Ontario’s Big City Mayors (OBCM) held its annual general meeting and conference in Kitchener with DIALOG chair Antonio Gómez-Palacio joining on April 20 as speaker to discuss important issues for large municipalities.
The three-day event touched on key municipal priorities addressing issues of housing, mental health and homelessness, with a latter focus on the impact of immigration and skilled labour for building homes in Ontario. Also in discussion was a new housing report created by Mike Moffatt from the Smart Prosperity Institute.
The conference was joined by more than 60 invitees including 16 OBCM mayors, chief administrative officers, city managers, and staff. OBCM also welcomed provincial Minister Steve Clark of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and federal Minister Sean Fraser of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.
Antonio Gómez-Palacio, DIALOG chair, spoke to the importance of the combination of social, economic, environmental, political, and cultural conditions being essential for communities to reach their potential—and the support from municipalities on these complex issues in our communities as crucial.
Key takeaways from these conversations emphasize the need for housing legislation and for collaborative approaches in building more homes to help with the housing supply crisis. OBCM recognizes the critical role municipalities play in enabling the build of new housing infrastructure for effective change.
DIALOG remains active in these discussions to help drive awareness and create solutions for these pressing issues at hand which cannot be ignored.
About Ontario’s Big City Mayors
OBCM, formerly known as the Large Urban Mayors’ Caucus of Ontario, is a non-profit organization made up of 29 mayors of Ontario’s municipalities with a population of over 100,000, collectively representing 70% of the province’s population. The organization provides a voice for big city mayors in policy debates impacting Ontario cities. Through policy development, advocacy, discussion and partnerships, OBCM maintains strong and effective cities.