Goulden was one of the FCM representatives to visit Ottawa Nov. 24 and 25 meeting with representatives as of the five federal parties to discuss municipal issues. She noted that FCM is nonpartisan and meets with all parties to share concerns.
The meetings were an opportunity to discuss “the needs we have, the requirements we have,” said Goulden.
And leading those concerns at present is the cost municipalities are facing in terms of back-pay for a newly negotiated RCMP contract.
In Yorkton the retro-pay will be approximately $1.2 million in 2022.
The one-time RCMP cost is something municipalities across the country are concerned about, from Surry, B.C. where the largest detachment is located to the small detachments in the north.
FCM represents more than 2,000 cities and communities of all sizes, representing more than 90 percent of Canadians living in every province and territory.
“We’re (FCM) asking the federal government to pay those costs,” said Goulden, adding in meetings with the five parties the RCMP issue led the talks.
The talks were also about sharing what has come out of the FCM document, titled Partners for Canada’s Recovery, which puts forward nonpartisan local solutions that create jobs and tackle some of Canada’s biggest recovery challenges. They include:
* Tackling the housing affordability crisis, including by prioritizing the launch of the Housing Accelerator Fund, protecting our residents from “renoviction,” preserving existing affordable rental supply, and co-developing a dedicated Indigenous housing strategy. The recovery is a critical moment to rally behind our shared objective of ending chronic homelessness, this is why we need a clear timeline to achieve our goal, scale up the Rapid Housing Initiative and build on the Reaching Home program.
* Ensuring that the recovery happens everywhere, including the rural communities that drive a third of Canada’s economy. That means seizing this moment to make universal Internet access a reality, growing infrastructure tools that empower local leaders everywhere, like the Canada Community-Building Fund, and leaning all the way into concrete rural priorities—from disaster mitigation to regional bus services and financially sustainable policing.
* Accelerating climate action. The devastating flooding in B.C. and Newfoundland is yet another tragic reminder of the urgent need to build more resilient communities—and in order to do that we need the federal government to scale up investments in disaster mitigation projects, natural infrastructure, and continue strengthening local adaptation capacity. And to reach Canada’s 2030 emission reduction target and set the country on the path towards net-zero emissions by 2050, we need to work together to build upon federal investments that are already being made—including through FCM’s Green Municipal Fund—to drive high-value projects in key areas like building retrofits, community energy generation, electric vehicles and capturing emissions from municipal landfills.