Local governments respond first, fastest and most effectively to front line crises such as wildfires, the Corona virus, and homelessness, said Mayor Joanne Vanderheyden of Strathroy-Caradoc, Ontario, and president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, who delivered the FCM address virtually at the 2021 UBCM Convention.
Mayor Vanderheyden expressed pride at what FCM & UBCM have accomplished by working together to bring BC’s voice to the federal table. “Adversity can be a teacher” she remarked. “COVID has uncovered real cracks in our country.”
She related several federal election issues from Our Frontline Solutions, the FCM’s special election campaign document, calling for directly empowering local leaders strengthen the front lines.
“Canadians deserve a recovery that they can see and feel in their lives,” she said, citing a permanent doubling of the Build Canada fund, affordable housing, ending chronic homelessness, addressing climate change, and closing the digital divides that prevents northern remote and indigenous communities form reaching their full potential.
Addressing the federal government, she restated that local governments are essential partners in a strong, inclusive and sustainable recovery. “Canadians deserve a recovery that they can see and feel in their lives,” she said. “Going back to status quo just is not enough. Our collective municipal voice has never mattered more.”