Provinces and Territories United on Top Priorities at Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Local Government
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia – June 13, 2019. Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Local Government reaffirmed their commitment to work together to strengthen the resiliency and sustainability of communities across Canada. Ministers discussed common priorities, such as climate change adaptation and municipal infrastructure and asset management at their annual meeting and will continue to work together to address these priorities throughout the year.
"Nova Scotia was pleased to host the annual meeting of Ministers Responsible for Local Government," said Chuck Porter, Nova Scotia Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and 2018-2019 Chair of the Table of Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Local Government."Provincial and territorial governments play a key role in supporting local governments. Now more than ever it is crucial for provinces and territories to come together to share information and ideas that help us support safe and resilient communities across the country.Our discussions on disaster mitigation and climate change adaptation were especially timely given recent and more frequent events such as wildfires, flooding and extreme weather events that impact local governments across Canada."
"I am also pleased to announce that we have an agreement-in-principle for a Collaboration Agreement that reinforces the benefits of working strategically across thirteen jurisdictions to support our local governments," said Minister Porter.
The Ministers held discussions on a wide array of topics of interest for local governments, including the opportunities pertaining to asset management for local infrastructure and early observations on the implications of cannabis legalization. They also heard from Alain Bourque of the Ouranos Consortium, who presented on best practices in the field of climate change adaptation and disaster mitigation, and from Patricia McCarney of the World Council on City Data, who gave a presentation on the organization and the work they are doing with local governments across Canada.
The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, the federal Minister of Rural Economic Development was invited to a session of the meeting where she spoke about a Rural Economic Development Strategy and a National Broadband Strategy. Ministers used this opportunity to discuss provincial and territorial priorities. Ministers acknowledged the federal government's investment, along with provincial and territorial governments, in local government infrastructure while also reiterated that Canada must respect provincial and territorial jurisdiction over local government matters.Ministers delivered a united message that the federal government must take the individual realities of each province and territory into account as new plans and funds are developed and they requested more flexibility for funding programs. One size fits all does not work in the large and diverse country that is Canada when looking at things like disaster mitigation, transit, improved broadband and cellular access, safe drinking water and waste water. Ministers look forward to an ongoing federal commitment that is aligned with provincial and territorial priorities such as disaster mitigation and adaptation funding.
Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Local Government will meet again in Winnipeg in 2020.