Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson officially took over as the new chair of Canada’s Big City Mayors’ Caucus (BCMC) after the group met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa on Friday.
The organization is made up of 21 Canadian mayors within the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), who push the agenda of the country’s major urban centres.
Iveson first revealed he was set to become the group’s chair in a Facebook post on Dec. 16, 2015.
Edmonton’s mayor succeeds Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson who chaired Friday’s BCMC meeting for the final time.
The big city mayors met with Prime Minister Trudeau on Friday to advocate for urban issues. The meeting came a day after the mayors met with Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi in the nation’s capital.
“What we saw at this meeting was the federal government’s commitment to work with us as partners on issues that are critical to Canadian families like affordable housing, green infrastructure and public transit; especially through Canada’s economic downturn,” Iveson said in a release on Friday. “We are encouraged about the opportunities to work together to solve national challenges and make a concrete difference for Canadians.”
During the most recent federal election campaign, the BCMC called on candidates to invest money to address some key concerns facing larger cities including transit, infrastructure and affordable housing.
More recently, the group has pushed for a national plan to coordinate the response to the resettlement of Syrian refugees.
The BCMC meets two or three times a year to discuss challenges the mayors have in common and to look at how to advance the policy agenda set by the FCM’s National Board of Directors.
Iveson will chair the BCMC for the next two years.
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