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​​ Green Party of Canada

On September 1, Metro Vancouver sent letters to Canada’s four largest political parties with the six questions you will see on this website. Responses have been requested by September 10.

 Letter to Green Party of Canada


​Investments in Critical Infrastructure

If elected, will your party provide predictable, equitable cost-sharing on critical infrastructure projects to meet the needs of a growing population in Metro Vancouver?

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    From public transit to bridges and ports, to clean water, waste management, parks and housing, infrastructure projects connect our communities, provide the foundations for a strong and resilient economy, and build the future of our country.

    As we plan for the future, we must take into consideration the need for expanded core utility services and regional services to respond to new growth. Our country and region are dependent on healthy, functioning ecosystems and require actions to reduce pollutants, including greenhouse gases, to prevent waste and to conserve our natural ecosystems. We must also maintain and replace critical regional infrastructure to meet current and future service needs and to be resilient to the effects of climate change and natural disasters, including impacts from severe weather events and flooding, wildfires, power failures and seismic events.

    Federal funding programs do exist and are helping local governments build, maintain and upgrade critical infrastructure. However, these programs often have inconsistent criteria and timelines, which can change dramatically whenever there is a change in government. This uncertainty undermines long-term planning and often results in delays and cost increases to essential projects. Investments in community infrastructure will create a more equitable, inclusive and prosperous Canada.

  • Response 

    Yes. The Green Party of Canada’s Platform 21 is built on three key pillars (Green Future, Life with Dignity, and Just Society) that mirror the foundation of Metro Vancouver’s need for critical infrastructure projects to meet the needs of its growing population.

    Specific commitments we have made regarding predictable, equitable cost-sharing include:

    • Institutionalizing federal transfers to municipalities through the creation of a Municipal Fund, renaming the Gas Tax funds, which were delinked from gas revenue years ago, and retaining the same eligibility as the Gas Tax funds;
    • Ensuring a permanent doubling of current funding to municipalities;
    • Answering the call to create a permanent, dedicated federal public transit fund of $3.4 billion annually starting in 2026-2027, once the existing transit program expires;
    • Committing to a multi-year solution to transit operating shortfalls in order to protect and secure shared investments in building out Canada’s transit networks for decades to come.


If elected, will your party commit to cost-sharing of a third each ($250 million) between all orders of government for Phase 1 ($750 million) of Metro Vancouver’s Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant?

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    Metro Vancouver is advancing one of Canada’s most dynamic and transformative urban sustainability programs – the Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant. This state-of-the-art wastewater treatment and resource recovery facility will respond to a federally regulated requirement for providing enhanced treatment technology. This innovative project will protect the health and well-being of people, wildlife and ecosystems while enhancing seismic and climate resiliency. The first phase of the program begins in 2021, with a budget of $750 million over the next five years.

    Metro Vancouver is engaging 14 First Nations on the new plant, working closely with the Musqueam Indian Band due to the proximity of the site to their primary reserve lands – directly across the Fraser River – and their strong connections to Iona Island.

    It is critical that the federal government support local governments in reaching regulatory compliance in order to maintain affordability at the household level and to ensure this critical project moves forward without delay.

  • Response 

    Committing to cost-sharing in Phase 1 of Metro Vancouver’s Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant (WTP) is something that lines up with the Green Party of Canada’s commitment to Green Infrastructure, specifically supporting agencies and institutions working to create innovative, efficient and cost-effective programs for green retrofits. As noted above, Platform 21 specifies examples of how funding to municipalities can be expanded. A Green government further supports the use of city charters to give greater autonomy to cities, recognizing that such autonomy is critical for the development and advancement of ideas such as the Iona Island WTP. Cities deserve more than the 10% of tax revenue that is collected within their boundaries by all 3 levels of government. A Green government will both support negotiations between cities that are seeking charter status and their provincial governments. Once completed, we will bring to Parliament a “single-province” constitutional amendment that codifies the increase in funding and the Gindependence of those cities.

Climate Resiliency

If elected, will your party fund green infrastructure projects that prioritize emissions reductions and resiliency to climate change?

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    Metro Vancouver is already experiencing the impacts of climate change. Unprecedented wildfire activity in western North America has resulted in a record-breaking number of air quality advisories over the past several years, and this year alone we have experienced extraordinarily damaging heat waves and wildfires. It is expected that these smoky skies will continue, along with drier, hotter summers and warmer, wetter winters. These seasonal changes in weather patterns will result in extended drought periods, an increase in rainfall intensity and a one-metre rise in sea level by 2100. This level of environmental change will significantly impact the quality of life in the region and have severe financial impacts for residents, businesses and governments if we don’t prepare. It is absolutely essential to ensure that Metro Vancouver’s infrastructure is resilient to the changing climate and other potential disasters.

    Metro Vancouver is in the process of implementing a regional climate strategy—Climate 2050—that will guide climate change policy and action in the region for the next 30 years. Metro Vancouver’s Board also committed to being a carbon neutral region by 2050. Despite this progress, actions must be accelerated to reduce our impacts on global climate change, to protect public health and the environment and to adapt to the anticipated impacts from a changing climate.

  • Response

    Yes. The Green Party of Canada will fund green infrastructure projects that prioritize emissions reductions and resiliency to climate change. Measures include:

    • Supporting the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ request for rapidly scaled up funding through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF) to support climate resilience projects critically needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
    • Development of a national renewable energy electricity grid
    • Creation and implementation of a national green retrofit of existing residential, commercial, institutional and industrial buildings;
    • Changing the national building code to require that all new construction and major renovations to older buildings meet net-zero standards by 2030;
    • Undertaking a green retrofit of all federal government buildings, including government agencies;
    • Investing in state-of-the-art assessment of climate change impact risks and planning with associated disaster management measures.

If elected, will your party expand funding for natural infrastructure to support access to nature, environmental preservation and restoration, and climate mitigation?

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    Protecting and enhancing natural areas and their connectivity will be essential in helping species and ecosystems adapt to climate change. Metro Vancouver is a region with a rich and diverse natural environment that provides important ecosystem services including clean air and water, pollination, flood control and cooling of urban areas. Furthermore, many aspects of the region’s ecosystems hold cultural significance to First Nations, and healthy ecosystems provide the basis for local food security and prosperity for us all. Soil, forests, wetlands, and other ecosystems also contribute to the regulation of the global climate by removing and storing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Protecting and enhancing parks, natural spaces and ecosystems will be essential to environmental preservation and restoration, and will help communities mitigate the impacts of climate change.

  • Response

    Yes. As noted above, the Green Party of Canada would increase funding for the DMAF to support climate resilience projects including wildfire mitigation activities, rehabilitation of storm water systems, and restoration of wetlands, shorelines, and other natural infrastructure.

Affordable Housing

If elected, will your party maintain and expand the National Housing Strategy program, and ensure greater flexibility and streamlined access to federal funding for housing?

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    Housing affordability is an essential part of creating a more inclusive, equitable and prosperous future for the region, and for Canada. With approximately 10,000 people on the BC Housing waitlist and a growing population, Metro Vancouver estimates it will need more than 5,500 new rental units every year for the next 10 years in order to meet critical demand for affordable housing across the region. This includes lower-end market housing, subsidized housing and social housing. But the region can’t do it alone. Improving affordability requires actions and partnerships with all orders of government.

    The National Housing Strategy has been a significant step towards addressing the housing affordability crisis felt acutely in Metro Vancouver, but more can be done to build up supply.

  • Response

    Yes. Affordable Housing is a critical aspect of allowing Canadians to live a Life with dignity. The Green Party of Canada is committed to making the right to adequate housing a reality by:

    • Declaring housing affordability and homelessness a national emergency;
    • Redefining affordable housing using a better, updated formula, that accounts for regional variations; and
    • Immediately appointing the Federal Housing Advocate, as established in the National Housing Strategy Act.

    Platform 21 further addresses the intrinsically related issues of:

    • Support for renters;
    • Investment in housing;
    • Ensuring access to housing for Indigenous Peoples;
    • Confronting youth homelessness and unaffordable housing; and
    • Providing services and supports to they homeless community, like expanded mental health services and direct funding to municipalities for supporting people in the homeless community who use drugs.

If elected, will your party increase the size and availability of the CMHC’s grant programs in order to support major sustainability upgrades in existing and new housing, as well as the development and preservation of affordable rental housing?

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    Metro Vancouver Housing provides safe and affordable rental homes to more than 9,400 people on 49 sites across the region. Many of these housing sites were built with the help of previous federal government funding programs.

    The current Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) programming, under the National Housing Strategy, prioritizes low-interest loans over grants for affordable housing. While these loans are important for financing projects, they force housing providers to allocate revenue to repay loans instead of investing in new affordable housing.

    Grants would reduce the risk taken on by housing providers and would let them provide more affordable housing at a much faster pace—something desperately needed in the Metro Vancouver region if we are to address housing affordability.

    Without an expedited building of affordable units in Metro Vancouver the prosperity, economy and livability will be severely impacted.

  • Response

    The Green Party of Canada’s approach to Investment in housing is very much aligned with this approach to expediting building of affordable units in Metro Vancouver. With regards to the CMHC programs in particular, a Green Government would re-focus the core mandate of the CMHC on supporting the development of affordable, non-market and cooperative housing, as opposed to its current priority of supporting Canadian lenders to de-risk investment in housing ownership. This shift will enable the CMHC to focus most of its attention entirely on rental housing, something we think is long overdue.