The 2022-2023 budget, tabled on Thursday, April 7th by Canada’s Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland is positively welcomed by the Union des municipalités du Québec (UMQ).
From the outset, the UMQ is particularly pleased with the sums announced to meet the housing shortage, namely $1.5 billion over two years to extend the rapid creation of housing (ICRL), as well as $4 billion over five years to create a new fund to accelerate housing construction. Also, the UMQ is also delighted with the acceleration of the deployment of the sums provided under the National Housing Co-Investment Fund, two years earlier than planned.
Daniel Côté, president of the UMQ, points out that the housing shortage affects all regions of Quebec, without exception. “We can only welcome the assistance announced by the federal government, which will hopefully make it possible to quickly convert investments into new social and affordable housing, said Mr. Côté. Together, we must continue working to address the structural housing deficit. This is a priority for the municipal sector.”
In addition, the UMQ is pleased with the $9.1 billion confirmed in the budget to implement the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan, recently unveiled by the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, and the Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault. For the Union, municipalities are key players in the deployment of this roadmap and will have new means to act effectively in the fight against and adaptation to climate change, particularly regarding the electrification of transportation.
Difficult to achieve unanimity when it comes to the budget, the UMQ is disappointed that the budget plan does not provide for any additional investment for certain priority strategic projects for the municipal sector, in particular recreational and sports infrastructures and air transportation.
The Union reiterates that the municipalities will be key partners in the implementation of budgetary commitments and offers its cooperation to the federal government in this regard.