This Happened (in Calgary)

Last week was mostly spent in Calgary, attending the annual Federation of Canadian Municipalities meeting. This is the annual get-together of local governments from all across Canada to network, share, learn, and advocate. It is not my favourite conference (I find UBCM more relevant) and I have not attended in a few years, but this year brought the opportunity to have some meetings about some specific issues important to New West (more on that later), so packed the bags and booked the flight.

As usual (see here and here for example), I will provide a more detailed report on my FCM take-aways in a follow-up post here. In my Wednesday newsletter (link here to sign up and get the juice into your mailbox), I’ll write a little more about my thought on the political part of the conference, where we had very different addresses from the Prime Minister, the shadow minister from the Conservatives, and the leader of the NDP. In the meantime, here are a few pictures of the Calgary FCM experience:

Tasha showed up with a specific message for any Federal Government types we met at the conference!
This emergency alert arrived in our inbox as 1000s of local government delegates arrived in Calgary. Infrastructure Funding Anyone?
The Mayor of Edmonton and I had a significant difference of opinion on the value of bandwagons, but all in good fun!
The challenging regulatory environment in Alberta has not prevented the City of Calgary form investing in solar infrastructure at various scales.
Wherever you go, there you are! With Councillor Dominique O’Rourke of Guelph, Ontario.
In Calgary, the ultimate virtue signal is a cowboy hat in a convention centre.
I had a lunch discussion with Sam Trosow, a Councillor from London Ontario who sought me out at the event, because his City has studied New Westminster’s anti-demoviction regulations, and wanted to chat about challenges and successes.
My view for most of FCM was some version of this. The weather was always fine inside the conference sessions.
Streetscapes in Calgary are a study in contrast. Some nice public spaces, some serious car sewers.
Being a geologist, I know a few people who work in Calgary. I had a chance to catch up with a couple of old University friends I had not seen in something like 25 years! Good times. And yes, Calgary has craft beer.

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