Canada’s Big City Mayors meet with Federal Infrastructure Minister (04/02/2016)
The mayors of Canada's largest cities met today with the federal Infrastructure and Communities Minister, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, to discuss how to invest in the future of Canada's cities. The Federation of Canada Municipalities (FCM) invited Mr. Sohi to address its Big City Mayors' Caucus as they gathered in Ottawa to discuss the economy, climate change, and strengthening the municipal-federal partnership.
At the meeting, the mayors of Canada's largest cities held open and productive discussions with Minister Sohi on the upcoming federal budget and how investments in local infrastructure, transit, and housing can bolster the economy.
"We are very encouraged by our discussions with Minister Sohi and appreciate how much the Minister values the role of cities as Canada's economic engines," said Gregor Robertson, Mayor of Vancouver and Chair of the Big City Mayors' Caucus. "Canadians expect all orders of government to work closely together to build urgently needed new affordable housing and transit infrastructure. It is clear that Minister Sohi understands how important that partnership is in making smart and effective infrastructure investments to grow our economy and create thousands of new jobs across Canada."
Canada's future depends on healthy job growth and sustainable economic development built on a foundation of strong local infrastructure. Getting worthy projects moving is an opportunity to create jobs in a period of slower growth. Tackling needed repairs and maintenance now helps build the foundation for longer-term planning — which will also require investments to building capacity for better asset management, and data collection and optimization.
Municipalities own almost 60% of the public infrastructure in Canada including roads, bridges, buildings, and water treatment facilities. Today, job-creating infrastructure projects are ready to go across the country. In rolling out new programs, renewal and repair should factor in as strong priorities. Existing programs can also be streamlined for timely results — recognizing not just municipalities' limited fiscal flexibility but also their proven expertise in assessing local needs and optimal procurement models.
Canada's mayors look forward to continuing and strengthening the close municipal partnership with Minister Sohi and his Cabinet colleagues to create a strong economy for the country and strong communities for Canadian families.