The Government of Canada released the federal budget on March 19. Budget 2019 includes significant investment for municipalities across Canada and funding in many areas that AUMA has long called for.
Some of the budget highlights include:
- A one-time additional transfer of $2.2 billion through the federal Gas Tax Fund. This expansion will provide much-needed infrastructure funding to Alberta municipalities.
- Budget 2019 promises $1.7 billion in rural broadband initiatives over 13 years, starting in 2019-20. The funding will continue to invest in Low Earth Orbit satellite and fibre technologies, and creation of a Universal Broadband Fund. AUMA has heard from many towns and villages that the need to have reliable broadband access is paramount. This investment is welcome news for our smaller communities.
- AUMA welcomes the renewal of the Municipal Asset Management Program managed by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM). The program has funded workshops and pilot projects in Alberta, and we see continued interest in more asset management training in the province.
- The additional municipal funding includes:
- Sustainable Affordable Housing Innovation Fund will support up to 4,800 new and retrofitted sustainable affordable and social housing units across Canada.
- Community EcoEfficiency Acceleration Fund will enable municipalities to support homeowners to make their homes more energy efficient. This funding may support Alberta municipalities that are interested in property assessed clean energy projects.
- LC3-FCM Collaboration on Community Climate Action will support local carbon emission reduction initiatives in municipalities across Canada. The Municipal Climate Change Action Centre will be reaching out to FCM on how to leverage funding from both programs.
AUMA welcomes the new partnership and collaboration between Alberta municipalities and the federal government. AUMA plans to continue working with our partners including FCM on clarifying the announced programs and funding. We plan to share more details in the future.