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FCM welcomes landmark recovery-supporting transit investment

FCM welcomes landmark recovery-supporting transit investment

Posted in: News Item

Date Posted: 2021-02-10

Organization Name: Federation of Canadian Municipalities

The following statement was issued by Garth Frizzell, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), and Don Iveson, Chair of FCM’s Big City Mayors’ Caucus, after the Prime Minister announced major new investment in public transit today.

“Public transit is the backbone of livable and competitive cities, and it will be key to Canada’s post-COVID recovery. Investing in transit creates jobs, shortens commutes, reduces emissions and supports economic growth across the country. That is why we welcome today’s announcement from the Prime Minister as a landmark investment in the strong, nationwide recovery Canadians need.

“This announcement builds on what’s working. The transit stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Plan (ICIP) has been empowering cities to move forward with vital system expansions. Growing this into a permanent transit fund—beyond ICIP’s 2027 horizon—offers cities the long-term predictability we need to continue delivering transformational system growth.

“But today’s announcement also represents significant new support for public transit through the coming recovery period, on top of ICIP. This has the potential to make transit modernization a centrepiece of the job-creating, emissions-reducing, quality-of-life-enhancing recovery that Canadians deserve on the other side of COVID-19.

“We specifically recognize today’s commitment to supporting transit in rural communities. Getting people moving is a priority in communities of all sizes across Canada. So we’re happy to see a nation-building transit plan with distinct support for rural and regional transportation needs.

“FCM and our Big City Mayors’ Caucus have been advocating for years for stable capital funding for transit. And we see FCM directly reflected in today’s follow-through from our federal partners. This includes the comprehensive scope of objectives— including system expansion, transitions to low-and-zero-emission vehicles and active transportation.

“Transit operating shortfalls remain a significant challenge. Farebox revenues are down in this pandemic, and cities are having to cut or delay job-creating capital projects to fill those gaps—not contemplate new growth. This remains an urgent conversation with our federal and provincial partners.

“Today’s announcement recognizes that municipalities will be central partners in Canada’s nationwide recovery. Our communities are where we’ll get people back to work, where we’ll get the economy going again, and where we’ll build tomorrow’s inclusive and sustainable Canada.”