Justin Trudeau meets Gregor Robertson in Vancouver
Trudeau's visit to city hall is the first by a sitting Prime Minister since 1973
Justin Trudeau met Gregor Robertson at city hall this morning — the first time a sitting Prime Minister has met there with a Vancouver mayor since his father, Pierre Trudeau, met Art Phillips in 1973.
Vancouverites lined up in the rain to catch a glimpse of the Prime Minister, while inside, a packed city hall included the chiefs of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations, several Vancouver city councillors, as well as Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and local MP Joyce Murray.
In a news conference that provided very little actual news, the federal and municipal leaders expressed their mutual respect and intention to co-operate on issues from housing to transit, marijuana distribution to the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline.
Trudeau said that Canada needed different levels of government working together in respect and that Robertson stood out among municipal leaders, "as strong an advocate for Vancouver as I have seen in the country."
Presenting the Prime Minister with a framed photograph of Pierre Trudeau's visit — when he signed over the Jericho Lands from federal to municipal ownership — Robertson said that it was "refreshing to have a partner in Ottawa that treats cities with respect."
Though there were no specific initiatives announced, Trudeau reiterated a commitment to help Canadian cities with transit and affordable housing. Both he and Robertson offered the Vancouver Art Gallery plans as an example of positive municipal growth.
Pot and pipelines
Asked about the licensing of medical marijuana stores, Trudeau said the move to legalization and regulation of cannabis would be dealt with in changes to the Criminal Code, but that implementation of restrictions around distribution would come as a result of discussions with Canada's provincial and municipal governments.
On the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline, Trudeau said the previous government had lost the public trust, which needed to be restored before any such projects go forward.
"They must be truly in the best interests of Canadians and future generations," he said.
"I have said it before. The Great Bear Rainforest is no place for an oil pipeline. And that remains my position."