Canada's big city mayors gathered in Ottawa today to outline their priorities for the upcoming federal budget. While Budget 2017 offered game-changing infrastructure investments, mayors met with senior cabinet ministers to outline the critical steps needed to turn those investment opportunities into real outcomes for Canadians.
ʺAs the order of government closest to people's lives, we're focussed on real outcomes -including economic growth, affordable housing, faster commutes and reducing GHG emissions, to deliver the quality of life Canadians deserve," said Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson, chair of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' (FCM) Big City Mayors' Caucus (BCMC).
In their meeting with Minister of Finance Bill Morneau, the mayors pressed on how Budget 2018 must support smart design and delivery decisions that empower cities to move on national priorities like cannabis legalization and affordable housing.
"Ottawa can't wait another year to flow dollars for social housing repair or to start replacing baseline funding for social housing-otherwise homes will be lost," said Iveson. "To get results now, they should start in Budget 2018.
"Mayors also met with Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Amarjeet Sohi, on the ongoing Integrated Bilateral Agreement (IBA) negotiations. Cities are looking for signals through the IBAs and Budget 2018 for full and fair cost-sharing to move transit and other projects forward along with significant Green Infrastructure funding for locally-identified priorities.
"Cities are ready to deliver," said Iveson. "And with the right program design and a balanced, federal-provincial-municipal partnership, the federal infrastructure plan is set to transform our cities and build a more liveable and competitive Canada."
The agenda also includes meetings with Minister of Health Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Jean-Yves Duclos and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Adam Vaughan, to reinforce the importance of federal-municipal collaboration on the opioids crisis, homelessness, mental health and other growing pressures on cities.
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities' Big City Mayors' Caucus (BCMC) is the voice of 22 of Canada's biggest cities. FCM is the national voice of municipal governments, with nearly 2,000 members representing more than 90 per cent of the Canadian population.
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FCM Media Relations, (613) 907-6395, firstname.lastname@example.org