Campberllton Mayors Congress minutes
ATLANTIC MAYORS CONGRESS Campbellton NB
October 4, 2019
Chair, Mayor Stephanie Anglehart-Paulin, Campbellton NB Dave Aker, Mount Pearl
Lucy Stoyles, Mount Pearl
Anna Allen, Windson
Wally Anderson, Happy Valley – Goose Bay Christine Blair, Colchester Co.
Carolyn Bolivar-Getson, Lunenburg District Philip Brown, Charlottetown, PEI
Jeff Cantwell, Wolfville
Cecil Clark, CBRM
Nancy Dicks, New Glasgow
Percy Farwell, Gander
Timothy Habinski, Annapolis Co. President Tony Keats, MNL
Jimmy MacAlpine, Digby District President Bruce MacDougall, FPEIM President Waye Mason, FNSM
Bill Mills, Truro
Steve Ogden, Stratford Peggy Roche, Torbay Basil Stewart, Summerside Jim MacLeod, CBRM
Bill Karsten, FCM
Matt Kerrigan, AMC
CAO, Manon Cloutier
Administrative Secretary, Julie Caissie Tourism Coordinator, Nancy Belliveau-Poirier Secretary, Jean Louis Giroux
1. WELCOME REMARKS, MAYOR ANGLEHART-PAULIN
Mayor Anglehart-Paulin welcomed everyone and introduces Blanche Martin of Listuguj First Nation who proceeded to explain the “Smudging Ritual to cleanse the spirit” and invited all attendees to partake in the ritual.
Mayor Anglehart-Paulin explained how the City of Campbellton feels it is important to recognize the Listuguj First Nation and therefore the City recently installed their flag on City Hall and are in the process of having a monument installed on the waterfront next to the Scottish and the French monuments. Mayor introduced the City Staff and distributed Tiger hats to all attendees. “Got to support our Tigers”.
2. APPROVAL OF AGENDA
MOVED by Mayor Anna Allen, seconded by Councillor Peggy Rock that the agenda be approved as presented. – MOTION CARRIED-
3. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
MOVED by Mayor Jeff Cantwell of Wolfville, seconded by Mayor Bill Mills of Truro that the minutes from the Halifax, NS meeting of April 25-26, 2019 be approved as presented. -MOTION CARRIED-
4. RESTIGOUCHE WATERSHED PRESENTATION.
Mr. David Leblanc made a presentation on the Restigouche Watershed covering the history of the Restigouche River, one of the only interprovincial watersheds in Atlantic Canada, what is being done in preserving out fish, the programs and activities conducted on the river. The location is on Mig’ma territory, site where the historical Battle of the Restigouche took place. The Restigouche, part of the Canadian Heritage River System since 1988, is host to canoeing, salmon angling which is an important economic factor for the region. There are 23 fishing camps along the river.
The Board of Directors is made up of 19 individuals with representatives of fishing camps, First Nations and the public. One of the major concerns is the clearcutting in the forest industry along the river. The major objectives of the organization are to preserve and protect the salmon population and restoration of habitat through consultation and education. It was also noted that climate change and erosion is a problem. We are working on a linear park concept which would help control activities on the river and help control vandalism. The presentation was followed by a question and answer period.
5. QUEST PRESENTATION.
Samantha Peverell from Quest, www.questcanada.org a National non-government organization, made a presentation describing the company and the service they provide to local government. Points made during presentation, Community expenditures on energy are high / keeping energy dollars local. QUEST supports governments, utilities & energy providers, the real-estate sector, and solution providers to grow the Smart Energy Communities marketplace with custom, trusted, and independent services. Their advisory services fall into four categories: Energy Mapping Workshops, Community Energy Planning Support, Custom Services, and Resilience Workshops. All of their services are customizable and designed to help you evolve your business model to succeed in the Smart Energy Communities marketplace. We have a seasoned, experienced, and multi-disciplinary team with specialized knowledge in: Community Engagement & Community Energy Planning, Convening & Partnership Building, Policy & Decision Support.
6. MAYOR’S ROUNDTABLE (44:30)
Note: Points and topics brought up during roundtable
Mayor Bill Mills, Truro informed that things are going well in Truro. United Nations study on the impact of people of African descent. Truro will be working with the community concerning the controversy and set up a program for that. Climate change is front row and center. Lost 240 jobs with the closing of carpet mill. However two parties are interested in taking over 435,000 sq. ft. facility.
Wally Anderson Happy Valley – Goose Bay. Wellness Center project is on schedule if not ahead of schedule. Continuing road structure resurfacing. Building of RV Park. Dealing with the closing down of the Muskrat Fall project. Other than that, doing quite well.
(5:04 ) President Bruce MacDougall of the Federation of PEI Municipalities. Just came through a Provincial Election electing a new government. Opposition guy counting on us over amalgamation issues is now Minister in charge of Municipalities. We are now busy getting to know the new departments. We’ve had meeting on land use which is a huge challenge. Affordable housing is in a crisis. Air B&B is a contributing factor to this.
Phillip Brown, Charlottetown. Looking at hosting the Canada Games 2023. Need to build new facilities so we are looking for funding for a multi-use sports and entertainment center. Summerside and Charlottetown having issues with affordable housing. Will be bringing up the Air B&B issue later on this afternoon.
Steve Ogden, Stratford PEI. Biggest issue growth. Last census showed 13% growth. Before that we were at 23% growth. Infrastructure to keep up with the growth is challenging. We are also in a $17 Million project to pipe waste water to neighboring community of Charlottetown. Building a $6 million emergency services building. In the stage of building a new High School. Affordability in general, not just housing is an issue. Looking forward to speaking to other communities facing the same challenges.
11:17 Tony Keats President of MNL. Just moved into a new state of the art building, a big improvement from where we were before. There’s room for all our partners and room to grow. We’ve been very focused on the waste water issue in NFLD and Labrador which will be brought up later this afternoon. AGM for the Association will be in November 16th. This will be my last meeting with you in this role, thank you for the opportunity and friendship.
Jimmy MacAlpine Digby,NS. Looking at the climate change act. Looking at our budget this year we included purchase of tidal gages for the area we feel there might be an issue in our community. We are in the process of having them put in. To profile the area, in July it was nice to see the TV show Still Standing produced in the area which helped showcase our region. Land and Sea will also feature the area in an upcoming program. We need upgrade to the Digby port. At the moment is can’t accommodate the demand. We keep advocating for that. Another challenge that everyone seems to be facing is doctor recruitment. The province seems to be downloading this problem onto the municipalities. We are currently working with recruiters to help with this issue.
(17:00) Mayor Anna Allen of Windsor. Spoke of the same problem recruiting doctors. Promoting the valley being a good place to live. Consolidation project ongoing. Causeway is an environmental issue we should not be involved in since it should be the Provincial responsibility. Last term, thanked everyone and added that this was the best committee she’s been on. We work real well together.
(21:40) Waye Mason, President of NSFM We were just at our NSFM meeting on Monday. Spoke of their climate change coordinator. Part of the 2 year project for Federal funding. She’s made great connections within the community. Through her work, we’ve been accepted in the Global Covenant of Mayor’s Climate Change Initiative. Our community is very involved with is accessibility with the help of our engineer. Interesting project starting with the Town of Truro and Kentville. Pilot Project on Mentoring with seniors connection to our Highschool. Received a grant through Dalhousie University and Federal Government. It will be an interesting Project. She also invited everyone to a curling event in November that will take place at their recreation facility.
(26:00) Lucy Stoyles, Deputy Mayor Mount Pearl: We are also partnering with the Federal Government on climate change issues. Waste water is also a big issue in the region and trying to get Federal money to help solve that problem. Family doctors is a major issue in the region. Senior Housing is a major issue; there is now a 12 year waiting list to get into existing facilities. We just came back from Edmonton were we won several awards for economic development.
(29:35) Percy Farwell, Gander. We are doing well, lots of things on the go. New waste water treatment plant will be starting soon and should meet future needs. Concerns are that funding is Federal or Provincial funding is not available for other concerns. Climate change and environment issue, we are members of PCP. Partnership with Honeywell. Spoke of phase 1 and 2 of energy saving programs for facilities. Charging station, potential wind farm next to WWTP facilities.
(34:00) Timothy Habinski, Annapolis Co. NS. We are engaged in an internet project to towards fibre cable to 95 % of the area. Finalizing a contract for fixed price bill. Major concern is our municipal response to climate change. We are engaged in 2 projects for reducing carbon footprint. We declared a state of climate change emergency last month, and the next step will is bringing together 20 to 30 local organizations and expert in the community to actively look at developing a strategy to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.
(37:35) Steward Basil, Summerside. High financial cost of cleanup of the last hurricane. Heading into $40 million in construction for housing and apartment buildings, new hotel, etc. Looking at expanding utilities, solar farm, and windfarm. Attended the International Community In Bloom conference in Yarmouth last week. We’ve put in a bid for that in 2022. Working with Charlottetown to host Winter Games in 2023. Trying to work on reducing the Confederation Bridge fee. Made a comparison to the bridge in Quebec that cost a lot more and has no fees.
(41:45) Jeff Cantwell Wolfville. Just finished a new skatepark and full basketball court, including chess and checkers table on Acadia University grounds. We are in phase 3 of installation of charging sites. Provisions for entertainment and Town events have been embrace by Acadia and getting significant reduction for Community Theater which help local theater taking place in proper venues. We were lucky to have Amazing Race film in the valley, great exposure. We are also experiencing short term rental problems. Mention Devour Food Film Fest in November, can’t get a room in town.
(44:55) Jim MacLeod, Designated Councillor Cape Breton Rggional Municipality:. Because we are a regionalized municipality of 8 former units, we can’t regionalize anymore, the fiscal reality is we have a decline in population of 1000 people a year. 2 First Nation that are expanding with now 6000 in population. We need a new relationship with the province. Discussion with them about waste water will be very important. The University is expanding from 3400 students to 5500 students. There’s a whole new buzz and vibe about it in the community with a lot of international students. We are trying to get 2 more electric buses to meet the transit demand. The province is relocating the Community College downtown, new health infrastructure. That with the new waste water infrastructure will bring in $2 billion dollars in capital investment in the next 10 years. It’s great for local contractors. Also spoke about cruise ship industry. This should be put on future agenda.
(48:11) Peggy Roche, Torbay NS. Just had the grand opening of New Kinsmen Community Center that we are very proud off.
(50:40) Waye Mason, FNSM. Last meeting as President. Working on improving internal communication. New magazine is going to print now. External communication is working on building a contact list for the provincial caucuses, MLAs etc. to make it easier for our members to get to the MLAs. Touched on Climate change adaptation, retrofitting, electric buses. High praise for Bridgewater.
(55:40)Christine Blair Mayor Coldchester, NS.: Received approval from the Global Geo Park Network for 1st Geo Park in NS. Cliffs of Fundy Geo Park. It needs to be confirmed by UNESCO general assembly when they hold their meeting in April. We can’t do media release yet but we are very excited about it. Cumberland and Coldchester County are meeting to discuss the Geo Park and business plan that will be put in place. We work closely with Millbrook First Nation and they have asked for the Federal Government to transfer 1000 acres of property in Coldchester county area to the reserve. The only concern we have is who will be providing the service. Working on broadband project, we are almost ready to hire our provider. Northern Pulp is a big issue and the future of forestry in NS if the mill closes.
Mayor Stephanie Anglehart-Paulin, Campbellton. Spoke of the fiscal reality of our Memorial Civic Center and how the City introduced the Leisure Card for the communities that are not funding the center. We were not very popular with that move but now we see that St. John is doing the same thing this year. The neighboring Quebec communities jumped in and we set up an Advisory Committee for the Civic Center. It’s an important infrastructure when looking at recruiting of doctors and other professional to the area. Campbellton now has a charging station installed by NB Power at a local hotel.
7. W DUSK GROUP
Presentation by Daniel Isaac on current shift in Business Model, digital economy, democratization of energy, food, water, etc. Innovations currently happening are Micro grids. They are snapshots of the future, most neighborhoods will be able to effectively become autonomous electric mini grids, all controlled by computers. Sharing or trading their energy through technology.
Third industrial revolution is upon us. Will see increase in lithium battery use in buildings, homes, help save during energy usage peeks and shortages. Could even bank power for utilities. Fast growing job sector is clean energy such as wind or solar. During the presentation, Mr. Isaac showed different projects they are involved in as examples to the different points he was making.
Mayor Anglehart-Paulin thanked Mr. Isaac for the presentation. 8. FCM –BILL KARSTEN, PRESIDENT.
Mr. Karsten expressed his pleasure to be here and thanked Mayor Anglehart-Paulin for hosting. Thanked for leadership with Smudging Ceremony in the morning. Connection with First Nations are important and a great message for FMC to follow.
Insight of Games of FCM. Election platform. The people in this room without exceptions are community leaders that are, on a daily basis, building better lives for the Canadians we serve. His motto during his last two campaigns was “It’s all about the future” and as leaders, we need to remind ourselves of that as well.
We’ve had the Gas tax doubled this year, that’s an immediate need but we also have to be aware we are doing this to make the future better for those coming forward.
He acknowledges some of the Board Members that are present today.
The upcoming Federal Election. In 2015 the Federal election actually drove incredible unprecedented results for municipalities. It was a direct result of Municipalities getting a deal from the Federal Government for $180 billion in infrastructures funding over the next 10 years. It gave us the first International Housing Strategy which not only touches affordable housing but addresses homelessness and how we deal in our communities with the most vulnerable.
This election, what we’re looking to drive empowering local leaders to be the new norm. Build Canada by building local communities. We at FCM recently did pole showing that 71% trust their local leaders.
Talking about doubling the Gas Tax on a permanent basis. Talked a bit about Transit programs.
FCM is also asking for specific Disaster mitigation and adaptation plan no less than $1billion per year for 20 years. The work that FCM does is not a destination but a journey. We believe the message is resonating at the Federal level.
Mr. Karsten stressed that everyone should visit the website https://www.buildingbetterlives.ca. On that website, there’s a link that automatically, using your postal code, will reach every candidate within your area and send that message out.
In closing, it’s been a privilege and humbling experience to be representing the municipalities from across the country. The work we do and you do on a daily basis, you are valued and thanked, even if you don’t hear it.
Thanked all Mayors present. Followed by question/answer period.
9. URGENT EMERGING ISSUES
Short Term Rentals
Mayor Philip Brown, Charlottetown. Spoke about the problem of affordable housing in Charlottetown due to the short term rental. Discussions have started at the municipality and with the public. A meeting was held where the affordable housing group came out in force. They explained that the Air B&B is affecting a lot of people. It’s causing the people downtown to lose their neighborhoods. Mayor Brown warned the group present that Nova Scotia and New Brunswick will be facing the same problem soon with Air B&Bs. They are looking at the big bucks now, looking at large acre farms and such properties so multiple families can stay for little money. We have to find a balance, a collective solution to this problem. Some are saying, don’t have a bylaw regarding this and let the market dictate. That’s not going to happen. Residences are asking us to do something. The hotel / motel industry is also affected by this because they need to follow strict restrictions like inspections, high taxes, or pay levy at the moment.
Mayor Brown went on to explain that Council started working on a bylaw. First thing must be owner occupied. This got multiple home owners complaining having to answer to LTR. He asked if other municipalities are looking at this and what approach they are using and would like this discussion to continue in the future.
Basil Stewart, Summerside reported that it wasn’t a concern for their area yet. If the residence is owner occupied, it would fall under residential act. If it’s not owner occupied, it should be considered commercial and taxed accordingly as such.
A quick exchange took place between the different attending representatives.
Timelines and fiscal capacity to implement the 2012 Wastewater regulations.
Tony Keats, MNL. Their situation, just bringing system up standard today is around $700 million. They only get $100 million for infrastructure a year. Drinking water is a major concern in everyone’s community across the country. It’s a problem for his communities and all rural communities.
Points made: 75% of our communities have less than 4000 population. Most are operating with just 1 person overworked with things that need to be done. Enforcement officers are coming to their towns to enforce the regulations put forth by the Federal Government. Another concern as an association of communities, the financial burden spent just to send data for each system to the government. Those funds could be better used in finding better solutions within our communities. We can’t afford “Cadillac” systems.
We want to be good stewards for the environment and the future generations but if you don’t have the money or the timelines to do it right, it will never be done right. Trying to get the government to understand it’s time they stand with the communities, not against, when looking for funds and authorizations to be changed.
When the Federal Government was going around signing the bilateral agreements, we were not made aware when they were coming until the night before. They should be trilateral agreements. We as communities should be fair partners when it comes to funding.
A quick exchange took place between the different attending representatives.
Stelios Hiotakis, Senior VP for Eastern Canada and Alain Gregoire, VP Infrastructure for Eastern Canada made a presentation regarding the services provided by Collier Project Leaders in delivering end to end solutions to meet capital project needs.
The Congress adjourned at 4:00 p.m.
Saturday October 5th
12. Mario Arsenault of Chaleur Sawmil made a presentation on the importance of the forestry industry on the economy of New Brunswick. We live in a very beautiful natural setting and a big part of it is our forest. Wood is woven into our communities and way of life. We just bought a second mill in Bathurst increasing our capacity with confidence in the future and markets. We have 22 000 hectares of crown land to harvest. Our activities span from Restigouche to Miramichi. We have 600 employees – 300 permanent and 300 seasonal. In the Restigouche area we represent 26% of all salaries. We pay 60 million dollars a year to the government which supports programs and services for our families. We contribute to the capacity of NB Power in our purchase of power in the amount of $42 million annually. While you are probably aware of the market for core wood, we sell chipped wood and sell it in India where mixed with a paste become fabric for clothing. The continuing presence of CN Rail is partially due to the heavy usage in shipping lumber to the rest of Canada but more so to the United States. About 3000 houses a year are built here but many many more are built in our American market. WE are always trying to increase our efficiency. To that end we are moving to using bark and sawdust to generate energy and moving away from propane. In New Brunswick 37 % is crown land and the rest is privately owned. To ensure sustainability less than 2% of woodland is harvested each year.
13 Atlantic Mayors Directors Report: Resolutions and calls for action from our meetings should be sent to each of the Atlantic provincial municipal associations and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities for support and endorsement. Directors support the shifting of our meeting start to Thursday evening from Wednesday. Election of Directors should take place at the spring meeting. Information regarding the current directors and annual financial report will be forwarded to the Nova Scotia Registry of Joint Stocks after the spring meeting.
14. The spring meeting will be hosted by Colchester Mayor Christine Blair and Truro Mayor Bill Mills on April 16 to 18, 2020. The Fall meeting will be hosted by Mayor Basil Stewart of Summerside in October 2020 exact date to be set at the spring meeting.
15. The meeting ended with a tour of the nearby mountain named Sugarloaf. Members were transported to this ski trail recreation facility by bus. There they went to the top on the lift and enjoyed the beautiful autumn colours spreading up and down the Restigouche – Bay of Chaleur valley.