Earlier this month, June 2-5th, The Federation of Canadian Municipalities held their first member gathering in Regina, since pandemic restrictions have loosened.  Mayor Brandon Burley, 4 Councillors and CAO Nicole Reidle attended the event. 

Burley noted there was a lot of engagement and Morden City Council found some neat ideas to bring forward to the City of Morden, along with helpful resources for future project ideas and connections for infrastructure projects. 

"The FCM also administers the Green Municipal Fund, so there were opportunities there to learn about and to get our foot in the door, for granting for transitional programs. If we look to reduce our operating costs by becoming more energy efficient.  Overall, it's a really good conference." 

At the conference, Burley took on a new federal position. 

"At the Regina Conference, I was acclaimed as a Director for Manitoba to the Board of the FCM.  That role is a one-year term and it goes from conference to conference. There are three elected positions in Manitoba, two appointed, and I was fortunate enough to be acclaimed to one of those elected roles. The job really is to help bring perspective to the work that the board of FCM does to advocate, not only for our city in our province but also for the 2000 municipalities across Canada." 

Burley will serve Manitobans in this capacity with AMM President And Reeve for Portage La Prairie Kam Blight, Winnipeg Representative Jeff Browaty, RM of La Broquerie Councillor Laurent Tetrault and Winkler Councillor Marvin Plett at no financial cost to Morden residents. 

Burley has a vision for his new position. 

"Right now, the priority for myself is predictable infrastructure investment, community safety, green initiatives and equity, as we look towards moving our economies to more sustainable and less resource-driven economies. We want to make sure that municipalities across Canada, and in particular in Manitoba, as a Director for Manitoba, we want to make sure there aren't municipalities being left behind as our economies change." 

He explained a trend emerging needs to be addressed. 

"On the predictable infrastructure piece, we want to make sure the projects that our municipalities are taking on when granting is approved early on in the process, the cost of inflation growing evermore a concern, we want to make sure the investments are equitable by the time the project is approved by the province, or by Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP).  That's a major concern right across the province, as municipalities are looking at completing projects that were onboarded four, five or six years ago. The costs of those projects have gone way up and the differential is being borne by the municipalities."  

Burley noted a highlight of the conference was learning, the more you think you are not like everyone else the more you realize you are exactly like everybody else. Adding, we all have the same challenges and problems, and learning how to overcome them and share how you have overcome some of your difficulties, is inspiring.  This allows communities and councils to grow in their knowledge and to do their job well as an informed council.