Big City Mayors - Improve federal-municipal relationship and the lives of all Canadians
KITCHENER – City of Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic, along with Big City Mayors from across Canada, met today in Ottawa with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Finance Minister Bill Morneau, and other key Ministers to discuss challenges faced by Canada's largest urban centres.
Key amongst those issues which were discussed are:
• modernizing the federal-municipal relationship to get things done for Canadians;
• a permanent funding mechanism for public transit;
• getting the National Housing Strategy investments into communities quickly, and;
• empowering municipalities to build resiliency in the face of climate change.
“We know that we can achieve the best possible results for our residents when all orders of government work together on behalf of all Canadians,” said Mayor Vrbanovic. “Canada’s big cities deal with many of our biggest challenges locally, including, infrastructure renewal, the need for greater public transit as a driver of economic growth, and affordable housing. Canada’s Big City Mayors see a modernized relationship with a new federal-municipal intergovernmental forum going a long way to better deal with these issues and increase the quality of life for all the citizens we collectively represent.”
The strong federal-municipal collaboration which we have developed to date with this government has made progress on significant funding investments to tackle national challenges and support municipalities. However, municipalities are looking for increased and long-term funding certainty so they can continuously plan to build great and affordable cities for the future.
“The federal funds announced to date were significant and greatly appreciated,” said Mayor Vrbanovic. “But we need to build on these successes by making the public transit fund permanent, and ensuring the National Housing Strategy is accessible and leverages municipal expertise. These additional investments would help local government move people more efficiently, plan for economic and population growth, and make housing affordable.”
Disasters like flooding, ice storms and forest fires are increasing, and have very real and unfortunate human and financial costs. Mayors are looking for a $2 billion increase in the Disaster Mitigation Fund to reduce the risks of climate change.
“We are seeing an increase in and greater severity of natural disasters across Canada due to climate change,” said Mayor Vrbanovic. “While the City of Kitchener is trying to tackle and mitigate some effects of climate change locally through our stormwater investments, we know that local taxpayers and ratepayers can’t shoulder the climate change burden alone. We need increased investments from higher orders of government to support municipalities, and reduce the risks of loss of life and property damage.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau And Mayor Berry Vrbanovic
Big City Mayors Meet In Ottawa