On January 20th, Canada’s big-city mayors urged Prime Minister Trudeau to use his government’s next budget to launch a new era of public transit and to tackle Canada’s housing affordability crisis head-on.
“Our discussion with the Prime Minister today focused on the budget — as really a once-in-a-generation opportunity both to expand transit and to fix the housing crisis,” said Don Iveson, Mayor of Edmonton and chair of FCM’s Big-City Mayors’ Caucus (BCMC).
Nearly a quarter of Canada’s largest infrastructure projects are in the transit sector and comprise nearly $50 billion in capital as captured by ReNew Canada’s Top 100: Canada’s Biggest Infrastructure Projects.
In budget recommendations submitted on Monday, the mayors outlined the funding mechanisms that will ensure major transit expansions move forward — shortening commutes, easing gridlock, reducing emissions, and boosting productivity.
“This government put unprecedented money on the table for transit, green, and social infrastructure. And with the right mechanisms in place, cities are ready to turn transit and green investment into big outcomes for Canadians,” said Iveson.
Friday’s BCMC agenda also included a panel discussion with six housing stakeholder organizations from across Canada, as well as discussion on the fentanyl public health crisis. Later, the mayors will review their full Budget 2017 recommendations with senior Infrastructure Canada officials and Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Intergovernmental Affairs.
“Canada’s big cities are hubs of innovation, and our local solutions drive progress on national challenges. More than ever, city-building is nation-building, and it’s heartening to see our Prime Minister share that broad vision,” Iveson further commented.
Brought together by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the Big-City Mayors’ Caucus brought together 22 of Canada’s largest cities to provide feedback to the Prime Minister on federal investment in Canadian municipalities.