June 8, 2016: For Immediate Release
Mayor Charles Pender and Councillor Keith Cormier attended the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) annual conference in Winnipeg on Sunday, June 5. At this conference 1,600 municipal leaders from across Canada gathered to discuss priorities and actions to build a strong country and to elect its Board of Directors for 2016-2017. Mayor Pender will serve as a FCM Board Member and is on several standing committees and on the Atlantic Regional Caucus.
Municipal leaders from across the country were encouraged by the messages delivered by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who opened the conference with a keynote speech. The prime minister received strong support for his remarks on the role of local decision-making to determine infrastructure priorities. He also highlighted the importance of the federal and municipal orders of government working together on the next phase of infrastructure investments for Canadians.
“I look forward to serving on the FCM Board and continuing my role on the standing committees as we strengthening our partnership with the federal government and reinforcing the role of cities and communities in building our nation,” said Mayor Pender. “This new era of partnership with the federal government will have direct and positive benefits for the residents of Corner Brook.”
Conference delegates also heard from representatives of other federal parties and engaged with Cabinet Ministers on the key issues that will improve the quality of life of people in our communities and will help grow the economy.
FCM members initiated discussions with federal partners on Phase 2 of the government’s infrastructure plans which will ensure long-term investments in our communities. Municipalities outlined the importance of flexible, predictable, sustainable funding models for these important programs such as a federal Gas Tax Fund transfer model that has consistently proved its effectiveness in delivering results for Canadians.
On the final day of the conference, voting delegates elected Clark Somerville (Regional Councillor for Halton Hills, Ontario) to be the new FCM President. Mr. Somerville has been active in municipal politics since 1996 and has served on the Federation’s Board of Directors since 2008.
President Somerville laid out a series of priorities for the year to come, including working closely with the federal government to develop long-term and stable infrastructure investment strategies leading up to Budget 2017, while prioritizing our efforts on climate change. He outlined the importance of ensuring the rights and aspirations of Aboriginal peoples are fully acknowledged in municipal policies and practices. As well, President Somerville emphasized the importance of increasing the number of youth, women and new Canadians in municipal government.
Tribute — Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo
In a show of solidarity, municipal leaders paid tribute to the resilience, collaboration and leadership of Municipality of Wood Buffalo–Fort McMurray’s municipal leaders, first-responders and volunteers as they tackled the evacuation forced upon them by wildfires. Wood Buffalo Councillor Allan Vinni accepted this public recognition on behalf of Mayor Melissa Blake and other Council colleagues. Mayor Omer Moghrabi of Lac La Biche and Mayor Don Iveson of the City of Edmonton were also acknowledged for their tremendous show of support in a special tribute ceremony.
• FCM will hold its next Annual Conference from June 1-4, 2017 in Ottawa, in conjunction with the celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary.
• FCM is the national voice of municipal government. In leading the municipal movement, FCM works to align federal and local priorities, recognizing that strong hometowns make for a strong Canada.
• FCM has been the national voice of municipal government since 1901. Members include Canada’s largest cities, small urban and rural communities, and 20 provincial and territorial municipal associations.
• Today, FCM carries on the tradition of actively advocating to have the needs of municipalities and their citizens – reflected in federal policies and programs. Year after year, FCM’s work has benefitted each and every municipal government and taxpayer in Canada.
• The Federation of Canadian Municipalities
• FCM 2016 Annual Conference
Mayor Charles Pender