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Mayor Kelly Named to Several Big City Mayors’ Caucus Sub-Committees
(TORONTO, Friday, November
5/2004) — Mayor Peter Kelly has been asked to chair the Security
and Emergency Preparedness sub-committee of the Big City Mayors’
Caucus (BCMC) following a meeting here today.
Mayor Kelly, who serves as a member of the BCMC sub-committee on proposed Gas Tax revenues for municipalities, has also been appointed a member of the Immigration Strategy sub-committee.
“Halifax Regional Municipality has been recognized by Prime Minister Paul Martin and the Senate Committee on Emergency Preparedness as the model for public emergency and natural disaster response in Canada, “ said Mayor Kelly. “So, naturally, we are both pleased and honoured to offer our expertise to assist the Big City Mayors’ Caucus to develop a position paper and strategy to present to the federal government.”
During discussions last evening and today at the BCMC sessions, Mayor Kelly brought the Atlantic Region perspective to talk on a number of issues, such as new sources of revenue for municipalities, affordable housing programs, and the need for a more effective national immigration strategy.
The Atlantic Mayors’ Congress, which was founded and is chaired by Mayor Kelly, voted unanimously at a meeting in Halifax last week to organize a regional conference on immigration next spring in hopes of developing an Atlantic strategy to encourage more immigration, and retain greater numbers, for the Atlantic provinces.
He said “Communities in Atlantic Canada have much to offer immigrants to Canada. However, we have to develop better programs to encourage newcomers to the region to remain here, to raise their families, to start new businesses and to be embraced as good citizens of our community.”
Members of the BCMC (Mayors of the 22 largest cities in Canada) met with Infrastructure and Communities Minister John Godfrey in Toronto this morning to discuss a distribution process for the transfer of a portion of the federal share of the Gas Tax to Canadian municipalities.
Mayor Kelly said the discussions were helpful and the BCMC Gas Tax sub-committee hopes to finalize a formula for distribution of the new revenues to cities and communities (through their respective provincial governments) and recommend it to Minister Godfrey in the near future. At its peak, the Gas Tax revenue could mean between $25 million and $35 million annually to HRM.
The Big City Mayors’ Caucus also agreed today to work closely with the federal government to develop a new national housing strategy and to help get more money flowing to create more affordable housing across Canada.
(Note to Editors: Mayor Kelly’s flight is scheduled to arrive at Halifax International Airport at approximately 5 p.m. this afternoon. He will be available by cell phone (222-9999) for interviews with the media at that time. Thank you)
Mayor Peter Kelly
Chair, Atlantic Mayors Congress
Corporate Communications Officer
Halifax Regional Municipality