Resolutions fall flat at AGM

Red Deer city council’s push for biodegradable and compostable plastics and less product packaging was declined for a mass v

Red Deer city council’s push for biodegradable and compostable plastics and less product packaging was declined for a mass vote at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities annual general meeting.

But Mayor Morris Flewwelling said this wasn’t bad news.

Councillor Gail Parks originally asked for a resolution concerning the plastics, while Councillor Lorna Watkinson-Zimmer asked for less product packaging. Both were passed by city council.

Although the city’s two resolutions didn’t make it to the floor at the Toronto conference held May 28 to 31, these environmental issues are very much alive, Flewwelling said.

“The intent of our resolutions were already in the mill,” he said.

He referred to news that the Alberta provincial government has partnered with four major retail associations on reducing plastic bag use in half by 2013.

Watkinson-Zimmer said she feels reassured that the issue concerning product packaging is being seriously looked at.

“The FCM is adamant about the environment,” she said. “The notice of motion (brought forward by Red Deer city council) added fuel to the fire.”

Flewwelling and seven members of council attended, except for Councillor Larry Pimm.

The estimated total expenses for all eight to attend was $27,132. This includes $5,512 for registration fees, $6,600 for hotel charges, travel fees like flights and mileage were $5,720, and meal costs of $1,600. Not all hotel and meal expenses have been submitted. As well, council also submitted $7,700 in per diems for meetings attended.

This is one of two conferences councillors are expected to attend and is provided for in their budget, said Legislative and Governance Services manager Elaine Vincent.

Watkinson-Zimmer said one FCM highlight for her was seeing several affordable housing projects for the homeless in Toronto.

Parks arranged for herself and Flewwelling to tour the youth centre in Newmarket, Ont., where she had served as a municipal councillor.

The Newmarket Youth and Recreation Centre and Kinsmen Sk8 Park was impressive, Flewwelling said.

Another defining moment for Flewwelling was when Prime Minister Stephen Harper told the FCM members to not get used to the economic stimulus funding because it won’t be permanent.

The FCM lobbying body represents more than 1,775 municipalities.

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com

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