Mayor Brian Bowman used his trip to Quebec this week to reaffirm his bromance with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Bowman told reporters Friday that he had a brief, one-on-one meeting with the PM earlier in the day to talk about outstanding issues having to do with the meth crisis and infrastructure funding.
Bowman said he thanked Trudeau for the unexpected $40-million-plus city hall will receive through the federal budget from a one-time doubling of gas tax revenues and expressed his hope that the doubling would be permanent going forward.
“We had a very positive discussion,” he said of this 20-minute conversation with Trudeau. “Like the other big-city mayors, we’re asking the federal government to consider making that one-time doubling of the gas tax revenues permanent going forward and that there is partnership and collaboration with Canada’s big cities to ensure there is certainty, predictable long-term funding for infrastructure needs.”
Bowman was in Quebec City this week for the annual conference of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the related meeting of the Big Cities Mayors Caucus.
Bowman said he told the PM the good news about the Waverley underpass project — on time and under budget — and asked that the savings that will be returned to Ottawa be reinvested in the community. He said he’s been having similar discussions with senior cabinet minister Jim Carr and the city’s other Liberal MPs.
The meeting between Bowman and Trudeau was one of four private sessions the PM had Friday with mayors; he also met with Calgary’s Naheed Nenshi, Laval’s Marc Demers and Markham’s Frank Scarpitti.
Bowman said he and Trudeau exchanged notes on the tri-level task force on the city’s meth problem, adding that a report will be made public sometime in June.
While Bowman returned to Winnipeg later Friday, he won't be home long. He told reporters he’s going to France next week, at the invitation of Joël Bruneau, mayor of Caen, in Normandy, to take part in the 75th anniversary celebrations commemorating the Second World War Battle of Normandy, June 3-7.