Canadian mayors launch vision for stronger hometowns

Mayors and councillors are calling for national debate on municipal issues

Mayors and municipal leaders, working with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), have unveiled a pre-election vision laying out the pressing needs of Canadian communities they want the next government to make a priority.

Strengthening Canada’s Hometowns — A Roadmap for Strong Cities and Communities lays out a plan that would guide federal government in being a partner to create local jobs and spur economic growth while building livable, safe and environmentally sustainable communities, an FCM news release said.

“This is a guide for Canadians to the upcoming federal election,” said FCM president Raymond Louie in a news release.

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It will be useful as a guide to compare how federal parties’ election promises stack up, he said.

“Compare federal party platforms to see which party will be the best partner for their community and improve quality of life in their hometown,” he said in a release.

The document will help Canadians raise questions of those vying for election such as who has the best plan to create local jobs, and help them decide which party will work to solve the housing crunch, the document says.

The road map was put together after extensive consultation across Canada where Canadians shared their ideas for what will make life in both smaller towns and larger cities better, and identifies key areas where greater focus and investment are needed.

Basic needs for good housing and clean water “should not be an issue in a country like ours,” the document says, adding that safer roads, improved public transport and public safety are also top priorities.

The road map also calls for increased investment in clean energy, more energy-efficient building construction and improved public transportation systems, noting that Canada’s best hope for lessening dependency on fossil fuels lies with increased investment in the infrastructure of Canada’s cities and towns, the document says.

The document was launched at a municipal leaders’ convention in Edmonton earlier this month where all three federal parties pitched their platforms to mayors and municipal leaders from across Canada. The FCM has called for a national leaders’ debate on municipal issues. As of this week three of four federal parties, including the New Democratic Party of Canada, The Liberal Party of Canada and the Green Party of Canada have all agreed to participate.

The FCM is the national voice of municipal government. In leading the municipal movement, FCM works to align federal and local priorities, recognizing that strong hometowns make for a strong Canada.

A pdf copy of Strengthening Canada’s Hometowns can be downloaded here.

About the author

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Lorraine Stevenson

Lorraine Stevenson is a reporter and photographer for the Manitoba Co-operator with 25 years experience writing news and features. She was previously a reporter with the Farmers Independent Weekly and has also written for community newspapers in Winnipeg and Manitoba's Interlake.

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