Bowman, Pallister talk public safety with deputy prime minister

Mayor Brian Bowman said he was grateful for the chance to talk to Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland Tuesday about the city’s meth crisis. 

Chrystia Freeland was in Winnipeg for meetings with mayor, premier

Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and Winnipeg South Centre MP Jim Carr met at city hall Tuesday. (Trevor Brine/CBC )

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister and Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman got a chance to bend the ear of the deputy prime minister Tuesday when she was in town to speak with local leaders about what they'd like to see from Ottawa. 

Chrystia Freeland was making the rounds in Winnipeg, with her first stop at city hall before heading to the Manitoba Legislature to meeting with Pallister. 

Bowman said he spoke with Freeland for about 40 minutes Tuesday afternoon, about public safety, infrastructure and national unity. 

He said he wanted to let Freeland know what Ottawa can do to ease the meth problem.

"There is an urgent need for really robust implementation of the illicit drug strategy task force recommendations by all three levels of government. So this the first opportunity I've had with the deputy prime minister to really discuss the issue at a high level," he said. 

Bowman says Ottawa should be proactive, and help fund recreation facilities and other places for youth.

Ahead of the meeting, Freeland said she was looking forward to speaking with the mayor about what Winnipeg needs. 

Bowman had previously stressed the need for an illicit drug strategy task force during a call with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in November where the pair spoke about the surge of violence in Winnipeg.

Environmental regulations, health care focus of Pallister's meeting 

At the Manitoba Legislature, Pallister said he spoke with Freeland about health care funding and streamlining the environmental assessment process for major resource projects, to make it easier for the province to move ahead with flood mitigation infrastructure. 

"I would say there was very much an indication of a desire to make the process work better," Pallister said. 

Pallister said he also spoke with the deputy prime minister about public safety in Manitoba. 

"I think there's an opportunity there for us to work together co-operatively on that file," he said. 

With files from Sean Kavanagh


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