The Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Western Economic Solutions Taskforce (WEST) recently released its final comprehensive report with concrete recommendations to the federal government, as well as a bold vision for a prosperous western Canada.
“Western municipal leaders are on the front lines of deep economic anxiety,” said Randy Goulden, City of Yorkton, SK councillor, and chair of WEST. “This report highlights major challenges western communities are facing. It also presents our vision for how western innovation and resourcefulness can protect and create jobs, support Canada’s transition to net-zero emissions, and help drive national prosperity for decades to come.”
Since 2019, WEST has brought together rural and urban municipal leaders from Canada’s four western provinces to address the economic challenges facing western communities. With this report, the taskforce is proposing concrete solutions that would help support western communities and the industries they rely on. WEST’s final report outlines recommendations that would have both an immediate and long-term impact, including:
- Establishing national utility corridors pre-approved for the development of transportation, energy and telecommunications infrastructure;
- Improving federal impact assessments to improve municipalities’ ability to participate in federal reviews, as well as increase consultation with Indigenous communities;
- Improving rail safety with increased funding to enable municipalities to comply with federal regulations, and;
- Supporting energy communities as part of the ‘just transition’ to net-zero GHG emissions.
“Every region of this country must play a meaningful role in shaping our shared future,” said Goulden. “Canada works best when everyone has real opportunities to thrive. The path forward must include consensus-building and meaningful partnership with Indigenous communities that contributes to justice and reconciliation. We all have a stake in ensuring a bright economic future for western communities—and for the people who proudly call them home.”
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Western Economic Solutions Taskforce (WEST) unites municipal leaders from western communities of all sizes. FCM is the national voice of municipal governments, with more than 2,000 members representing more than 90 per cent of Canadians.