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(Friday, October 29, 2004)
— The Atlantic Mayors’ Congress is meeting in Halifax
Regional Municipality this weekend to tackle common issues ranging
from the New Deal for Cities and Communities and foreign overfishing
to immigration and affordable housing.
“The Congress applauds the federal government’s commitment to cities and communities, particularly its promise to work with the provinces to transfer a portion of the federal gas tax to municipalities,”said Mayor Peter Kelly, founder and chair of the Atlantic Mayors’ Congress. “Across Canada we’re seeing the Provinces come on side and we’d like to see the provincial governments in Atlantic Canada support the New Deal by the end of this year.”
Infrastructure and Communities Minister John Godfrey and Federation of Canadian Municipalities President Ann MacLean will join Mayors from Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Newfoundland to discuss the New Deal today.
Fisheries and Oceans Minister Geoff Regan will highlight this year's progress of Canada's two-pronged enforcement and diplomatic approach to curb overfishing in Atlantic Canada. He will also outline future Canadian initiatives to ensure that the world community treats the conservation and rebuilding of global fish stocks as an international priority.
The Congress will meet with provincial Community Services Minister David Morse to talk about some tough issues, including affordable housing and homelessness.
“Across Atlantic Canada, communities of all sizes are facing stagnant income levels for the majority of the population, a growing income gap, declining levels of social support, and problems with housing affordability,” said Mayor Kelly. “Likewise, our communities are struggling to address the many emerging and diverse aspects of homelessness.”
On Saturday, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Judy Sgro will join the Congress for a tour of Pier 21 and discuss improving immigration in Atlantic Canada. The Atlantic provinces lag behind the rest of Canada when it comes to attracting, integrating and retaining immigrants.
The Atlantic Mayors’ Congress represents 16 Mayors from Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, who meet bi-annually to discuss common issues, particularly in dealings with the federal and provincial governments.
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