Canada’s Big City Mayors stand united ahead of this fall’s federal election, in an effort to modernize the federal-municipal relationship in Canada. This is a vital step to improve Canadians’ quality of life and strengthen the national economy.
“Cities are builders, and when local and federal governments work together directly, we build better lives for Canadians,” said Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson, chair of FCM’s Big City Mayors’ Caucus. “Outdated relationships between orders of government still throttle so much local potential—for less congestion, more affordable housing and truly livable communities. We know there are ways to work together within the framework of Canada’s constitution, and this election is shaping up as an opportunity to take those steps.”
Today’s agenda included in-depth discussions with elected officials and senior staff from Canada’s three largest federal parties. The mayors invited each delegation to showcase their ideas to work more directly with local governments—and to empower them with robust and direct funding tools for transit and core infrastructure.
“Each party clearly recognizes that cities make the most of the tools available to build better lives,” said Iveson. “That’s why we’ve just seen historic multi-year investments in housing and infrastructure. And that’s why Budget 2019 doubled down on working directly with local governments, by doubling this year’s direct Gas Tax Fund transfer for infrastructure. This budget is really the turning point that sets a new standard for this fall’s election.”
The mayors also discussed a variety of challenges stalling progress across Canada’s three orders of government. Mayors know that the inclusion of cities in these national decision-making forums and processes is a catalyst of collaboration and efficiency.
“Cities will not take a back seat. National challenges run straight through local governments, whether that’s legalizing cannabis safely and responsibly or driving economic growth,” added Iveson. “The big city mayors leave today’s meeting united in one goal: to work more closely with the federal government of the day to build better lives for Canadians".
Today’s BCMC meeting kicked off the four-day 2019 Annual Conference of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Themed Building Better Lives, the event has brought 2000+ delegates from across Canada to Quebec City, representing communities of all sizes.
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities is the national voice of municipal governments, with nearly 2,000 members representing more than 90 per cent of the Canadian population. FCM’s Big City Mayors' Caucus brings together 22 of Canada's largest cities.
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