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Posted: May 2, 2018

AKBLG 2018 a resounding success

By Mary Giuliano

The 85th annual Association of Kootenay and Boundary Local Governments (AKBLG) conference was held in Fernie last month.

Beginning with a pre-convention Drinking Water workshop organized by Interior Health on Tuesday, April 17 and ending with a post-convention workshop on High Impact Leadership on Climate Action hosted by the BC Municipal Climate Leadership Council on Friday the 20th the week was a resounding success.

The event included a Trade Show, a CP Rail Emergency Equipment exhibit, an Electric Vehicle Demonstration, a tour at the Elkview Mine and a Historical Walking Tour.

The keynote speaker was master storyteller Chief Joe Pierre, ?aq’am Community, St. Mary’s Band (pictured above) who gave a most captivating talk on Seven Generations of Relationships and Seven Generations of Reconciliation.

With a theme of Emergency Preparedness in Local Governments, Response, Recovery and Reflection – Are you ready? – speakers discussed Wildfire Threat, Learning from Fort McMurray and other fire disasters, Exercising

Emergency Powers for Community Evacuation, Crisis Management, building interconnected teams in your community as well as a session on the Prevention of Youth and Children Sexual Exploitation, the Possibilities of Tech and Innovation in Emergency management, Connecting the Dots of Housing Affordability, and Cannabis Regulation in B.C.

The sessions proved interesting and presenters knowledgeable as many were experts in the fields they spoke on.

Union of British Columbia Municipalities president (and Regional District of East Kootenay Electoral Area F Director) Wendy Booth, FCM director Leah Main, president of AKBLG and Electoral Area C Director Rob Gay, Kootenay-Columbia MP Wayne Stetski, Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka attended as well the Auditor General of B.C. Gordon Ruth came presenting in one of the panels.

About 200 delegates, sponsors, trade show participants and guests enjoyed the opportunity to learn and connect in Fernie. Over 55 businesses and organizations contributed financial assistance to this event.

This event ended on Friday afternoon but the next day brought over 600 people to town for a swim meet.

I went to the Aquatic Centre to see hundreds of children and parents crowding every inch of the building most of whom were visitors. This type of event brings huge economic benefit to our town, so I want to extend sincere thanks to the organizers, who I have no doubt are all volunteers for their dedication and hard work to put on this huge event.

From what I saw it certainly was successful. Congratulations, thank you.

I also want to thank the poets who came to city hall during April Poetry Month in Canada. The students were fantastic, amazing to hear how even a child as young as eight can conceive of words to put together so meaningfully and movingly, and of course the adults are always so touching with what they write and read so eloquently. Thank you all so much for taking the time to write and come and read before council, it made the evening very special.

The following are images from the AKBLG weekend. Photos courtesy Mary Giuliano

Mary Giuliano is Mayor of the City of Fernie

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