The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) is seriously concerned about aspects of the New Building Canada Fund, and issued a statement on March 8.
Claude Dauphin, president of FCM said he had met with his board and they had found serious gaps in the program. They say the problems arise because the government did not conduct meaningful consultations with the municipalities before formulating the plan.
Dauphin points out: “Municipalities own the vast majority of Canada’s roads, water systems, public transit and other core infrastructure, but to date they have received no clear indication that a fair share of the new BCF will be invested in municipal projects. The new BCF’s funding rules further reduce local flexibility by eliminating core infrastructure categories from eligibility such as local roads.”
He also criticizes the new plan’s requirements for a “cumbersome” P3 screening process, and “rules that could force local governments to carry a higher share of project costs.”
He says that 70% of the Building Canada Plan Funds should be invested in cities and communities.
“It’s not too late to work together to address these issues, and it is our joint responsibility to do so,” Dauphin says. “Canadians count on all governments to make informed decisions to serve their communities and get the most out of every tax dollar.”