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The Stewart Era of FCM Begins



FCM President Geoff Stewart address delegates in his first FCM Speech as President

"(Municipalities) will show you what the future of Canada can be," Stewart to Delegates

Atlantic Canada is now leading the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) for the next year as Geoff Stewart, Deputy Mayor of Colchester County, Nova Scotia, assumes the role of President.


The official presidency pin was passed to Stewart by outgoing FCM President Scott Pearce, Mayor of Gore, Quebec, during the annual conference held in Calgary.


In his address to the delegates, Stewart reflected on the advice his father gave him when he was first elected to the council. “My dad said to me, Geoff, you have two eyes, two ears, and one mouth. Try to remember which one should be used the least,” he recounted, emphasizing the importance of listening and observing will be a key for him as he takes on the role of president of the national organization. "My personal goal this year is to continue to focus on the hard work and dedication that municipal leaders bring to their positions. I want to facilitate the cooperation, collaboration, and communication between municipal staff, elected officials, and the public that is so important to our country's success," Stewart explained


With the conference theme of "Redefining the Future," Stewart stressed that the groundwork laid by delegates from across Canada in Calgary will be the launching pad for a brighter future for municipalities. “As you have seen and heard over the last couple of days, now is high time to redefine the future, what the future can be for communities and local government. As we've repeated, the true path to the future is via a municipal growth framework. The record growth that Canada has seen means that Canadians are looking for us to respond to their needs right now,” Stewart asserted.


He continued, “Local governments don't have the luxury of waiting around.”


The four-day conference focused on establishing a new fiscal framework for municipalities. Stewart highlighted the massive efforts made by communities to accommodate rapid national growth, particularly in rezoning and facilitating new housing. “We know communities have been making massive efforts to accommodate our rapid national growth. Just look at the massive effort that's been underway across so many municipalities to rezone and facilitate new housing,” he noted.


The FCM has been urging the Federal, Provincial, and Territorial Governments to convene a trilateral meeting with Municipalities to negotiate a new fiscal framework, which the organization notes has not been updated since Confederation in 1867. "Give us the capacity to respond to the pressing issues, and we'll show you what the future of Canada can be," Stewart stated about the much needed a trilateral agreement.


Addressing the over 3,100 delegates in Calgary, Stewart emphasized that the Presidency is just one role, and the true strength of FCM lies in its members, who he described as "the real beating heart of FCM."


Under Stewart’s leadership, the FCM aims to leverage the momentum gained from the Calgary conference to push for meaningful changes that will benefit municipalities nationwide. With a strong emphasis on collaboration and innovation, Stewart is poised to guide the organization towards a future where local governments are well-equipped to meet the needs of their communities.

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