Metro Vancouver applauds the federal government's ongoing commitment to supporting people, businesses and those who are most vulnerable to the continuing effects of the COVID-19 health crisis, as outlined in the 2021 budget."The pandemic has exacerbated vulnerabilities in our systems and placed an unacceptable and disproportionate burden on those who can least afford it, including racialized people, youth, new Canadians and women," said Sav Dhaliwal, Chair of Metro Vancouver's Board of Directors. "The Government of Canada has clearly signaled its commitment to addressing issues like climate change, social equity, reconciliation, affordable housing, and the environment as we work together to set our region up for success in the digital economy."Expanding financial supports will provide desperately needed ongoing relief for a majority of the population, coast to coast, that grapples with personal, health, job and other pandemic-related challenges every day.Focusing on climate change and mitigating its profound impacts obviously benefits all of society, and Metro Vancouver values the federal government's attention to climate adaptation, resiliency and the transition to a greener economy, including job creation."We are at a critical juncture in setting the foundation for economic recovery and sustained growth after the pandemic is over. The priorities of Metro Vancouver, the Government of Canada and the Government of B.C. are perfectly aligned to effectively collaborate on the complex issues and opportunities facing our region and our country in pursuit of a healthier, more equitable, greener, and more prosperous future," said Dhaliwal.Metro Vancouver is well-positioned to play a leadership role in supporting B.C.'s economic recovery through strategic co-investments in sustainable infrastructure projects.In its pre-budget submission, Metro Vancouver urged the federal government to make investments in green infrastructure that will fuel COVID-19 recovery. The regional district anticipates investments of more than $6 billion in critical projects over the next five years to build, maintain and upgrade the infrastructure that underlies the prosperity, resiliency and livability of the region. One such project is the Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant, which will be built to replace an existing primary-level treatment plant in Richmond with a completion date of 2030. This dynamic and transformative project will protect the health and well-being of people, wildlife and ecosystems, enhance climate and seismic resiliency, maximize energy and resource recovery, and make a significant impact in reducing Metro Vancouver's greenhouse gas emissions while creating thousands of family supporting jobs.The federal government's March 2021 proposal of a one-time investment of $2.2 billion to address infrastructure priorities in municipalities acknowledges that core infrastructure like roads, bridges, and water and wastewater plants are the backbone of communities.As one of the largest affordable rental housing providers in the region, Metro Vancouver recognizes the importance of federal investments that address the urgent need for a greater supply of safe and affordable housing. Metro Vancouver has committed $190 million over the next 10 years and is working closely with member local governments to make a meaningful impact on the region's housing needs. Increased federal and provincial government support could further leverage Metro Vancouver Housing's investment and contribute to a significantly increased supply of affordable homes.