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Edmonton mayor wants more federal funding to battle homelessness

Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson meets with the federal NDP caucus on behalf of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Thursday, September 11, 2014.
Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson meets with the federal NDP caucus on behalf of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Thursday, September 11, 2014. Dave Carels, Global News

EDMONTON – Mayor Don Iveson covered a gamut of issues during a meeting with the federal NDP caucus.

Among the priorities for Edmonton’s mayor is more funding to deal with housing and homelessness, especially after the federal government has slowly backed away from a promised $1.7 billion in housing funding, he said.

“We’d like to see that stabilized and then have a conversation nationally about the need for subsidized housing in this country for people who are on the margins.”

Iveson said there are 10,000 housing units in Edmonton that are at risk over the next 10 to 20 years.

Read More: Can orange be the new blue? NDP push for progress in Tory-dominated Alberta

Funding for transit was another topic Iveson discussed during his pitch to the federal party.

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He would like the city to build $5 billion worth of transit projects in Edmonton over the next two decades, but requires more federal money to make that a reality.

Iveson said municipalities receiving an increased share of gas tax revenue would be a solution.

“Additional funding is required, specific I think to our large cities, to deal with transit.”

Read More: Alberta’s premier-designate meets with big city mayors

It’s the second time this summer Edmonton’s mayor has met with a federal party on behalf of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, having met with the federal Liberal caucus last month.

With two-thirds of Canadians living in Canada’s 22 largest cities, Iveson said it will be important for federal parties to win over support in the major centres.

“The more and more the country urbanizes, the more inevitable it becomes for that any governing party will have to respond to urban needs and urban priorities.”

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