June Junket

Don’t look for the CAO. He’s away.  At the Federation of Canadian Municipalities indoctrination Conference and “Municipal Expo”.  Or is it the Canadian Federation of Municipalities? Whatever. As we warned you in a previous post, it is meeting this week, June 5 – 8, in Whistler no less. Not only that, we hear he is not alone. The deputy mayor and two councillors are there too, even if it is a recession.

You see how it is done? It’s education. They learn municipal speak and how to get on side with the program. You know – banning bottled water, pesticides and such. It’s a bonding experience we are sure. And there’s a “trade” show.

Where else can you find information on energy-efficient municipal fleet vehicles, innovative wastewater collection systems, solutions for traffic and parking problems, and best practices on how to fight climate change— all under one roof?

We wonder whether we had to pay not only for the trip but also for carbon offsets. They are apparently recommended so our leaders can sleep at night without environmental guilt.

Isn’t it nice to know what our money is being spent on? It’s clearer than the budget.

LATER:  We heard on CBC radio this morning a report on this, that many are unhappy with the number going, including Gloria McClusky who thought it was a waste of money. Good for her. We also heard that 22 municipalities in NS decided NOT to send anyone. Wolfville was not one of them.

Shelburne Mayor Alan Delaney said the municipality’s finances were too tight to consider paying for representatives to attend the West Coast meetings.

“We can’t justify the thousands of dollars it would cost when we can’t afford to do certain things the town needs,” Delaney said Saturday.

Delaney said he agreed in principle with the idea of sharing and learning with other municipal leaders, but not at any price.

The Shelburne mayor said the council might be able to afford to send delegates when the federation holds its annual meeting in Halifax in 2011.

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4 responses to “June Junket

  1. Why can’t they just teleconference? Remember, the Wolfville Budget is loaded with computer technology and fancy fiber-optic communications. Can’t these Council-types figure out how to use their expensive toys?

    Perhaps it’s all too much to ask. These guys haven’t even mastered email! Either they can’t open my messages or they haven’t figured out where the reply button is.

    Instead of running off to lotus-land to play with all the other municipal goons, the Wolfville Council needs to make an effort to connect with the citizens. They may even learn a thing or two. I’d gladly give them some remedial instruction on how to use elementary computing software — for free!

  2. Actually, the electronic meeting would be a more democratic way of doing things. If things were done properly, citizens could also “attend” an electronic meeting and even contribute. Of course, the sad truth is that Councils are really all about excluding inconvenient citizens.

  3. Did they use the money that could go for the hospital, hospice and playground?