FCM’s Big City Mayors’ Caucus meets with senior cabinet ministers to discuss economic and climate solutions (19/10/2016)
The mayors of Canada's big cities met with the federal Ministers of Finance, Environment and Infrastructure today to discuss how cities can help their government deliver on its ambitious green, social and economic agenda. These meetings come at a critical time, as the federal government prepares a significant fall economic update and finalizes key design decisions on Phase 2 of its $60 billion infrastructure program.
"This government needs to partner with cities to ensure that this ambitious investment generates the growth, emissions reductions and quality-of-life outcomes they've promised to Canadians," said Don Iveson, Mayor of Edmonton and Chair of FCM's Big City Mayors' Caucus.
That partnership theme was central to discussions with all three ministers, which included a productive exchange with Minister McKenna about achieving Canada's climate change goals.
"We welcome Canada's ratification of the Paris Agreement as a milestone in the federal government's re-engagement on climate change. I can tell you that cities are ready to help turn the optimism of Paris into concrete action here at home," said Iveson.
With direct or indirect influence over more than half of Canada's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, cities are already modelling some of Canada's most innovative green practices-from district heating to building retrofits to transit. Today, some of the richest potential for reducing GHG emissions lies in scaling up this local innovation.
"With federal investment, cities are ready to move from prototype to production, with major transit expansions and other green infrastructure projects lined up. We have the experience and expertise to do this cost-effectively-and in ways that meet local needs, foster economic growth and build more livable, competitive cities," said Iveson.
The mayors also continued to press for investment to address Canada's affordable housing crisis through a dedicated housing carve-out in the Phase 2 Social Infrastructure Fund.
"Safe, affordable housing is the bedrock of livable cities and takes pressure off other social services-from childcare to health to education. And right now, this government has a window of opportunity to secure the investment that's needed to solve the housing crisis," said Iveson.
Today, mayors underscored their message that nation-building starts in cities. With streamlined investment, cities are ready to move forward on local solutions to national challenges-easing gridlock, creating jobs, reducing GHG emissions, and tackling the housing crisis.
For more information: Pam Foster, Media Relations, email@example.com, 613-907-6298.