President's Update - April 2014

In my last message I noted that it was shaping up to be a busy year—boy was that an understatement. It has been a steady whirlwind of activity since you elected me as your President. It is time that I attempt to update you on the countless activities in which your Association has been involved.

First of all, I must comment on the Ivany Commission’s "Now or Never" report on the NS Economy. As you all know, this report presents a bleak picture of the Province’s future. Inaction will inevitably result in serious implications for municipalities and communities. Change is imminent if Nova Scotia is going to rise above the challenges it currently faces and the AMA Board recognizes that municipal government has a significant role to play in shaping this Province’s future. The AMA, UNSM, municipalities and the Province have been working on many of the issues identified in the report, and through the Towns Task Force and Fiscal Review, possible solutions are being developed. In the next few months the results of this work will become public, and while it is not a panacea, I am confident it will be very constructive and useful.

The AMA Board supports the Ivany report and acknowledges that municipal government must play its part to ensure that changes are implemented. The Ivany Commission called for all levels of government and communities to work together and to make “bold decisions”. The AMA Board strongly believes that a collaborative approach is the best approach to bring about the kinds of changes advocated by the report. This includes working on joint initiatives and projects, as well as on solving problems and developing policy jointly with the Province, UNSM, municipalities and other stakeholders.

The AMA will be working with the UNSM in the development of their action plan to support how municipalities can move the Ivany Report forward. As a first step, the AMA-UNSM CAO/CEO Forum being held on April 3-4 will bring together mayors, wardens, CAOs and deputies to focus on how municipal governments in Nova Scotia can become leaders and catalysts for change. It will provide tools for political and administrative leaders as a way to address resistance to change both internally and within their own communities. We will share the outcomes of this forum with you after its completion.

As a follow-up to the CAO-CEO Forum, the UNSM is planning a one-day workshop for all municipal councils to determine a course of action for municipalities. This will be led by UNSM President Mayor David Corkum as well as the Mayors of Nova Scotia’s two largest municipalities, Mayor Mike Savage and Mayor Cecil Clarke.

The UNSM and the AMA must take a leadership role in helping municipalities respond to the challenges and opportunities facing Nova Scotia. We will be looking to you, our members, for direction and ideas as we generate an action plan going forward.

For more information, please view: President and Board Report - April 2014

Erin Beaudin
President