Municipal empowerment tops FCM Board of Directors agenda attended by Vegreville Councillor Taneen Rudyk
[Vegreville, AB] – Local Councillor Taneen Rudyk was joined by municipal leaders from across the country in the County of Annapolis, Nova Scotia, to discuss the goals and objectives of Canada’s municipalities for the year ahead. The topics of infrastructure, cannabis legalization and rural broadband dominated the conversation.
The discussion of municipal autonomy at this fall’s Board Meeting took place against the backdrop of an important national discussion about the role of municipalities and their relationship with the provincial and federal orders of government. Above all, members agreed that now is the time to focus on local decision-making, greater empowerment for cities and communities, and the fiscal tools necessary to make that happen.
The FCM Board sent a unanimous message that municipalities will oppose any use of Section 33 (the notwithstanding clause) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that would have the effect of overriding local decision-making and democratic rights at the local level. The FCM Board also reaffirmed its support for the ability of municipalities to govern their own affairs and represent the interests of their residents.
“As federal political parties prepare for next year’s election, it is time for a mature and modern conversation about how to empower municipal autonomy,” said FCM President Vicki-May Hamm. “We need political will from every order of government to have a conversation about how we work together within the Constitution. With engaged federal partners, we know it can be done.”
With legalization fast approaching, cannabis was key on the agenda during this year’s meeting. Municipalities have been working hard to get ready for October 17th, but success requires ongoing collaboration and cooperation across all orders of government, most critically at the municipal level.
“Local governments are on the front lines of legalizing cannabis across Canada. Our priority is to keep our citizens safe and well-served,” said Taneen Rudyk. “As October 17 draws near, municipalities need more details on implementation, including assurances that municipal costs will be covered through financial tools like excise revenue sharing.”
Reliable broadband is an essential service for Canadians, yet remains elusive for two million living in rural, remote and northern communities. FCM board members discussed the urgent need for an ambitious, long-term national broadband strategy lead by the federal government to ensure rural communities maintain their vital part role in Canada’s economy.
“We have a situation where Canadian households are struggling to connect and businesses are unable to unlock their full potential. This is unacceptable,” said Rudyk. “We need the federal government to lead this strategy through long-term, predictable solutions and major investments.”
Board members were also updated on developments in the federal infrastructure plan. This plan was designed to empower municipalities to deliver transformational transit, green and rural infrastructure projects across Canada and in Vegreville.
“The federal infrastructure plan we helped shape is unprecedented — in its $180 billion scale, its 12 year commitment, its prioritization of municipal projects, and its tailored tools for rural and northern communities,” said Rudyk. “These investments can move projects forward to build stronger economic growth, lower greenhouse gas emissions and improve quality of life for all.”
Across Canada, in communities large and small, urban and rural, municipalities are the order of government closest to people’s lives. Their local solutions are helping tackle national challenges—from growth and productivity to climate change—and are building a more livable, competitive Canada.
FCM is the national voice of municipal government in Canada. Its Board of Directors represents communities of all sizes from coast to coast to coast.
Taneen Rudyk has served on Vegreville Town Council since 2010. In 2017 and 2018, Rudyk was elected to represent urban municipalities from across Alberta on the Federation of Canadian Municipalities an excellent table to represent the interests of Albertans who live outside large urban centres. Following the advocacy of Vegreville lobbying the Federal Government to have the Immigration Case Processing Centre remain in community, the idea that #ruralcanadamatters has been of key importance to Rudyk as Canada becomes more and more centralized and there is an increasing danger for smaller voices in rural and remote communities to be overlooked. Taneen Rudyk was recently appointed to the Governance Representative on the FCM initiative Towards Parity in Municipal Politics an opportunity to continue her work building community and encouraging diverse participation in the political process.
NOTICE VEGREVILLE RESIDENTS AND BUSINESS OWNERS
NOTICE VEGREVILLE RESIDENTS AND BUSINESS OWNERS
Economic Diversity Enhancement Plan Update
As a citizen and / or business owner in Vegreville, your feedback is necessary to enhancing the development of a plan that reflects your values and preferences.
You might be chosen for a quick phone survey by MDB Insight (or other contracted company). They will state they are calling on behalf of the Town of Vegreville.
Vegreville Economic Diversity Enhancement Plan Project
Vegreville Economic Diversity Enhancement Plan Project - Phone surveys are currently being conducted on behalf of the Town of Vegreville. (Residents and business owners)
The future growth of the Town of Vegreville is dependent on a robust economic development plan
The Town is happy to announce the commencement of our economic diversity enhancement project.
If you own or operate a business you should expect the following call. "I am calling from MDB Insight (or another subcontractor) on behalf of the Town of Vegreville and we are conducting a study amongst businesses in the community as a part of the Economic Diversity Enhancement Plan we are assisting with. Your participation is very important and we would like to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak with us today. Your feedback is critical and will help inform the organization’s business retention and expansion efforts. The survey will take approximately 10 minutes of your time. Please be assured we are not calling to sell or solicit anything.
Residents will also be contacted - Household retail survey
Our household retail survey is happening right now. 150 citizens will be chosen at random to better understand shopping habits and local retail needs. The survey is being run by MDB Insight as part of our Economic Diversity Enhancement Plan.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact
Christopher Robblee, Economic Development and Tourism Manager at 780-632-3891.
Vegreville CPC closes and still no answers.
(Vegreville) – It’s been almost two years since the Government of Canada announced the closure of the Vegreville Case Processing Centre without any notification or consultation with the town. The devastating decision has cost Vegreville more than 200 jobs and has left the Town with many unanswered questions.
“We fought hard to keep the CPC in Vegreville but the Government of Canada would not change their mind,” said Mayor Tim MacPhee. “We have illustrated to them the devastating effects this decision has on our Town and have questioned why they don’t see the impact these decisions have on rural Canada.”
The Mayor adds, “While disappointed we could not change this outcome, our community leaders are now working hard to secure new opportunities for our community.”
Vegreville Town Council and local business leaders have been working hard to develop strategies to attract investment including:
- identifying Vegreville’s economic strengths,
- researching industries which are both value-added and sustainable, and
- meeting with various companies and investors.
Mayor MacPhee notes that a particular area of opportunity is the processing of value-added agriculture products.
“Vegreville offers business some tremendous advantages including knowledgeable producers, access to major transportation corridors, a skilled workforce, and high-speed internet,” said Mayor MacPhee. “We are also home to Innotech Alberta’s research centre which is home to some of Canada’s leading agricultural research.”
Vegreville must be competitive with other communities that are trying to attract investment. In order to capitalize on the economic opportunities Vegreville is asking both the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta for resources and infrastructure to help create new jobs for our residents. The Alberta Government has already provided funds to help identify industry sectors we can target for investment.
“Our community needs financial assistance to build the infrastructure needed to attract and support new businesses,” Mayor MacPhee adds. “Vegreville is not asking both levels of government to solve our economic challenges, just asking for them to give us the tools so we can find the businesses who will invest here and create new jobs.”