Several Council members from the Municipality of Colchester recently attended the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Annual Conference in Regina, Saskatchewan. Themed Together for Recovery, the conference allowed thousands of municipal leaders from across the country to gear up for recovery and focus on building stronger, more inclusive, and resilient communities—together. During the conference Colchester’s Deputy Mayor, Geoff Stewart was elected as 2nd Vice President on FCM’s Board of Directors and Mayor, Christine Blair was re-elected as one of four Nova Scotia representatives on the Board and will become the new Atlantic Caucus Chair.

“After two years of working tirelessly on the frontlines to support Canadians during the pandemic, there’s still much work to do to tackle our country’s greatest challenges, like the housing crisis and protecting our communities from climate extremes. We must also resolve the RCMP retroactive pay municipalities are now faced with,” said Stewart. “Municipal leaders were loud and clear in Regina: we’re eager to continue working with our federal partners to take these issues head on, because when our orders of government work together, we move this country forward.”

In his role as 2nd Vice President and FCM Board member, Stewart will help set policy priorities that reflect the concerns of municipal governments and affiliate members from coast to coast to coast.

“If we want to get this recovery moving, we need to be in touch with what is happening every day in our communities and make sure that local issues are brought to Ottawa,” said Stewart. “We know that our country’s recovery starts in our communities—where people live, work, and raise families—and as frontline governments, we understand the challenges people face in their daily lives. That makes us key to Canada’s recovery and we’re coming back home from this conference energized and eager to work with our federal and provincial partners to get the job done.”

“Our Council values being involved in the conversation at the national level, and we benefit greatly learning from and networking with our fellow Canadian municipal leaders,” said Blair. “We look forward to contributing to work that we know will not only benefit Colchester County, Nova Scotia, but municipalities all over the Country.”

Over four days, more than 2,200 participants took part in Canada’s fullest gathering of municipal leaders since 2019, where they had the opportunity to connect with their federal counterparts through a series of keynote addresses and meetings featuring Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities Dominic LeBlanc, Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Communities Andrew Scheer, and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. Attendees also prepared for the coming recovery through a trade show and numerous workshops focused on crucial municipal issues like housing affordability and rural growth—among others.

Delegates also passed resolutions calling for national action on four issues reflecting their local community needs: modernizing the Canada Community Building Fund; addressing period poverty in Canada; implementing the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Committee relating to missing children and unmarked graves; and streamlining support for those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine.