West Kelowna council came back from the recent Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) conference resolved to have their voice heard by the federal government.
“We really must be united with municipalities across Canada, and together with FCM, to more rapidly invoke federal action and funding to address the growing needs in our West Kelowna community,” said Mayor Gord Milsom. “We may be a small municipality, but we must be louder and we must be heard by the federal government in collaboration with FCM.”
Five of seven council members attended the first in-person FCM conference in two years, held in Regina from June 2 to 5. The mayor also said West Kelowna needs its voice heard on long overdue federal funding for attainable housing, escalating policing costs, and other important strategic priorities.
“In West Kelowna, we cannot sit back and not have our voice heard by the federal government about affordable housing when the housing market clearly demonstrates that the term ‘affordable housing’ is neither accurate nor realistic,” added Milsom.
He also pointed out that offloading back-pay by the federal government to the 14-year-old municipality for the RCMP to unionize is unreasonable.
“Thankfully, we are moving away from virtual advocacy and we can continue to press on to have important solutions discussed in person.”
Delegates had a chance to speak with leaders who have had positive examples advancing Truth and Reconciliation in communities similar to West Kelowna where one side of the street is municipal and the other is Westbank First Nation.
“We are excited to bring these successful partnering examples home and create our own West Kelowna and Westbank First Nation strategies together,” said Milsom.
Councillors also attended B.C. regional caucus meetings and workshops on local solutions to climate change, how municipalities are driving market housing solutions, infrastructure and economy recovery, and other sessions.