Mayor’s update for September 2014
September brought the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) convention that was held in Whistler. UBCM sessions began in early morning and went on all day into evening receptions.
Titled ‘Leading Edge,’ topics covered asset management, urban deer management, and economy and jobs. Speeches abounded including by the Premier, cabinet ministers and leaders of opposition, with the keynote speaker being author and TV personality Rex Murphy who provided a most interesting and amusing address.
He spoke about running for office twice and failing, saying those failures were “a hurricane of rejection.” He also added that “politics is in need of some vast repair, and it is at the municipal level in any community that cares about itself that this effort begins. The human interaction is the most important card that is laid on the table; it is what gives both happiness and substance. Municipalities are the very atoms of our democracy, extended over time, over generations; they convey the depth of our character.”
We had a meeting with Minister Coralee Oakes to thank her for financial assistance with the West Fernie restructuring and a meeting with Premier Christy Clark, Minister Stone and Minister Shirley Bond and mayors of the Highway 3 Coalition to discuss priorities and the possibility of branding for Highway 3.
I attended a dinner given by Canfor that included several Canfor dignitaries and Minister Steve Thomson (Lands and Forests). I was placed at the table next to President and CEO of Canfor Don Kayne and Senior VP Corporate and Legal Affairs David Calabriga. Seizing the opportunity, I relayed to them the concerns our valley has with the new company that has purchased Tembec. I mentioned that it seemed impossible to contact this company to have a meeting to discuss the concerns.
Mr. Kayne said that Canfor has confidence in this company, that they have formed a partnership in regards to several business areas including Skookumchuck and they feel quite comfortable that the future will be bright. I have set in motion a request to the new company to set up a meeting and hopefully they will agree to the request. In his address Mr. Kayne expressed his appreciation of the role of their municipal partners, stating that they have “the same goal to keep your communities strong and healthy. We want to do more to build our working relationship. There is a lot we can do, but the starting point really lies with us and in events like we’re having tonight which help to provide our mayors with the information you need to understand the role Canfor plays in your communities and where and how we can be strong partners.”
I attended a governance discussion and a museum branding seminar here in Fernie as well as the Legion Zone conference dinner where I delivered a speech in regards to the importance of the Legion to our community.
As many know it is becoming difficult to keep the Legion viable; however, what most don’t know is that you don’t need to be a member to enter the premises. All you have to do is ring the buzzer at the door and someone will sign you in for a drink or to attend any event.
Thanks to the Senior Citizens’ Club member for working with the city to gain a New Horizons grant for seniors to install exercise equipment on the Aquatic Centre grounds.
Also thanks to Fernie Ready Mix for the donation of cement and the Fernie Garden Centre for donation of trees.
I’d want to comment that whenever I write updates I try to include as much information as possible so that residents are aware of what I do and where I go.
It is important to me to be as transparent as possible and I believe that I have been successful during the past years to provide information. I have also made it a policy to respond to email, phone calls, Facebook comments and general request for information.
In the past 23 years of working for print and TV media I have always prided myself in telling the truth. I have interviewed hundreds of people for profiles and stories. When I attribute a comment to someone you can be very sure that it is correct.
On another note, October 4 was the official opening of the new soccer fields. It was easily one of the best community events of the year.
Hundreds of children were at the Max Turyk Centre enjoying the new facility, playground equipment, and bouncy castle. It was a great event thanks to the many people who made this possible.
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