On July 28th, the Government of Canada announced the National Active Transportation Strategy. Chair Anders Swanson was there for the monumental announcement that was made possible by years of advocacy of our members, our sponsors, National Summit attendees and countless partner organizations across the country. If you missed the announcement that featured The Honourable Catherine McKenna (Minister of Infrastructure and Communities), Andy Filmore (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and many others, watch it now. Note the start point is 18 minutes in, and you will need tissues.
The application portal and supporting Hub are not yet live, but the application guide is now available. Of note, based on the feedback obtained during the Vélo Canada Bikes Regional Stakeholder Roundtables earlier this year, planning and programming have been included. There are also opportunities for non-profit organizations to apply, but must be supported by either a municipality, region, provincial or territorial entity, etc.
So what can advocacy organizations do? Our role now should be helping municipalities strategically towards a vision for their projects. Cities and towns across Canada will have varying levels of capacity and knowledge, with very differing levels of existing infrastructure. When in doubt, you can refer planners back to the National Active Transportation Strategy. The hub, once live, will be a place to discuss ideas, share best practices, ask questions, seek guidance. This is a public portal, so visit often and participate!
Again, thank you to all of our partners, members, sponsors, summit attendees, board members both past and present, our executive directors (past and present) and collaborators for helping us reach this pinnacle. The real work now begins!