This past week I was in Quebec City along with Aurora Councillors for the annual FCM (Federation of Canadian Municipalities) conference. This is an annual conference that brings together elected officials from across the country to discuss current and emerging issues and to work on ways to address the most pressing issues facing our communities. It is an important opportunity for municipal leaders to not only attend presentations and workshops on policies and initiatives that will impact our communities but also provides the opportunity to meet with leaders from all levels of government; to discuss issues that matter to our community.
With workshops ranging in topics such as “Modernizing our fiscal toolbox”, “5G in Canadian Municipalities”, “Managing snow and water levels for safer communities” – we recognize that municipalities across the nation are facing the same issues and that we need to all work together to find the best solutions.
As I have at other conferences, I took the opportunity at FCM to meet with leaders of every party to hear their thoughts and their perspectives on how we – federal, provincial and municipal levels of government – can work together to address the important issues facing our communities – from affordable housing, to infrastructure deficits, from climate change to smart cities. This year, especially in light of the fight against Bill 108 and the return of the OMB in land use planning decision-making, I took the opportunity to speak to the leaders directly about to the issue of municipal governance and decision-making and how the Federal Government needs to work with the Municipal order of government to make our communities stronger.
And while it is an election year and the federal leaders are campaigning, making promises and trying to separate themselves from each other, there was one constant; a consistent theme in their statements and that was they all agree that Municipal elected officials are the frontline workers of Government and need greater recognition of the important governing role we play for our communities. Each of the leaders recognize that municipalities need stable funding to deal with the issues our communities face At the end of the day we are all working towards the same goal, and that is making our communities better for the residents that we all serve – whether it’s federal, Provincial or Municipal government. We are all serving the same residents.
Our democracy works best when provincial and federal levels of government work with their municipal partners for the residents and taxpayers we serve and not play party politics with the future of our cities and towns… Effective, evidence based policy-making puts people, not party first.
It has been an interesting and informative few days and I look forward to bringing back lessons learned to Aurora. #LeadershipThatWorks #GettingThingsDone