MAYOR BOWMAN TO MEET WITH BIG CITY MAYORS IN OTTAWA

WINNIPEG - Mayor Brian Bowman will join 21 Mayors from across Canada later this week as part of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ (FCM) Big City Mayors’ Caucus meeting in Ottawa and FCM’s Annual Conference and Trade Show.

“I look forward to meeting colleagues from across Canada to discuss issues of shared interest,” said Mayor Brian Bowman.

The Big City Mayors’ Caucus comprises a regionally representative group of FCM member cities.  It meets two to three times a year to discuss shared issues and to reinforce FCM policy and advocacy agenda set by the National Board of Directors.

Big city mayors attending the meeting this week will discuss and receive updates on the next phase of the federal government’s long-term, $81 billion infrastructure program, Canada-U.S relations, as well as the Mayors’ national Taskforce on Opioids.

“Key issues for Winnipeg and Manitoba is to discuss and get an update on the federal government’s plans for their next phase of infrastructure investment,” said Mayor Bowman.

Mayor Bowman emphasized the importance of having strong partners in both the provincial and federal governments to grow Winnipeg and build the city for the future.

“Right now, over half a billion in federal infrastructure dollars remain unallocated in Manitoba. It is critical we learn what the federal government’s plans are for the next round of infrastructure investment, and ensure we work in partnership with the province to ensure Winnipeg receives its fair share,” said Mayor Bowman.

The Mayor said he looked forward to hearing updates on Canada-U.S relations. During an FCM meeting earlier this year, Mayor Bowman highlighted potential challenges that could accompany any new or aggressive trade policies introduced by the Unites States. During his State of the City Address, the Mayor noted that Manitoba conducts over $26 billion in trade with the United States and that it’s estimated almost 250,000 jobs are tied to trade.

“Winnipeg has always been, and continues to be, a trading city,” said Mayor Bowman. “Now that the United States has formally indicated its desire to renegotiate NAFTA, it is even more critical that we leverage existing relationships, at all levels, to ensure trade between our two countries remains open and fair.”

Earlier this month, recommendations to address the opioid crisis were released as a result of the work undertaken by the Mayors’ national Taskforce on Opioids chaired by Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. Mayor Bowman said he looked forward to discussing the taskforce recommendations with federal government officials as well as other Mayors.

“The opioid crisis is having an adverse effect on community and emergency services workers in cities across Canada, and Mayors from Canada’s biggest cities have come together to recommend ways to address it,” said Mayor Bowman.

“I have met and spoken with families here in Winnipeg who have lost loved ones to opioid overdoses, and their main concern has been the availability of treatment options. Without a doubt, a coordinated, pan-Canadian solution is needed, but we also need to continue listening to families and those on the front lines to address any unique challenges this crisis poses in each of our cities,” said Mayor Bowman.

As part of FCM’s Annual General Meeting scheduled for Sunday, June 4th, Winnipeg Councillor Jenny Gerbasi is slated to become the next President of FCM.

“It will be great to have Councillor Gerbasi serve in this leadership role and for Winnipeg to be strongly represented at the national level,” said Mayor Bowman. “I am thrilled Councillor Gerbasi is slated to become the next president of FCM!”

The Big City Mayor’s Caucus meeting and FCM Conference and Trade Show run from June 1 until June 4 in Ottawa. The FCM’s Annual Conference and Trade Show brings together over 1,700 people and is Canada’s largest gathering of municipal officials. Winnipeg hosted last year’s annual conference which ran June 3-5, 2016 at the RBC Convention Centre.

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