by Colin Smith
Support for local government is critical is the message that Sturgeon County Councillor Wayne Bokenfohr sought to deliver to the federal government at the 2019 conference of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).
“Whether it’s better roads, transit, housing or water systems, local governments are building better lives,” said Bokenfohr.“We make the most of the tools available, but the upcoming federal election needs to empower us to get even more done for people in Sturgeon County and for Canadians across the country.”
Some 2,100 delegates representing communities from across Canada attended the conference held in Quebec City, Quebec May 29 to June 2.
At the conference, the theme of which was Building Better Lives, attendees shared ideas about how to improve lives in their own communities.
One of the presentations was by Leanne McBean of Sturgeon County’s economic development team, whose subject was the Sturgeon County Bounty.
“Sturgeon County Bounty is an initiative aimed at connecting our agriculture sector with chefs and consumers to build relationships and support growth and diversity within the county,” said Bokenfohr.
“Our Culinary Cookout event has become the flagship for this initiative, with all food vendors including ingredients from local producers,” he said.
“We are also preparing for our second Sturgeon County Kitchen Party, which is a unique invite-only networking event for producers, area chefs, and food vendors. We’re very proud of our work in promoting the agriculture sector and seeing the new partnerships and collaborations.”
The FCM conference was set up to provide opportunities for delegates to discuss pressing national issues, including housing affordability, national broadband and transit, along with ways to advance energy infrastructure while protecting the environment.
“I was inspired to see thousands of local leaders so energized and engaged,” said incoming FCM President Bill Karsten. “The mutual respect and common experiences our delegates shared provided those in attendance with a deeper appreciation of their colleagues’ work and an enriched understanding of our country.”
“We’re the governments closest to people’s daily lives,” said Bokenfohr. “That’s exactly the message we delivered to the Prime Minister and the other federal party leaders.
“My colleagues and I left this conference united and determined to use the next federal election to drive the quality-of-life and economic progress Canadians deserve. And we’ll work with every party to make those lives better and more affordable.”