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Ontarios Big City Mayors Respond to the 2024 Government of Canada Budget

Apr 16, 2024Housing, Infrastructure, Mental Health and Addictions, Top Stories

April 16, 2024

Today the Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, released the Government of Canada’s Budget 2024: Fairness for Every Generation. Ontario’s Big City Mayors (OBCM) welcomes the Government of Canada’s investments in housing, infrastructure and mental health and homelessness programs. However we believe more can be done to support Canada’s municipalities as we respond to the urgent housing crisis in our communities.

Many of the new programs and funding streams announced last week in the new Canada Housing Plan and included it today’s budget, will help provinces and municipalities support the build of new homes, as well as providing significant supports for our most vulnerable residents, including through:

  • A $6 billion Canada Housing Infrastructure Fund to accelerate the construction and upgrading of critical housing infrastructure including water, wastewater, stormwater, and solid waste infrastructure.
  • $20 million for Statistics Canada and CMHC to modernize and enhance the collection of housing data, including municipal-level data on housing starts and completions. 
  • $400 million added to the Housing Accelerator Fund so more municipalities can build the housing they need, faster
  • An additional $500 million over five years for municipal community, culture and recreation facilities through the Green and Inclusive Buildings Program.
  • $1 billion additional dollars towards Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy 
  • $250 million to address the urgent issue of encampments and unsheltered homelessness in our communities 
  • A commitment to extend the Interim Housing Assistance Program and to work with all orders of government to find long-term solutions to prevent asylum seekers from experiencing homelessness.

OBCM encourages the Government of Canada to continue to work collaboratively with municipalities to ensure we have long-term sustainable funding to support the critical housing-enabling infrastructure needed to get homes built now. We ask that they address the concerns of the municipal sector on the proposed freeze of municipal development charges in some of our municipalities. Development charges help to pay for critical housing supportive infrastructure and community amenities and without them these costs will be added to the existing property tax base.

“We applaud the federal government for their commitment in today’s budget to invest billions of dollars to get more homes built across Canada. They have listened to municipalities and understand how important investments in critical infrastructure are, so we can do our part to enable shovels in the ground faster in our communities,”  said Marianne Meed Ward, Mayor of Burlington and Chair of Ontario’s Big City Mayors. “Ontario’s Big City Mayors are committed to working with all levels of government on our key priorities: housing and housing enabling infrastructure, a new financial deal for municipalities and the mental health, addictions and homelessness crisis. When we work together we can do great things and build safe, affordable and thriving communities for years to come.”

.About Ontario’s Big City Mayors

Ontario’s Big City Mayors (OBCM), includes mayors of 29 single and lower-tier cities with a population of 100,000 or more, who collectively represent nearly 70 percent of Ontario’s population. OBCM advocates for issues and policies important to Ontario’s largest cities.

Media Contacts

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, Chair               Michelle Baker, Executive Director                                           

905-335-7777                                                         647-308-6602

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