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Our cities and communities are where real progress happens for real people. With the right tools, they’re where local leaders can address climate change and create good jobs, economic growth and better lives for Canadians—now and for years to come.

Municipal leaders turn federal investments into jobs and outcomes people can see and feel. Outcomes like safer roads that keep people moving, and cultural/recreation facilities that bring people together. Like modern transit that shortens commutes, lowers emissions, and gets frontline workers where they need to go. Like climate innovation that protects people from new weather extremes and gets Canada closer to net-zero emissions.

The impacts of climate change are already reaching every region of the world, Canada is warming at 2-3 times the global average, and we are getting closer to irreversible climate tipping points. Saving lives and protecting our communities requires unprecedented investments in low-carbon infrastructure like transit and water management, in climate resiliency and disaster mitigation, and in local pathways to net zero-emissions.

Canada’s recovery is an urgent opportunity to empower local leaders who deliver frontline solutions that work. That’s how we’ll create the jobs and economic growth that are so vital to our nationwide recovery—as we build the inclusive and sustainable future we all want.

Community infrastructure

  • Expand Canada’s best infrastructure renewal tool by permanently doubling the Canada Community-Building Fund (formerly Gas Tax Fund), increasing the annual transfer in 2022-23 to $4.6 billion—and boosting its annual growth index from 2.0 to 3.5 to reflect construction inflation realities. This directly empowers local leaders to create jobs and build better lives—from upgrading roads and bridges to keep people moving to expanding cultural-recreation facilities to bring people together.
  • Ensure cleaner water for Canadians nationwide by investing at least $500 million annually for 20 years in municipal water and wastewater infrastructure—including treatment system upgrades, sewer separations, septic projects and asset renewal such as lead pipe replacements, culverts and lagoons. Canada’s recovery is the right time to set Canada on a path to a future where everyone has reliable access to clean, safe supplies of the water, including drinking water, that is so essential to human health and economic development.
  • Bolster rural and northern infrastructure by committing at least $250 million annually in new funding for 10 years at the conclusion of the Investing in Canada Plan’s rural and northern stream (i.e. starting 2028-29 or earlier if all funding is committed). This provides communities with vital predictability for rural and northern infrastructure solutions that cannot by fully funded through other federal programs.

Public transit and transportation

  • Commit to a multi-year solution to pandemic-induced transit operating shortfalls to protect shared investments in building out Canada’s transit networks. Otherwise, continuing shortfalls until ridership fully recovers will force cities to scale back service levels and/or job-creating capital improvements—disproportionately impacting the millions of Canadians who rely on transit to access essential services and participate in economic life.
  • Maintain permanent, predictable capital funding for transit expansion to reduce congestion, shorten commutes, and help create net-zero communities. This starts with maintaining $3 billion in permanent annual funding starting in 2026-27. Canada’s transit plan should continue to support both urban and rural mobility needs, including the full range of expansion projects—subways, regional rail, light rail, bus rapid transit—alongside low-to-zero emission fleets, and on-demand and fixed-route projects in rural areas.
  • Commit to develop a sustainable funding model for inter-community passenger bus service. These threatened services are critical to smaller communities, to our national economy, and to a national transit network that is equitable and accessible. In communities of all sizes, transit services are disproportionately relied upon by women, racialized and InIndedigenous people, students, seniors, and persons with disabilities.
  • Expand funding for rail safety, including grade crossing improvements, to make communities safer and contribute to local compliance with the federal Grade Crossing Regulations.

Climate resilience and disaster mitigation

  • Rapidly scale up support for disaster mitigation and climate resilience projects protecting communities from climate impacts—including wildfire mitigation, drought reduction, flood prevention and restoration of wetlands, shorelines and other natural assets. We are calling for $2 billion over a three-year recovery period, followed by at least $1 billion in long-term annual funding starting in 2024-2025.
  • Strengthen natural infrastructure: invest $100 million annually for 10 years—including to enable municipalities to purchase forests, wetlands and green spaces to create or expand parks and protected areas—building on recent federal investments to support local conservation, urban biodiversity, low-carbon resiliency and access to nature.
  • Continue strengthening local capacity by investing $500 million over five years to:
    • update regional climate modelling and natural hazard maps, and fund local vulnerability and risk assessments
    • integrate equity, Indigenous knowledge and social infrastructure considerations into project planning
    • integrate climate considerations into asset management planning at the asset and community levels

Local pathways to net-zero emissions

  • Deepen federal-municipal coordination, aligning national and local climate action and identifying sectoral opportunities to scale up local solutions for deeper GHG reductions. Alongside transit modernization, local solutions represent some of Canada’s most practical and available pathways to achieve net-zero by 2050.
  • Scale up investments in local pathways to net-zero to a level that will allow Canada to achieve its 2030 climate target. Through targeted programs that build upon investments already made—including through FCM’s federally-endowed Green Municipal Fundwe can support capacity building and capital projects in key areas:
    • Community energy generation, energy storage and district energy for community buildings and neighbourhoods. Electricity generation is responsible for 8.4% of Canada’s GHG emissions (61 million tons).
    • Deep energy retrofits of residential, commercial and community buildings; sustainable affordable housing; and net-zero building codes. Homes and buildings represent 12% of Canada’s GHG emissions (91 million tons).
    • Active transportation and multi-modal systems, including bike paths, pedestrian bridges, and first-and-last-km solutions like bike-share, e-bikes and cargo bikes to reduce reliance on personal vehicles that represent 4.6% of Canada’s GHG emissions (33.5 million tons).
    • Zero-emission municipal fleets, including pickup trucks, vans, municipal waste trucks and charging solutions. Light-duty trucks and heavy-duty vehicles generate 16% of Canada’s GHG emissions (120 million tons).
    • Waste and water infrastructure including landfill gas management, organic waste diversion, wastewater energy efficiency and circular economy initiatives. Landfills represent 3.2% of Canada’s GHG emissions and a targeted $500 million investment could reduce emissions by 2-2.5 million tons.
    • Local resiliency and natural climate solutions, including tree planting, canopy preservation and natural asset management. A typical hardwood tree can store a ton of carbon dioxide by the time it reaches 40 years old.
    • Net-zero communities and land use planning, integrating mobility, housing and equity considerations to reduce energy and travel demands while improving health, affordability and access to services