WINNIPEG – Mayor Brian Bowman will be traveling to Quebec City later today to participate in the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Annual Conference and Big City Mayors’ Caucus Meetings (BCMC), and to Normandy, France in June to represent Winnipeg at events marking the 75th anniversary of the battle of Normandy.

“The BCMC and FCM meetings provide an excellent opportunity for Mayors and other civic colleagues from across Canada to discuss the many different issues they’re facing locally, and to share and learn from each other,” said Mayor Brian Bowman.

The BCMC 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 a number of items including efforts to modernize the federal-municipal relationship. Specifically, that means working together more directly and efficiently, with modernized tools such as more robust, direct federal transfers for infrastructure and permanent, direct federal investment in public transit.

Mayor Bowman said he looks forward to speaking with Ontario municipal leaders to learn about how they’ve managed unilateral funding reductions to municipalities proposed by the Ontario provincial government.

“It will be good to compare notes with municipal colleagues in Ontario who have had to find ways to manage unilateral funding reductions from their provincial government,” said Mayor Bowman citing the Manitoba provincial government’s unilateral decision to reduce provincial funding support for Winnipeg transit in 2017 and the retroactive funding reduction for road renewal last year.

At the invitation of Joël Bruneau, Mayor of Caen in Normandy, France, Mayor Bowman will also be representing Winnipeg at events planned to mark the 75th Anniversary of the battle of Normandy, June 3-7.

“I am honoured to have received this invitation and for the opportunity to represent Winnipeg at this significant international event,” said Mayor Bowman.

Mayor Bowman noted there are extensive connections between Winnipeg and Normandy. The Royal Winnipeg Rifles, the mass immigration to Winnipeg during and following World War II, Winnipeg’s large francophone community of Saint Boniface, and the shared ideals of increased diversity.

This year, June 6th, marks 75 years since D-Day and the battle of Normandy. Canada was a full partner in the success of the Allied landings in Normandy. Of the nearly 150,000 Allied troops, 14,000 were Canadians. At least 500 Manitobans, many from Winnipeg, were killed during the Battle of Normandy.

“Seventy-five years ago this June, soldiers from all over the world came together to fight to defeat Nazism, and to re-establish freedom,” said Mayor Bowman. “Victory came at an incredible human cost, but that victory, as well as its human cost, binds us as Canadians, as Winnipeggers, as Manitobans. And as Canadians, we should never forget that.”

In between representing Winnipeg in Quebec City and Normandy, Mayor Bowman will participate in Pride Winnipeg’s rally and parade scheduled for Sunday June 2, 2019.