The next edition of the Ottawa Report is scheduled to be sent Monday, June 17.

Latest News

CPWA Board Members Meet with Infrastructure Director of Policy

At their June meeting, CPWA board members met with Kyle Fox, Director of Policy to the Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities. Fox indicated that there will be a launch of a new call for proposals in the next few months for the Green and Inclusive Building Fund, which was topped up by $500 million in the last budget. He also indicated that the program will allow for funding of rinks and community centres. CPWA will keep members apprised when the call for applications officially opens. Fox is also interested in hearing more from members about the impact that inflation has had on projects. Please contact if you have input.

Applications Open for Green Municipal Fund

A new has been launched under the “Adaptation in Action” portion of the “Local Leadership for Climate Adaptation” initiative. In addition to support for climate adaptation planning, municipalities can apply for up to $1 million for implementation projects and up to $70,000 for feasibility studies. Municipalities that have completed climate adaptation plans and/or risk assessments are eligible to apply. Applications are due by August 14, 2024.

FCM Releases Roadmap on Municipal Finances

As CPWA board members had discussed with FMC at the annual Ottawa Hill Day in April, the . FMC is calling for action from the federal government to equip municipalities with the tools they need to ensure the quality of life Canadians deserve. The plan includes five key actions:

  • Linking federal transfers to economic growth by indexing them to Canada’s Gross Domestic Product.
  • Increase the annual transfer to municipalities by $2.6 billion. Paired with the existing Canada Community-Building Fund, this would bring the total annual federal transfers to $5 billion.
  • Advance a new cost-matching agreement with provinces and territories to match the $5 billion federal contribution to municipalities.
  • Allow municipalities to use federal funding for both operating and capital costs, so they can prioritize local projects that foster population growth and economic development.
  • Develop a cohesive plan with all orders of government to end chronic homelessness.

CIB Teams Up on Decarbonization Funding

The Canada Infrastructure Bank and Efficiency Capital have recently formalized their . Focused on small-to-medium-sized buildings, there are three new projects under construction:

  • $50 million loan facility towards sustainable building retrofits across Canada.
  • Reducing GHG emissions in retrofitted buildings by a minimum of 30 percent.
  • The CIB has committed $1.2 billion towards energy-efficient building upgrades.

ECCC to Expand Coastal Flooding Alerts

On June 6, The Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) . As a part of the comprehensive coastal flooding prediction and alerting program, ECCC will also begin to predict and alert coastal flooding in new areas, including Pacific and Arctic coasts, the St. Lawrence, and the Great Lakes, with the exception of Ontario, where provincial authorities will retain this responsibility, as well as Saskatchewan and Alberta, where there is limited risk of coastal flooding along the provinces’ lake shorelines. The announcement included that while the technology has been operational since May 15, 2024, the complete regional implementation of these new services and products will take time.

In addition, ECCC also announced that they will use the term “coastal flooding” as its default terminology when warning about these events rather than the previous term, “storm surge.” This change in terminology more accurately describes this weather event and clearly communicates its potential impact on Canadians, though Canadians in some provinces may continue to see “storm surge” used in alerts.

ECCC Announces New Public Air Quality Alert

On Clean Air Day, June 5, the Department of Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) that they have launched a new Air Quality Advisory with a red banner notification on and the WeatherCan application. The news release also included an announcement on four new air quality forecast maps on ECCC’s Wildfire Smoke Prediction System webpage.

Canadian Wildland Fire Prevention and Mitigation Strategy Announced

The Canadian Council of Forest Ministers, which includes federal, provincial and territorial ministers , the release of . The Strategy outlines several actions to enhance whole-of-society collaboration and coordination; increase knowledge and understanding; expand investments in prevention and mitigation; and strengthen First Nations, Métis, and Inuit partnerships.

New $1.5 Billion Co-op Housing Program

The federal government to support a new generation of co-op housing in Canada and help make housing more affordable. The new $1.5 billion program—co-designed with the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada and other leaders in the co-op sector—will provide loans and contributions to build and grow co-ops across Canada. This is the largest investment to build new co-op housing in the last 30 years. The program will build thousands of new co-op homes by 2028. Projects that focus on providing homes for those most in need will be prioritized.

Parliamentary Business

Amendments to the Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations

The Governor in Council has published . The regulations allow eligible owners and operators of wastewater systems (regulatees) another opportunity to receive an extension (transitional authorization) to upgrade their system. The Amendments also expand temporary bypass authorizations to apply to all planned releases in the wastewater infrastructure, at treatment plants, and within the collection system, and apply a risk-based approach to the planning, evaluating, and authorization of these releases. The Amendments also address administrative and operational challenges.

Budget Bills Making Progress in Parliament

The passed Third Reading in the House of Commons on May 28. With the Senate already having completed a at Standing Senate Committee on National Finance, we are likely to see the bill passed imminently.

Bill C-59 would implement key measures from the 2023 Fall Economic Statement to support the government’s stated efforts to build more homes, make life more affordable, and create more good jobs. The bill is divided into five parts. Out of the 12 new measures included in the fifth part of the bill, an important piece is the Division 3 of Part 5, which proposes the Canada Water Agency Act, establishing the Canada Water Agency. This agency will collaborate with provinces, territories, Indigenous communities, local authorities, scientists, and other stakeholders to improve freshwater management in Canada.

The agency will implement the strengthened Freshwater Action Plan to enhance freshwater quality, restore and protect significant water bodies, and deliver regional initiatives in the Great Lakes, Lake Winnipeg, Lake of the Woods, the St. Lawrence River, the Fraser River, the Wolastoq/Saint John River, the Mackenzie River, and Lake Simcoe. A primary role of the Canada Water Agency is to coordinate among the more than 20 federal departments and agencies responsible for water.

In addition, the House Standing Committee on Finance completed its study of the Budget Implementation Act, 2024, on June 5. Simultaneously, the Senate Finance Committee is continuing its of the bill. We can expect a strong push by the government to pass this bill before the summer recess as well.

National Strategy on Flood and Drought Forecasting Act

On June 5, , National Strategy on Flood and Drought Forecasting Act was read for the third time and at the House. It is currently awaiting first reading in the Senate for further consideration.

Federal Funding Awarded

Water Infrastructure Upgrades in the Yukon

The federal government and the territorial government of Yukon announced a joint to upgrade over one kilometre of water and sanitary sewer pipes and over four kilometres of roads and alleys. The federal government is investing $7,500,000 through the Green Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The Government of Yukon is investing $2,500,000.