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Courtenay councillor to advocate to Ottawa for B.C. municipalities

Will Cole-Hamilton acclaimed as chair of Federation of Canadian Municipalities' B.C. Caucus
File photo of Will Cole-Hamilton

Courtenay Councillor Will Cole-Hamilton was recently re-elected to the national board of directors for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

Cole-Hamilton, who is also the chair of the Comox Valley Regional District, was acclaimed by his fellow directors as the new chair of FCM's B.C. Caucus, which gives him a more hands-on role in the operations of the organization.

“I appreciate the vote of confidence by my BC colleagues,” said Cole-Hamilton “I look forward to getting to work - advocating for Ottawa to make the investments that our communities need and deserve.”

FCM acts as a national voice for the country's local governments. There are over 37 million Canadians who are living in communities represented by FCM. Cole-Hamilton said that part of his goal in the role is to advocate for a municipal growth framework.

"Municipalities are responsible for maintaining and delivering most of the infrastructure and services that support Canadians in their daily lives, including roads, water, public transit and essential community services," FCM's website says about the framework project. "However, in light of the historic population growth our country is experiencing, municipalities are struggling to fund these services under a 19th century revenue framework that was never designed for the realities of the 21st century."

The organization will use input from municipalities, provincial and territorial municipal associations, as well as public finance experts to show how the current fiscal set up for municipalities is "limiting Canada's progress."

FCM's 51-page paper called "Making Canada's Growth a Success" concludes "by offering concrete recommendations for a renewed partnership between orders of government that would enable Canada’s long-term growth and work towards ending chronic homelessness."

“Along with my fellow directors, I’ll be working hard to ensure that the federal government understands our needs and invests in our communities. FCM ensures that local voices are heard at the highest levels,” Cole-Hamilton said. “This is an unpaid volunteer role, and I appreciate that my travel and accommodation expenses as an FCM Director are not paid by the City of Courtenay. They are actually covered by an external grant from the Union of BC Municipalities."

Marc Kitteringham

About the Author: Marc Kitteringham

I joined Black press in early 2020, writing about the environment, housing, local government and more.
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