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Mayor Kelly to Press for Support from Federal Candidates
(Wednesday, May 26/2004)--Mayor Peter Kelly will be in Edmonton on Thursday, May 27th, along with the Mayors of Canada's 21 other largest cities, attending a one- day Big City Mayors' Caucus.
The Caucus is being held prior to the 67th Annual Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Conference.
The focus of the Mayors' Caucus will centre around discussions on strategies aimed at ensuring a New Deal for Canada's cities. Mayor Kelly plans to add his voice in a strong lobby for support from the Big City Mayors , in urging all Federal parties to consider allowing a "seat at the table" for cities, when developing policies and programs which affect urban centres, and making it a major issue in the upcoming federal election campaign.
"We have talked about getting a New Deal long enough", says Mayor Kelly, "and now the timing is right to ensure some action on the eve of a federal election." He added, "Canadian municipalities face a $60 billion infrastructure deficit and lack the fiscal resources and autonomy to meet our growing responsibilities. A New Deal has to provide Canada's cities with the means to address local priorities, meet provincially defined responsibilities while supporting the attainment of national objectives."
The Big City Mayors' Caucus Agenda will include sessions on a variety of other topics as well as the opportunity to discuss urban issues in general but again will focus primarily on getting a New Deal for Canadian Cities. The Mayors will also be meeting with the Honourable Michael Harcourt, Chair of the federal Advisory Committee on Cities and Communities and Chair of the International Centre for Sustainable Cities. The federal Minister of Citizenship & Immigration, Judy Sgro, who authored the Urban Task Force report, will also sit down with the Big City Mayors. Prime Minister Paul Martin is expected to attend the FCM Conference later in the week.
The 22 Big City Mayors will next meet in Montreal from June 9th to 11th, 2004 to participate in the National Forum on Economic Growth of Big Cities in Canada.
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Mayor Peter Kelly
Halifax Regional Municipality