Public Transit Fund and supporting rural communities through a plan for intercommunity transit and adding a needs-based stream to the Universal Broadband Fund.

“Budget 2023 makes strong investments to support Canada’s progress towards a net-zero GHG emission future. New funding and tax incentives, including for hydrogen production and carbon capture, utilization and storage, will help to enable Canada’s world-leading energy sector to reduce GHG emissions and remain competitive,” said the FCM.


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