Last weekend I attended the 2016 Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) annual general meeting and conference in Winnipeg along with my colleague Councillor Jim Neill, and Mayor Denis Doyle from the Frontenac Islands.
Over the course of the three days, we met with municipal leaders, took in plenary sessions, workshops and heard from federal ministers and opposition parties. This year Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke to delegates, the first time a Prime Minister has spoken to municipal leaders at this conference in more than 10 years.
I was also elected to the FCM board for the first time during the conference. I ran alongside 19 other municipal delegates from across Ontario to sit on the Ontario Caucus of the board.
I am honoured to represent Kingston, our neighbouring municipalities and Eastern Ontario on the FCM board, by joining the national conversation, we have the ability to participate directly in the critical work FCM does with the federal government. I look forward to sharing a rural-urban, Eastern Ontario perspective with the board and bringing valuable insights back to our region from municipal leaders across the country.
There are three key issues I am looking to advance right away on behalf of Kingston and Eastern Ontario:
- I will be pursuing federal support to develop reliable broadband connections across Canada, especially in smaller communities and rural areas, where increased connectivity can make a real difference in the education of our young people and the success of our businesses.
- It will be important that no municipalities, including Kingston, are left out of the process for the second phase of federal infrastructure dollars. I will be working with the FCM board to ensure fair and equitable opportunities for projects that benefit communities small and large. Kingston has important projects such as the Third Crossing and an upcoming expansion of transit service that would benefit from federal support.
- FCM has pursued the federal government to adopt a national housing strategy - it is a critical time to ensure that everyone in our country has access to a home, and municipalities cannot achieve this alone. Kingston is facing a significant investment deficit in the coming years, and that is simply for the maintenance of existing affordable housing stock.
FCM is the national voice of municipal governments since 1901. It fosters the development of sustainable communities to improve quality of life by promoting strong, effective and accountable municipal government.
Adapted from Press Release from the City of Kingston on June 6, 2016. Click Here to View Original Release.