I have now been a board member of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities representing the City of Calgary for five years. It has been a very rewarding five years, with the FCM leading the way to ensure that municipalities and their concerns are being heard on the national stage. The FCM has a mandate of bringing communities together, to share expertise and experience. That common voice is then brought to Parliament Hill, where the FCM brings that municipal voice to bear on federal decision makers. The FCM has become a key participant in national policy and decision making.
I am currently serving on the FCM Board in a number of capacities. I am chair of the Standing Committee on Social-Economic Development. As well, I serve on the International Relations Committee, the Committee to Increase Women’s Participation in Local Government, the Governance Working Group and the Urban Aboriginal Working Group. I also Chair the Reseau Francophone.
A specific focus of mine over the past couple of years has been around affordable housing. The federal government participates in funding affordable housing across our country to the tune of about $1.7 Billion per year, supporting around 600,000 affordable housing units. In Calgary, that means about 6,700 units of affordable housing for Calgarians in need. Currently, that money is set to expire over the next few years, putting those units, and their residents, in jeopardy. We need to ensure that this funding remains intact as we move forward.
I have been on Parliament Hill several times talking to MP’s about the affordable housing programs we operate and how the federal government needs to remain at the table as our partner. FCM is playing a lead role in making sure that this issue remains front and centre for our federal politicians and all political parties. Sadly, to date, the response from the Government has been disappointing, with no assurances given towards funding of affordable housing in the most recent budget.
I will continue to work on our behalf on the national and international front through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. It is doubly important now that we have a strong municipal voice as we head into the fall federal election.
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.