Mayor’s Report – May 17 to June 6, 2017

Linda Cox,
Town of High Prairie
Following is Town of High Prairie Mayor Linda Cox’s report for May 17 to June 6:
Heart River Housing
May 18, I attended the regular board meeting of Heart River Housing. This was a regular business meeting with reports on various aspects of the organization, i.e. financial, capital maintenance, tenant reports, correspondence, administrators report, etc.
Our administrator, Lindsay Pratt, is trying to organize a visit from the Assistant Deputy Minister of Seniors and Housing, so we can show him the community housing portfolio and discuss our ideas on making better use of the houses we have in the communities they are in.
Town of Swan Hills 50th Anniversary
May 26, I attended the 50th Anniversary of the Town of Swan Hills’ incorporation.
The Town of Swan Hills was the first Centennial Town of 1967 and proudly showcased their history. On behalf of the Town of High Prairie, I presented a plaque of congratulations to Mayor Craig Wilson.
There were about 250 attendees at the open house with representatives from Big Lakes County, Town of Westlock, County of Barrhead, as well as their local MLA in attendance.
Federation of Canadian Municipalities
June 1-4, I, and Councillor Brian Panasiuk, attended the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Convention 2017. This was four days of workshops, industry-led seminars and networking opportunities for attendees across Canada.
I was particularly interested in the rural plenary, in addition to a rural workshop stream and rural study tours.
Two-thousand delegates from municipalities in Canada were in attendance. This was the largest gathering of municipal leaders ever.
Keynote addresses from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, Green Leader Elizabeth May, and Conservative Finance Critic Gérard Deltell all stressed that municipal leaders belong at the political table.
For those who wonder why FCM is important, one big reason is the Gas Tax Fund that was initiated by FCM and lobbied for extensively. It is now a part of revenues from the federal government that lower our property taxes.
Communities from across Alberta have a significant representation at FCM and our ideas are driving the agendas at committee meetings. Because of our attendance and requests, a significant part of the conference is now dedicated to rural community themes.
We have also been successful in ensuring that federal funding includes a component for rural communities, especially in transit, green initiatives, digital funding and infrastructure. Without being seen here, our voice would be lost in all the other lobbying efforts that the federal government is subjected to.

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