The unveiling of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's new Federal Cabinet has sparked reactions from municipal leaders across Canada. As Trudeau looks to address numerous national challenges, municipal representatives express a blend of optimism and determination to collaborate with the newly appointed cabinet members.
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), in an official statement released via Twitter, extended a warm welcome to all members of the new federal cabinet. The organization emphasized the significance of intergovernmental cooperation in tackling the pressing issues facing communities nationwide. "Canadians expect their governments to work together to tackle the many national challenges in the months and years ahead. We are looking forward to working with you to build safe, inclusive, and resilient communities from across Canada," the FCM stated.
Among the key areas of focus for the FCM is addressing the mental health crises in cities and communities. The organization pledged its commitment to working closely with Minister Yaara Saks to develop pragmatic solutions in this critical area.
The biggest topic on Canadians minds over the last 5 years has been housing, FCM said in the statement,"To continue making strides towards increased housing access, tackling homelessness, as well as strengthening core local infrastructure programs across the country, Canadian Municipalities need to have a seat at the decision-making table. We look forward to working closely with Minister Sean Fraser in his new role as Minister for Housing, Infrastructure and Communities to build strong and resilient communities in 2023 and beyond."
Marc Miller's shuffle into Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship was met with appreciation from the FCM, acknowledging the enrichment brought by newcomers to Canadian communities, "Canadian Municipalities are committed to building the welcoming and inclusive communities all newcomers to Canada seek but our municipalities must be tooled with the appropriate resources to make this a reality. We look forward to collaborating with you closely on this key issue."
Another key issue that drew attention from municipal leaders was contract policing. The FCM expressed its dedication to collaborating with Minister of Public Safety Dominic LeBlanc to make meaningful progress on this front, ensuring that municipalities have the necessary resources to maintain safe and inclusive communities.
Minister Gudie Hutchinson's role as Minister of Rural Economic Development also garnered attention, with the FCM emphasizing the significance of keeping rural priorities at the heart of federal policy.
Twitter Reactions from Municipal Leaders:
Halifax Mayor Mike Savage conveyed his congratulations to the new federal Cabinet and expressed his eagerness to work with Sean Fraser, who assumes the role of Minister of Housing, Infrastructure, and Communities. Mayor Savage also looked forward to continuing his collaboration with Dominic LeBlanc on Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Safety.
Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie extended his best wishes to all the cabinet members and expressed his excitement to work with Sean Fraser, highlighting the importance of housing as a priority.
Deputy Mayor of Toronto Jennifer McKelvie congratulated MP Gary Anandasangaree on his appointment as Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, expressing confidence in his ability to excel in the role.
Mississauga Ward 11 Councillor Brad Butt congratulated Mississauga-Streetsville MP Rechie Valdez on being named Minister of Small Business.
Bridgewater Mayor David Mitchell said that he looks forward to working with the newly appointed Minister of Housing, Infrastructure, and Communities Sean Fraser, "There is so much we can accomplish across Nova Scotia relating to housing and infrastructure! Congratulations on this new portfolio!"
Ajax Mayor Shawn Collier extended his congratulations to the new Health Minister Mark Holland on behalf of Ajax Council, wishing him success in his new role.
On the west coast of Canada, Vancouver Councillor Mike Klassen said that he was ready to work with the new cabinet, particularly Fraser to get more housing built, "Congratulations to Minister Sean Fraser on your appointment as Canada’s new Minister of Housing! Our team (City of Vancouver) looks forward to working with you to get more housing built."
As the federal government begins its new chapter with a restructured cabinet, municipal leaders will be eager to collaborate and address critical issues that impact communities across the country.
The shared determination to build a safer, more inclusive, and resilient Canada drives these leaders to work together towards a better future.