Municipalities across Canada are struggling. Capital and operating costs are rising, and the challenges towns and cities are facing—record growth, housing and homelessness, climate change, and crumbling core infrastructure—are unprecedented. This is made worse by the fact that city and town councils are operating under an outdated municipal funding framework that was not designed to address the realities of Canada in the 21st century.

Under the current framework, towns and cities are forced to rely too much on property taxes, and are not allowed to run deficit budgets. They receive money from federal and provincial governments, but these cash-transfers are not a consistent, sustainable source of funding. This makes planning for future projects difficult, and hampers the ability to provide services and maintain staffing levels.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ (FCM) municipal growth framework is timely and necessary. CUPE supports the FCM’s proposal to modernize the way that towns and cities are funded and applauds its comprehensive plan towards ending chronic homelessness.

“CUPE and the FCM have a shared interest in strong, successful municipalities,” said CUPE National President Mark Hancock, who is attending the FCM’s annual conference in Calgary this week. “Our members work and live in communities that depend on sustainable and adequate funding. The current fiscal model just doesn’t work. It leaves municipalities without enough funding to build and maintain important infrastructure and to strengthen much-needed services.”

It is time to invest in our communities, our workers, and our infrastructure by providing reliable, long-term funding that enables municipalities to plan and build for a better future. The FCM’s Case for a Municipal Growth Framework provides a solid path forward.

Download Making Canada’s Growth a Success: The case for a Municipal Growth Framework.