Liberal Party of CanadaLiberal Party of Canada,

​​​​​ Liberal 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.


​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 

    The infrastructure we build today will last decades, to 2050 and beyond. Every project we build—whether a water treatment facility, public transit project, or community rec centre—has to reduce pollution and be built to be resilient to the impact of climate change such as flooding, fires, coastal erosion, and extreme heat.

    In the last mandate, our Liberal government doubled the Canada Community-Building Fund (aka the Gas-Tax Fund) to a total of $4.4 billion to support municipalities and First Nations communities directly with infrastructure priorities. Earlier this year, we established a permanent public transit fund of $3 billion per year, beginning in 2026-27, so that municipalities and transit authorities can count on the type of permanent and stable source of funding essential to careful and long-term project planning and delivery.

    A re-elected Liberal government will continue to work with all levels of government and move forward on building climate-ready infrastructure to serve growing urban centres, including residents of Metro Vancouver. One of the tools we will create is open-access climate toolkits to help infrastructure owners and investors develop projects that ensure Canada is on the path to a net-zero emissions and resilient future - building on our existing climate lens requirement for federally funded infrastructure projects.


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 

    Water, wastewater, and storm water infrastructure is essential to keeping our waterways clean and our communities healthy and livable. Our Liberal government previously allocated over $225 million to the province of British Columbia through the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF) so BC families can count on having clean and reliable drinking water and wastewater services. This included providing nearly $6 million to the Vancouver South Sewer Separation Project. A re-elected Liberal government will continue to work with municipalities in Metro Vancouver to ensure communities have the wastewater treatment infrastructure they need to be healthy and liveable.

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

    The Liberal Party is the only party with a credible, costed, and ambitious plan that tackles climate change, and seizes the opportunities of the green economy and positions Canada for long-term economic growth. In addition to providing essential services, infrastructure projects generate hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions in economic benefits. Building green infrastructure projects is the key component of our climate action plan, and to our economic recovery.

    One key area of investment will be in public transition, particularly in electrification, which are critical to Canada’s meeting its climate targets, as the transportation sector accounts for about 25% of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions.

    That is why our Liberal government established a permanent public transit fund and is working with all orders of government to get the most out of investment in public transit. We also previously invested $2.75 billion over five years through the Zero Emissions Bus Fund to enhance public transit systems by switching over to cleaner, electrical power.

    Canada also has one of the cleanest power grids in the world – and a re-elected Liberal government will partner with provinces and territories to develop a truly national power grid that will secure affordable and net-zero power for all Canadians and create good jobs in the process.

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

    To protect and conserve nature across the country, the Liberal government made the two single-largest investments in nature conservation in Canadian history— $1.3 billion in Budget 2018 and $3.3 billion in Budget 2021—which will allow us to protect a quarter of our lands and marine areas by 2025.

    A re-elected Liberal government will fulfill the Budget 2021 commitment of providing a $1.4-billion top-up to the Disaster Mitigation and Adaption Fund to support projects such as wildfire mitigation activities, rehabilitation of storm water systems, and restoration of wetlands and shorelines.

    We also invested $200 million in a new, first-of-its-kind Natural Infrastructure Fund earlier this year, and a re-elected Liberal government will invest an additional $200 million to support projects that use natural or hybrid approaches to protect the natural environment, support healthy and resilient communities, contribute to economic growth, and improve access to nature for Canadians.

    Lastly, we recognize that Indigenous peoples have stewarded these lands and waters since time immemorial. That’s why we will continue to work with First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners to support new Indigenous Guardians programs and establish new Indigenous Guardians Networks, as well as support Indigenous communities to build capacity to establish more Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas.

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

    The Liberal government created Canada’s National Housing Strategy – an ambitious ten-year plan to invest over $72 billion to build supply, make housing affordable, and address chronic homelessness. Between 2015 and 2019, under the National Housing Strategy, we have invested over $1.6 billion in British Columbia, supporting 11,700 new units, 7,500 repaired units, and helped 84,000 families or individuals secure a more affordable place to live.

    A re-elected Liberal government, among other initiatives, will invest $4 billion in a new Housing Accelerator Fund to grow annual housing supply in the country’s largest cities every year, creating a target of 100,000 new middle-class homes by 2024-25. This applications-based fund will offer support to municipalities that: grow housing supply faster than their historical average, increase densification, speed-up approval times, tackle NIMBYism and establish inclusionary zoning bylaws, and encourage public transit-oriented development

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

    Strong action is needed to help Canadians protect their homes and communities from the impacts of climate change. A re-elected Liberal government will expand the eligibility requirements of the CMHC deep home retrofit program and Canada Greener Home Grants to include more climate resilience measures.

    We will also permanently increase funding to the National Housing Co-Investment Fund by a total of $2.7 billion over 4 years. In other words, we are more than doubling its current allocation. These extra funds will help build and preserve more affordable units, extend co-op housing to new communities, accelerate critical repairs to preserve housing supply, and develop projects for vulnerable groups.