10/15/2015 05:05 EDT | Updated 10/15/2016 05:12 EDT

3 Easy Steps to Voting for Your Hometown in This Federal Election

Elections Canada

They say all politics are local. Nothing could be truer about this election.

This campaign did not begin 10 weeks ago, it began nearly one-year ago when 2000 municipal leaders came together and made a united call for a new approach. A new era of cooperation between all orders of government focused on our most pressing challenges: jobs, the economy, our quality of life

We did this because strong municipalities are the foundation of a strong economy. As I have previously argued in this space, imagine a discussion of the economy that does not touch on where you live, where you work, where you shop, where you invest in a home, in an education, where your kids grow up. It's just not possible.

The truth is hometown issues are Canadian issues. And so we challenged federal parties to partner with us on a range of priorities. Yes we pushed for transit, infrastructure and housing. We focused on building the economy and improving quality of life in all corners of the country. This means having livable, safe and sustainable communities. It means expanding broadband to rural and remote communities to promote global connections. We have made it clear that clean water should not be a challenge for any community in Canada, and outlined how the cost of updating clean water infrastructure to meet new federal requirements can't be addressed by local taxpayers alone. We've called on federal parties to work with us as partners on these issues.

We have witnessed historic progress from all parties on many of these key issues. We've seen commitments to expand access to broadband in rural and remote communities. Federal parties now get that investments in areas such as broadband, municipal infrastructure and public transit are about building a strong economy. This is a real win for Canadians.

Housing is a priority for communities of all sizes and we've seen some meaningful progress. But there is more work to do to secure firm, detailed commitments from all parties. Unfortunately, on clean water, the commitments so far are vague and uncertain.

There is enough time left for all parties to finalize their pitch to partner with municipalities on building a strong economy and improving quality of life for Canadians. But for voters, with days left in the campaign, the time has come for you to decide how to cast your vote.

As the president of FCM, representing nearly 90 percent of the municipal population, it is not my role to tell Canadians WHO to vote for, that decision is up to each and everyone one of us. But I am going to suggest what to vote for: Vote for your municipality.

FCM has given you the tools to make this decision. Here are three simple questions:

1. Where does your candidate stand on the issues that affect you most, whether that is clean water, affordable housing or transit? Go to our policy tracker to find out

2. Did your candidate sign the Canadian Municipal commitment?

3. Did your candidate show up at your local all candidates debate?

I strongly encourage Canadians to carefully consider these questions and to vote for the candidate you think will be the best partner for your municipality. When you vote for your hometown, you are electing a more prosperous and more livable future for you and your family.

Vote for your municipality, but above all else, make sure you vote. Local issues matter in federal elections, and you now have the tools to make a decision which will benefit where you live.


Canada Election: 31 Swing Ridings