KITCHENER – City of Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic, along with Big City Mayors from across Canada, met today in Halifax to discuss how to build on recent progress in the federal-municipal partnership and ensure cities have the right tools to tackle future national challenges.

“We know that city-building is nation-building, and cities are ready to work with the federal government to solve national issues at the local level,” said Mayor Vrbanovic.  “In speaking with my Big City Mayor colleagues from around Canada, we know that the challenges we see locally, such as the opioid crisis and funding for much-needed infrastructure, also occur across Canada.  So working on solutions that partner municipalities with other levels of governments to empower cities with the right tools and resources will go a long way in solving national problems, create vibrant communities, and increase the quality of life across the country.” 

A key part of the mayors’ agenda was hosting Canada’s Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, the Hon. Amarjeet Sohi. During their meeting, Minister Sohi provided the mayors with an update on how the Investing in Canada plan was progressing nation-wide, while the mayors offered feedback on the roll out of local infrastructure projects.

“From the breakthrough National Housing Strategy and the transformative federal infrastructure plan, Canada’s big cities are driving the national agenda and delivering outcomes like never before,” said newly re-elected Big City Mayors’ Caucus (BCMC) chair and Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson. “Today’s meeting was a critical next step for our federal-municipal partnership, not just to help entrench and build on these important gains, but to set our sights on expanding on new tools for cities.”

While the Big City Mayors’ Caucus discussed important ongoing issues like infrastructure and affordable housing, the meeting also turned an eye towards the future.  The Mayors explored, shared and re-imagined the new tools that will be needed by local governments to build tomorrow’s Canada.

“We are using an 18th century property tax tool to solve 21st century problems,” said Mayor Vrbanovic.  “Other cities around the world have access to other tools, like a portion of sales taxes, that allow them to both tackle local and national problems while also creating a stake for municipalities in growing the economy.”

The meeting of FCM’s Big City Mayors Caucus kicked off FCM’s four-day Annual Conference dedicated to exploring, strengthening and re-imagining the tools local governments need to build tomorrow’s Canada.

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. Its Big-City Mayors' Caucus brings together 22 of Canada's largest cities.


For more information please contact:

Paul Grivicic

Chief of Staff

City of Kitchener