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​​​​ Conservative 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 New Democratic 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 

    New Democrats commit to putting in place a permanent, direct, allocation-based funding mechanism for modern public transit across Canada for the long run. To start off, we will permanently double the Canada Community-Building Fund to help regions like Metro Vancouver meet its transit priorities.

    We will also work with municipalities and provinces to scale up low carbon transit projects like zero-emissions buses and electric trains with the goal of electrifying transit and other municipal fleets by 2030.


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 

    New Democrats also recognize that the work to re-build and expand the Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant has been delayed for years, which has only increased the cost of the project. If elected, New Democrats commit to helping to ensure that there are federal supports to help the region meet the minimum national standards in place for sewage treatment plants. We will work with Metro Vancouver and the province to identify options for managing construction challenges and escalating project costs.

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

    For decades, Liberal and Conservative governments have refused to fix the climate crisis. Justin Trudeau promised to be different—he even marched with young people at the climate march. But he’s failed to deliver climate action. Just like the Conservatives, he’s on track to miss every target he’s ever committed to.

    New Democrats know that when it comes to the climate crisis, it’s about making our priorities clear. We have a bold, ambitious climate plan that will ensure that we meet the climate targets that scientists say we need to avoid catastrophe.

    Our path to a sustainable future starts with eliminating fossil fuel subsidies for profitable oil and gas companies and closing loopholes that let big polluters off the hook. We will re-direct public funding that previously went into subsidies to empower municipalities to prepare for climate risks and build climate resilient infrastructure.

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

    New Democrats will permanently double the Canada Community-Building Fund to provide an extra $2.2 billion a year to municipalities. On top of this federal funding, New Democrats will provide $3 billion for disaster-related infrastructure to help communities proactively adapt their infrastructure to withstand floods, forest fires and other extreme weather events. In addition to building green infrastructure, New Democrats will implement a Nature agenda to invest in natural infrastructure that will include restoring and expanding protections for Canada’s watersheds, investing in forest management, and working with farmers to support biodiversity. We also commit to protecting 30% of our land, freshwater, and oceans by 2030. New Democrats will also launch a 10 year plan to reverse species loss, curb the import and domestic trade of wild animals, and enforce the Species at Risk Act.

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

    Canada is in the midst of a national housing crisis. Metro Vancouver has some of the steepest housing costs in the country. Owning a home is out of reach for many Canadians while renters are paying more than 30 per cent of their monthly income on housing. And, in a country as wealthy as Canada, there is no excuse for allowing Canadians to live in poverty without a secure roof over their heads.

    New Democrats believe that everyone has a right to housing. We will start tackling the housing crisis by creating at least 500,000 units of quality, affordable housing over the next decade. New Democrats will build on the work that Metro Vancouver Housing has done so far by providing a mix of units available: from co-ops, social, and non-profit housing in partnership with municipalities and provinces.

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

    A NDP government will provide up to $5,000 in immediate rental support to Canadians, which will help young people who make up a significant percentage of renters. New Democrats will also make it easier for young people to buy their first home by bringing back 30-year terms to CMHC insured mortgages on entry-level homes that allow young people to make smaller monthly payments.

    New Democrats will also fight money laundering, which drives up housing costs and makes it impossible for young people to afford to buy a home. We will implement a 20% foreign buyer’s tax on the sale of homes for people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents. We will strengthen regulations to close loopholes, establish transparency, and hold corporations and nameless companies accountable.

    A New Democrat government will also implement our plan to end homelessness in Canada within a decade.

    We will also implement a large-scale program to retrofit all home and buildings in Canada by 2050 to prepare communities to become climate resilient as we work towards achieving a sustainable future for all.