Our Federal Blueprint for British Columbia’s Urban Future outlines four key priorities to address the urgent issues cities face today. We are asking the next federal government to commit to working with leaders from B.C.’s cities to address these issues while we work together for the restored prosperity and growth expected as we emerge from the pandemic. Moreover, putting our cities on paths to a strong recovery will support neighboring smaller and rural including Indigenous communities and Canada as a whole.
Increase the Canada Health Transfer so that our provincial government can immediately expand the availability of the full range of substance use and mental health treatment and recovery options in our communities for both youth and adults.
Expand access to a safe drug supply and drug testing.
Partner with the Province to fund the implementation of Complex Care Housing that the Province will be rolling out this fall to provide adequate and appropriate supports for those currently falling through the cracks and unable to live stably in existing supportive housing.
Work with health authorities and police agencies to establish national overdose data collection standards, including the collection of disaggregated and racial data in a culturally-safe way.
Make the Rapid Housing Initiative permanent with at least a $2 billion investment per year until the goal of ending chronic homelessness has been reached.
Implement a non-market acquisition strategy to enable the non-profit sector to purchase low-end-of-market rental buildings that are affordable due to the age of the stock, to preserve them as affordable in perpetuity.
Build on the Indigenous & Northern Affairs capital funding program and develop and fund an urban, rural and northern Indigenous strategy to enable Indigenous housing organizations to provide culturally-supportive housing.
Use federal tax policy to disincentivize the financialization of housing and to incentivize the construction of more market rental units annually that are within reach of local wages.
Enhance the National Housing Strategy (NHS) by accelerating the timeline for committing unused NHS funding to projects and increasing the flexibility of NHS programs to accommodate a wider range and scale of cost-sharing proposals.
Implement the “Vote Housing” calls to action. Vote Housing is a grassroots campaign that advocates to end homelessness and make housing safe and affordable in Canada.
Public Transit and Active Transportation
Top up the Safe Restart funding for TransLink and BC Transit to fill the gaps in operating expenses while our transit agencies rebuild ridership to pre-pandemic levels.
Invest at least $3 billion per year nationwide through a new national Permanent Transit Fund beginning no later than 2026, as committed in Budget 2021, to provide BC with over $400 million annually to support needed transit expansion identified in TransLink’s and BC Transit’s long-term plans.
Invest at least $2.5 billion nationwide over the next five years in stimulus transit funding as committed in Budget 2021 to support shovel-ready major transit projects across BC.
Invest at least $2.7 billion nationwide in stimulus transit funding over the next five years for zero-emission buses as committed in Budget 2021 to support TransLink’s and BC Transit’s ambitious, accelerated plans to transition to zero-emission bus fleets to meet provincial and national GHG emissions targets in 2030 and 2050.
Work with provincial government to redesign the transit-funding model that has relied too heavily on regressive transit fares and local property taxes into one that is more resilient and equitable
Allocate funding from the $400 million federal Active Transportation fund directly to local government as a COVID-19 recovery stimulus opportunity.
A New Fiscal Relationship
Create a federal, provincial/territorial and local government working group to modernize the local government finance system in Canada that includes providing cities with a broader range of sustainable, predictable and reliable funding tools.
Permanently double the Canada Community Building Fund to provide stable predictable funding to local government for infrastructure renewal and job creation.
Provide financial support to local government to help mitigate the impact of a 25 percent wage increase for the RCMP. Local government was not included at the during the negotiations of these increases and should not be solely responsible to cover the significant incremental costs.