Alberta Urban Municipalities Association Conference-AUMA 2017
At the end of November, nearly all of council attended the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) conference in Calgary, Alberta. Six of the seven of us drove down (Dave and I carpooled) and attended the three-day conference, a conference chalk full of interesting information sessions, trade show booths of our industry partners and of course, council members from all over the province.
Some of the sessions I attended included:
- Infrastructure Funding Now and Into the Future
- Mapping the Future: Shaping your municipality through land use planning
- Smart Cities and Communities- Practical Advice to Achieve Success
- Procurement Practices for Alberta Municipalities
- Strengthening Police Services
Along with the various sessions, there was lots of opportunity to engage with a number of Alberta MLAs, Ministers and of course, Premier Rachel Notley. The Minister panel I attended included: Minister Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Minister Jansen, Minister of Infrastructure, Minister Phillips (she grew up in Spruce Grove!), Minister of Environment and Parks, Minister Sabit, Minister of Human Services and Minister McLean Minister of Service Alberta and the Status of Women. Mayor Naheed Nenshi brought greetings from the City of Calgary as the host city.
Premier Rachel Notley
Premier Rachel Notley delivered an empassioned address to a standing ovation. Municipal leaders listened to her messge- that the economy is recovering, that jobs are coming back, that the Government decided to invest in Alberta when our revenues and normal course of business was taking a hit and now- now have to be prepared for an easing of government investing as the economy takes off. Debt has to be kept in check and compassionate belt tightening is coming.
Jason Kenney, newly elected leader of the UCP party also delivered a speech to the packed room. Not nearly as positive (but expected as the potential future leader of the opposition), Kenney described his time from Federal Minister to where he is now and where he hopes to be in 2019. He too received a standing ovation.
The City of Spruce Grove introduced a motion to the conference floor that AUMA support and encourage the federal government to support pipelines and ensure that we get Alberta oil to tidewater. It passed with a 95% approval.
The trade show provided councillors a chance to check out a number of industry partners, potential partners in everything from utilities to facitilies to construction to development and more.
And rumour has it, the City of Spruce Grove won a free energy audit for one public building from ATCO. We’ll have more to announce lately but it’s literally one of the only times I’ve won something. I’m happy to have it be for the benefit of the city.
And it wasn’t all serious business. One of the guys speakers (Joan , Olympic Gold medalist in curling), gave a rousing keynote address and the one message we took from it as a council— to have fun! And boy did have we had fun! This conference was also an opportunity for council members to get to know each other as we will be seeing each other a lot over the next four or more years. And we did and have the pictures to prove it! If you follow any of us on our social media channels, you might have figured out that we’re a group that loves what they do and aren’t afraid to show the fun side of us off a little bit (have you seen our fun council picture? Now that picture is awesome…stay tuned!)
One statement I heard from another municipal councillor stuck with me. She said “the energy we get now from Spruce Grove is inspiring. We can feel it!” This makes me happy. We want to do a great job for Spruce Grove, but we have to have fun doing it, too! And we’ll have that balance.
The AUMA conference is an annual conference and Red Deer will be hosting in September, 2018.