Big city mayors united on need to focus on affordable housing, transit

February 26, 2014 | Better Transit

Following a meeting of the Big City Mayors' Caucus in Ottawa today, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson says that mayors from across Canada are united in their focus on affordable housing and transit, and the need for support from the federal government.

"The Mayors from Canada's biggest cities are clear: affordable housing and transit are serious challenges in their communities, and we need the federal government at the table. This year's budget was a disappointment, and simply did not address the serious issues of traffic congestion and lack of affordable housing in our cities," said Mayor Robertson.

"Cities are the economic drivers of Canada, yet our transit systems are overstretched and our affordable housing is in need of renewal. The longer these issues are ignored, the bigger the risk to Canada's economy."

Mayor Robertson is the Chair of the BCMC, and today's meeting included mayors from across Canada, including Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa.

"Whether it's investing in light-rail transit in Edmonton or renewing affordable housing in Montreal, the issues we face in Vancouver are the same as those across Canada," added the Mayor. "More people are moving to cities, more jobs are being created, but we don't have the transit or housing capacity to capitalize.

"As a result, we're seeing traffic congestion and risky levels of household debt. These issues need to be addressed, and cities are ready and willing to partner with the federal government. Our hope is that in the next year, we can work with the federal government to invest the New Building Canada Fund into transit and housing, and get shovels in the ground. Investing in transit and housing makes economic sense for Canada."