Mr. Speaker, the Conference Board of Canada said that cities were at the core of the national prosperity agenda and yet the government continues to squeeze our cities dry and what we have is a prosperity gap.
I see it in Toronto all the time. We need a strategy for cities and we need investment. All one needs to do is ask the mayors who are meeting here in Ottawa today. We need a national transit and affordable housing strategy, funding for child care, for the arts, support for students crushed by debt, recreation and jobs for young people, and we need long term funding for city infrastructure.
In Toronto, chunks of concrete are falling off the neglected Gardiner Expressway, but to pay for public transit the city faces a backlog of $300 million in repairs. We need a green renovation program modelled on Toronto's successful better building partnership. We need the funds to train our workforce, recognize foreign credentials and help new immigrants to find good jobs.
We need to invest in our cities as they are the keys to prosperity in Canada.