Mayor Frank Scarpitti meets with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Markham
May 2, 2022
Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti welcomed The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, at the Markham Civic Centre to discuss a number of topics including the current COVID-19 pandemic, the recently announced Canada Growth Fund and investments in housing and transportation. As one of Canada’s premier municipalities and the most diverse city in the country, the Prime Minister’s interest in Markham and York Region provides great opportunity for partnership on many shared priorities.
Mayor Scarpitti also presented the Prime Minister with a Toronto Blue Jays jersey with local hometown hero Jordan Romano’s name and number on the back. Markham native Jordan Romano currently leads the MLB American League in saves and is a rising star in Canadian baseball.
Mayor Scarpitti began the meeting by thanking the Prime Minister and the Federal Government for their support of Canadians throughout the pandemic. The current pandemic has challenged governments across the country and the Mayor acknowledged the work of the Federal Government to support cities, invoke necessary steps to reduce transmission and procure and deliver PPE and vaccines to the province. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Markham has received a total of $18.47M in safe-restart funding from the Federal and Provincial Governments.
The Federal Government is taking steps to address the current housing crisis and the Mayor updated the Prime Minister of the work the City of Markham has undertaken to address this important issue. In June 2021, Markham Council unanimously endorsed Housing Choice: Markham’s Affordable and Rental Housing Strategy, which includes a vision, three goals and 35 actions that are intended to help address housing challenges across the City and deliver more supply. Mayor Scarpitti also highlighted opportunities the City of Markham and York Region have provided in regards to the federal Rapid Housing Initiative.
Canada Growth Fund:
Markham is Canada’s most diverse city and is home to Canada’s second-largest technology cluster. We are the highest concentration of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) employers per capita in Canada, with more than 1,500 technology and life sciences companies based in Markham.
Contributing to this is the Markham Innovation Exchange (MiX), a 1,920-acre innovation district that will continue to play a key role in Markham’s future. As Ontario’s first industrial innovation cluster, the MiX will connect the dots between knowledge and production centres of varying scales all in one place.
With the recent announcement of the Federal Government’s new Canada Growth Fund, Markham will be able to more easily attract private sector investment. Similarly, the new Canadian Innovation and Investment Agency will help new and established industries and businesses in Markham continue to innovate, grow, create jobs, and be more competitive in a challenging and changing global economy.
The City of Markham would like to thank Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for federal investment towards the Yonge North Subway Extension. The funding will aid with economic recovery, reduce commute times and also help create a more sustainable transportation system for riders in Markham and York Region.
Recently, the Government of Canada launched the procurement process for the High Frequency Rail project to connect Quebec City and Toronto. Mayor Scarpitti stressed the importance of Markham’s desire to have a station located along the line in the eastern portion of the city and in close proximity to the Rouge National Urban Park. The new rail service is intended to deliver faster, greener, more frequent and more reliable passenger rail between the mostly densely populated corridor in the country. Markham is an ideal candidate for a station given its importance in the technology sector and as a destination to Canada’s newest and largest urban National Park.
Other Key Investments:
Last year, the City received a $5.25M grant from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) -- COVID-19 Infrastructure Resilience Stream . Under the terms of this bilateral agreement, the Government of Canada provides 80% of the funding, with the remaining 20% coming from the Government of Ontario.
The funds received went towards improving health, safety and accessibility measures at 68 of the City’s busiest facilities. These locations include community centres, cultural sites, libraries, administration buildings, operation yards, fire stations, satellite buildings and recycling depots. The health, safety and accessibility updates -- such as touchless technology and enhancing indoor air quality at our facilities are well underway, with major, complex work on the horizon. Most of the improvements are expected to be completed by Spring 2023, with some portions being completed by the end of next year.
The City of Markham expresses its gratitude to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for spending time in Markham to meet with Mayor Scarpitti. This important visit reinforces the Prime Minister’s commitment and priority on key initiatives when it comes to strengthening the partnership between the Federal Government and municipalities.