Rural Alberta has a strong voice at the FCM Board of Directors and Committee Tables
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Board of Directors
is comprised of elected municipal officials and affiliate members from all regions and various-sized communities across Canada. The FCM Board meets quarterly to develop policy position on key national municipal issues and sets priorities that reflect the concerns of municipal governments and FCM’s affiliate members.
Rural Alberta is well represented at FCM board meetings at both the board and committee levels. RMA members appointed to the FCM Board and committees include:
- Board members:
- Al Kemmere, RMA – FCM Board Member
- AnnLisa Jensen Parkland County – FCM Board Member
- Committee Members:
- Krista Balsom, RM of Wood Buffalo
- Katie Berghofer, Strathcona County
- Wayne Bokenfohr, Sturgeon County
- Robin Kurpjeweit, Cypress County
- Steve Upham, County of St Paul
Taneen Rudyk, Councillor with the Town of Vegreville, is also an active member of the FCM Board of Directors and a strong advocate for rural Alberta. These representatives bring the rural perspective to committee and board discussions, championing the need for a rural lens to be applied to policy discussions. While not all positions are in unison with the final positions of FCM, the rural voice is definitely at the table.
The recent FCM board meeting in September included discussions on the FCM’s annual general meeting that was hosted in Quebec City in June and was also the forum to establish directions for the upcoming year. Election readiness discussions were also at the forefront, which ended up delivering in real time with the federal writ being dropped during the FCM board meeting. The FCM’s Federal Election platform has been delivered to members through the Contact newsletter but is also available here
In the attached FCM Report to Council, the various resolutions passed are identified, in addition to other items that will be of interest. Of note, new FCM membership fees received approval by the Board in response to the increased workload that the Board has prioritized in an attempt to raise the profile and importance of municipalities in the eyes of the federal government. Board and committee members believe we have seen the results in this with the numerous municipal programs that have been announced over the last five and six years. Further, increased investment in federal advocacy has resulted in more funding for local governments, including the $2.2 billion doubling of the Gas Tax Fund
, increased investment in the Green Municipal Fund, the Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program, and the Municipal Asset Management Program
. The FCM has also been a strong advocate for the need for broadband access for rural, remote, and northern communities, and federal government announcement of a coordinated national broadband strategy
that would deliver up to $6 billion in investments in rural broadband over the next 10 years, prioritizes universal internet for all Canadians.
In November, the FCM Board will be meeting for ‘Advocacy Days’, which includes members gathering in Ottawa to participate in meetings with as many Members of Parliament and Senators as possible to deliver the municipal message. In recent years, FCM has leveraged opportunities during Advocacy Days to emphasize rural issues as a top priority to ensure that federal decision makers understand the importance of Canada’s rural areas in policy decisions. This is spurred by a resolution
sponsored by RMA and adopted by FCM in 2018, calling for the application of a rural lens in policy tools for solving rural challenges. Also in 2018, the FCM released a report, Rural Challenges, National Opportunity: Shaping the Future of Rural Canada
, which demonstrates how rural communities drive Canada’s economy, but need tailor-made policy and resources solutions.
We encourage members to visit the FCM website
to learn more about their efforts and will continue to keep members apprised of advocacy efforts leveraged by FCM at the federal level.
For enquiries, please contact:
RMA President & FCM Board Member
Councillor, Parkland County & FCM Board Member