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Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer meets with Toronto Mayor John Tory in his City Hall office on March 23, 2018.Chris Young

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and Toronto Mayor John Tory said they discussed affordable housing, gun control, transit and infrastructure in a meeting on Friday, touting the importance of strong federal-municipal relations.

The pair spoke behind closed doors at Toronto City Hall before addressing the media in a joint press conference.

“John and I spoke about the challenges people in Toronto and the region face every day, including the high cost of living, the affordability of housing, the need for investment in infrastructure that helps improve the quality of life in the entire region,” Scheer said.

Tory said he prides himself on being able to maintain good relationships with political parties at all levels of government.

“I’ve been very clear as mayor that I don’t belong to any political party anymore, that I’m on Team Toronto,” said Tory, who led Ontario’s Progressive Conservative party from 2004 to 2009.

Tory said he was confident that Scheer, if elected prime minister, would continue to fund local transit projects, noting that the Conservative leader was part of the Stephen Harper-led government that instituted a public transit fund. Scheer he is a strong supporter of public transit.

On housing, the pair spoke about the need to keep up with demand for affordable units, Tory said.

“We had a good discussion about some policies that go all the way back to previous governments, that involved the non-profit sector, the ingenuity of the private sector and the need for a partnership between private and public sectors to get supply of housing addressed,” he said.

“We talked about even getting faith communities, non-profits involved, which used to be something back in the 60s and 70s, a very successful way of providing affordable housing.”

Scheer said his party would release detailed policies in the near future to help first-time home buyers, but would not elaborate on what those would entail.

The Conservative leader also said he and Tory found common ground on the issue of preventing gun crime.

“We actually agreed on the need for the federal government to do more to stop the flow of illegal firearms across the border and the illegal trafficking of domestic firearms,” Scheer said. “(Conservatives) have always been supportive of measures that make sure we are looking at the individual who is buying the firearms and a robust licensing regime.”

Earlier this week, the federal Liberal government tabled a proposed bill to tighten the sale and tracking of firearms.

Under the legislation, gun retailers would be required to keep records of firearms inventory and sales for at least 20 years, and the purchaser of a hunting rifle or shotgun would be required to present a firearms licence, while the seller would have to ensure its validity.

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