This week, the Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Local Government held their annual meeting in Ottawa. During the meeting, they reaffirmed their commitment to assisting local governments, working together on common goals, and constructing communities that are sturdy and thriving.
The Ministers talked about important policy innovations and changes that are taking place in their respective jurisdictions to advance their shared priorities. These innovations included local governance, planning for climate change adaptation and the infrastructure that goes along with it, increasing the supply of housing and local services to support growth.
Steve Clark, Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Chair of the Provincial-Territorial Table of Ministers Responsible for Local Government for 2022-23, stated, “It was a pleasure to welcome my fellow Ministers responsible for Local Government to Ottawa.” This was a great chance for us to learn from one another, reflect on our experiences, and talk about the best practices that will help the provinces and territories move forward with key shared priorities, like more housing.
At the invitation of PT ministers, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Federal Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, attended a portion of the meeting. The Ministers of the Provinces and Territories reiterated their agreement on the Principles that Underpin Federal Government Initiatives Regarding Municipalities. Reiterating the significance of predictable federal infrastructure funding is one of these Principles. Ministers took advantage of the occasion to point out to their federal counterpart the requirement for formal consultation and engagement with PTs regarding federal programs and initiatives that have an effect on local governments.
Minister Clark stated, “The governments of the provinces and territories will continue to advocate on behalf of our local partners and work with the federal government to ensure that we have the necessary resources and tools to overcome any challenges.”
For the upcoming year, the Ministers of the Provinces and Territories also established common priorities. Adaptation to climate change, addressing growth and sustainability, and funding infrastructure are among these.
The next meeting of Provincial and Territorial Ministers will take place in June 2024 and be presided over by the Honourable Krista Lynn Howell, the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs for Newfoundland and Labrador. Minister Howell stated, “I look forward to welcoming colleagues to our province in June 2024 to discuss our shared work to build strong, sustainable communities and discuss current and emerging priorities.”