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Rural, urban voices crucial for governments to move forward together: Mayor Clark

After the meeting with Trudeau and Freeland, Clark sat down with FCM’s Western Economic Solutions Task Force (WEST), made up of municipal leaders from Western Canada.
After the meeting with Trudeau and Freeland, Clark sat down with FCM’s Western Economic Solutions Task Force (WEST), made up of municipal leaders from Western Canada. File / Global News

Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark says he cut straight to the chase with the prime minister at the inaugural Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) meeting in Ottawa on Thursday.

While there, Clark also participated in a roundtable meeting with Justin Trudeau, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and municipal leaders from across the country.

“The meeting … was an important opportunity to have a frank discussion about how they are understanding the challenges the west is facing right now, how they intend to tackle them, and what the next steps of this government will be in their first 100 days,” Clark said in a press release on Friday.

READ MORE: Scott Moe identifies 3 areas consensus can be achieved at COF table

The conversation included discussion on the federal climate change work, challenges being faced in communities about economic uncertainty and how all three levels of government need to work together.

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After the meeting with Trudeau and Freeland, Clark sat down with FCM’s Western Economic Solutions Task Force (WEST), made up of municipal leaders from Western Canada.

“Given the growing sense of anger and polarization facing our country right now, this task force is an important opportunity to create a forum for local leaders from both rural communities and cities across these provinces to build a shared understanding of the specific economic challenges we are facing in the west,” Clark said in a statement.

Moe says separation will ‘never’ be in best interest of province
Moe says separation will ‘never’ be in best interest of province

Clark believes bringing rural and urban voices together is one of the most important features of the task force.

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A statement from the Saskatoon mayor’s office said the federal election showed many divides that exist within the country, so having a forum like this to build understanding and move forward together is crucial.

He said WEST’s first steps are to build a common understanding of key issues affecting communities, start identifying actions to address them and communicate them to the federal and provincial governments.

READ MORE: Cities send Trudeau a wish list for Liberals’ first 100 days in office

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said there were “very divisive” results on federal election night of Oct. 21, not just in his province and Alberta, but also in other areas of the nation.

For that reason, he said Canada’s 13 premiers are gathering to come to a consensus on some items, including climate change policy, at a Council of the Federation (COF) meeting in Toronto on Dec. 1-2.

“I look forward to meeting with my colleagues to discuss both the opportunities and the challenges facing provinces and territories today,” Moe, who’s chair of COF, said in a press release.

“Our aim is to find ways to work together to achieve shared priorities and address some of the regional concerns in our country.”