Open letter from the Toronto and Montreal Mayors to Federal Candidates|
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The open letter is provided below. PDF versions of the open letter and an appendix are also available.
The following letter from Toronto Mayor David Miller and Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay was sent to all candidates standing for election and re-election in Toronto and Montreal ridings. The letter outlines the expectations of Canada’s two largest cities in the lead up to the October 14th federal election.
Don Wanagas, Office of Mayor Miller, 416 338-7134, firstname.lastname@example.org
September 25, 2008
On October 14, Canadians will be invited to elect their next federal government. During this important democratic exercise, the vital questions related to urban development must be debated. It is an undeniable fact that cities are the motors of economic, social and cultural development.
Nearly 80 % of the population of Canada lives in metropolitan areas. This is why it is urgent to have answers and to hear your vision of the new partnership to be established with cities in order to breathe life into a new dynamic in the development of Canada.
Three clear and firm commitments need to be taken over the course of this campaign.
First, because the realities facing cities are becoming ever more complex, it is essential to review the roles and responsibilities of the three orders of government and allocate the appropriate financial resources. This must be done in concert with the provinces and territories and with respect for their individual jurisdictions.
Secondly, since Canada is the only G8 country that does not have a national transportation strategy, it is imperative to have a commitment to such a strategy in the current election campaign with a focus on public transit.
Finally, to ensure the growth of our cities, they require access to predictable and permanent sources of revenue that grow with the economy.
While cities have made gains in recent years, it is clear the current model is obsolete. In light of this national issue we are very much looking forward to hearing from you. It is urgent for cities to find sustainable answers, not piecemeal solutions, to major challenges such as the infrastructure deficit and affordable housing which demands a long term solution if we can hope to deal with the problem of homelessness over the next 10 years.
Beyond the priorities shared by all Canadian cities, Toronto and Montréal also share issues that they have already brought to the attention of the federal government and regarding which they are still waiting for clear commitments.
These include the issue of security, where there is a specific need to outlaw the possession of handguns and take appropriate measures against the illegal entry of firearms, particularly handguns into Canada. Similarly, regarding culture, we remind you of the need to amend Bill C-10 to eliminate any measure that would negatively affect the financing of film productions and to review and develop new federal cultural policies and programs to replace those which have recently been cut.
As we await a substantial debate on these questions, we also wish to remind you of several projects concerning our respective cities that you will find described in more detail in the appendix. We have already brought these matters to the attention of the federal government and are anxiously awaiting positive responses regarding these projects.
Mayor of Toronto
Mayor of Montréal