Mississauga, Hamilton, Oakville mayors among those calling for emergency meeting with province


Published August 16, 2022 at 4:35 pm

Ontario's Big City Mayors and the Mayors and Regional Chairs of Ontario are requesting an emergency meeting with the provincial government on more support for health care services and Infrastructure. FACEBOOK PHOTO

Ontario’s Big City Mayors (OBCM), including those in Mississauga, Hamilton, Burlington and Oakville, are asking again for an emergency meeting with the province to advance solutions for chronic homelessness, housing affordability and other key crises facing their communities.

The renewed call came from OBCM and the Mayors and Regional Chairs of Ontario (MARCO) who gathered Tuesday at the Association of Municipalities Conference to Advance Key Municipal Priorities in Ottawa.

The key municipal leaders, which included vice-chair and Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger, Oakville Mayor Rob Burton, Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward and Milton Mayor Gord Krantz, also discussed other key matters such as ambulance offloading and the Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act.

“The province should immediately convene the leaders that can help address the homelessness, addictions and mental health pressures in Ontario cities,” said Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie, Chair of Ontario Big City Mayors. “Our municipalities have been forced to step up to address the urgent needs for housing and healthcare when we are not financially or structurally set up to do so.

“This is the responsibility of the provincial government.”

The OBCM has already met with Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Michael Tibollo in an effort to find solutions for those suffering with mental health and addictions in Ontario communities.

During the conference they have also set up meetings with other key ministers including the Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks David Piccini, Minister Infrastructure Kinga Surma, Minister of Finance Peter Bethlenfalvy and Attorney General Doug Downey.

“The Ontario Government has heard us loud and clear. The missing services for our most vulnerable residents won’t magically appear,” said Waterloo Regional Chair, Karen Redmen, who is the Chair of MARCO.

“We need the province to join us at the table to make a plan that will give our front-line service providers the capacity to help.”

OBCM and MARCO passed two unanimous motions at the conference.

Along with their call for an emergency meeting to discuss solutions to chronic homelessness, mental health, safety, and addictions issues in our communities, they also passed a motion requesting the provincial government engage with municipalities on health care planning matters that directly impact Ontario’s municipalities.

Other key stakeholder groups have signed on to attend the emergency meeting, including the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Ontario Association of Business Improvement Areas, Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, AMO, Canadian Mental Health Association Ontario and the Ontario Tourism Industry Association.

“We believe that the province must come together with the municipalities, sector experts, and other key stakeholders to put in place the supports and resources urgently needed for our chronically unhoused and those suffering with mental health and addictions,” said OBCM in the media release.   “We look forward to working collaboratively with our provincial counterparts to provide for our communities most vulnerable.”

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