The Big City Mayors’ Caucus of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities met in Ottawa Thursday to discuss ongoing economic challenges and opportunities leading into the federal budget.

Although Mayor Larry O’Brien said he was disappointed that because of the transit issues, he was unable to join the mayors of 22 of Canada’s largest cities at the meeting, he said those issues was “infinitely more important.”

O’Brien met briefly with Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Communities John Baird to discuss available funding for “shovel ready” projects for Ottawa.