Councillor Nancy Bepple, CAO David Trawin, Councillor Marg Spina, Me.
Standing Committee Forum: Safety and Crime Prevention
I was heartened to hear that this standing committee takes a holistic "systems" point of view on policing issues. That is, that society needs to reduce the determinants of crime (troubled youth, addictions, mental illness) and not only focus on prosecuting criminal acts and putting people in jail. The committee has a few priority issues: medical marijuana, the 700 mhz emergency radio band, and growing policing costs to local governments. The federal government are embarking on a cost cutting program for the RCMP that will see over 100 million dollars less funding. These cuts may have impacts on local policing budgets.
President's Forum Panel: The State of Canada's Cities and Communities
FCM recently published a report on the State of Canada's Cities and Communities. Building of this, this panel engaged in a frank and free flowing discussion on this issue. Here are some points raised that I found interesting:
- Rec Centres / Community Centres are key pieces of infrastructure. Just as important as roads and pipes.
- Rapidly growing rural and northern communities are challenged in providing amenities.
- Local government actions have the greatest impact on climate change
- Local governments should practice "cathedral thinking". The first craftsman building a cathedral knew they would never see the cathedral finished. They knew future generations would benefit.
Standing Committee Forum: Social Economic Development
Cameron Keller, from At Home / Chez Soi, presented on a national intiative that provides housing and intensive support to people who are homeless and suffering from mental illness. This project is showing some very positive initial results. Mr Keller indicated a great willingness to talk with any local government interested in learning how to participate in this type of work.
Saturday Night Dinner and Receptions Attended
On Saturday evening, I went to the Insurance Bureau of Canada reception, the FCM International reception, and the Liberal Party of Canada reception. I attended a dinner hosted by the Cement Industry Association of Canada and visited the Metro Vancouver hospitality suite.