Municipal leaders from across the province met virtually on Monday, Oct. 19 for the 63rd annual meeting of the Federation of PEI Municipalities.
“In a very short time, a tiny virus has turned the world upside down,” says Bruce MacDougall, president of the Federation of P.E.I. Municipalities. “The way we live, and work today is unprecedented, but so is the way we have all worked together to protect and support each other,” he told delegates at the FPEIM Annual Meeting on Monday.
MacDougall said he is looking forward to the work to be done through the provincial Land Matters initiative, which will include a review of the Planning Act. For decades, report after report recommended major changes to address land and local governance issues. The problems we face today can and must be fixed.
The work ahead represents an incredible opportunity to build on the great work that has already been done and to make bold changes that will benefit Prince Edward Island for the foreseeable future.
Highlights of the day included the keynote speaker, Bill Carr. The actor, a former Prince Edward Islander who now calls Halifax home, likes to make people laugh at what is trivial while helping them think deeply about what counts.
On Monday he did that in a big way. With the help of photographs and illustrations, he used humour to show delegates the silver lining in COVID-19 era.
“The pandemic has caused us to think more, slow down and take more time. . . It’s a chance for a real re-reconsideration of everything.”
He presented some suggestions to help with this new age.
“We need to shift our thinking, shift our way of thinking and our ability to communicate with one another.”
Other highlights of the meeting included “P.E.I. Sustainable Communities Initiative and Sustainable Energy in Samso, Denmark”, a presentation by Dean Lund, an address by Garth Frizzell, Federation of Canadian Municipalities president and speeches by Premier Dennis King, Opposition Leader Peter Bevan Baker and Third Party Leader Sonny Gallant.
The day concluded with addresses by cabinet members Jamie Fox, minister of Fisheries and Communities, Bloyce Thompson, Minister of Agriculture and Land, and Justice and Safety and Natalie Jameson, Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Change. All ministers talked about the importance of collaborating with municipalities and the Federation.