Council aims to bring FCM meeting to city
The year 2015 is shaping up to be a busy one for the city with the 100th birthday celebration, the Canada Winter Games, and now the green light given to bid for a chance to host the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Sustainable Communities conference.
The national conference is held in Ottawa every second year, but during in-between years other municipalities can bid on the opportunity to host the conference. The last city besides the capital to play host was Victoria, and though it did wind up costing that municipality around $37,000 for the privilege, Coun. Cameron Stolz pointed out they raised just $5,000 in sponsorship dollars to fund the conference, an amount which he said can be considerably surpassed.
“I think we can do better in sponsorship, and I’d be happy to take the lead on that,” he said.
Stolz, who introduced the idea for putting a bid in to host the conference, told his fellow councillors during Monday’s meeting it includes about 500 delegates.
“Municipal leaders learn from colleagues and experts,” Stolz said. “Hosting it is an honour, a privilege, a milestone in Prince George history.”
Coun. Brian Skakun questioned if the event would require much of an investment in staff time.
“I’m glad to hear you are concerned about staff time,” Stolz quipped, referring to a heated debate earlier in the evening regarding Skakun’s notice of motion, revolving around a request to staff for financial information council was told would consume much staff time.
Though the comment elicited some laughter from other councillors, Mayor Shari Green brought order to the current discussion.
Stolz said the staff time involved would be rather insignificant. Green offered the aid of her assistant if Stolz required it.
Coun. Lyn Hall said he had an issue supporting putting in a bid on the event strictly because of finances, adding he didn’t want Prince George to pay the same way Victoria did.
“We have turned people away in terms of being fiscally responsible. I’m not sure you can say there won’t be a cost to the city,” Hall said.
Stolz reiterated the fact that little sponsorship was found in Victoria and added more will be found in Prince George.
Council voted unanimously to support the bid for hosting the Sustainable Community Conference.