FCM Report Calls for New Strategic Federal-Municipal Partnership

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) kicked off the 76th Annual Conference and Trade Show with the release of its "Report on the State of Cities and Communities". The report, released on May 31st in Vancouver, addresses where Canada stands and the way forward for municipalities.

The report explains how the current division of powers serves to encourage short-term, informal and ad-hoc federal policies in the municipal area, often designed without meaningful consultation of either municipal or provincial/territorial governments. This often results in policies framed to respond to short-term political pressures and opportunities rather than to address structural issues.

The report acknowledges the advances made in federal-municipal relations over the past decade, especially in infrastructure funding, like the Gas Tax Fund or the stimulus program, but makes the case these advances have been ad hoc, in response to political expediency or short-term needs. We must look to a better decision rather than to re-invent the wheel with the Government of Canada every time a new issue arises and requires a close working relationship.

The conference is the largest gathering of elected officials in Canada and delegates will hear from dignitaries and party leaders over the next three days. Visit fcm.ca for the complete schedule and more information on FCM's Annual Conference and Trade Show.