Mayor’s Monthly Musings for November, 2010
– Mayor sets sail on Ottawa to champion Esquimalt’s Excellence in Shipbuiding
This month, Esquimalt’s Mayor Barb Desjardins writes of her trip to Ottawa to lobby the federal government on behalf of Esquimalt.
This past month, I travelled to Ottawa to attend the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) “Advocacy Days”. It is important for the Township of Esquimalt to participate at the FCM tables because of the extent of our borders and relationships with federal lands and jurisdictions. FCM is the vehicle by which municipal concerns have an influential voice to our federal government and its decision making.
There were two days of meetings with MPs, Senators and Ministers, where municipal politicians spoke of thanks and of the success of the Economic Action Plan (which provided the funding for our own Archie Browning revitalization). We discussed our nation wide municipal concerns such as downloading of costs for services such as policing, housing, and transit, the infrastructure deficit. We also provide municipal solutions or support to be a part of solutions.
This process has been occurring for several years and has generated significant interest from ‘Ottawa’ and a recognition from all parties in Ottawa that the Economic Stimulus Plan has been a great success and it was in part because of the role municipalities took in making it happen.
I also took the opportunity as Mayor of Esquimalt to meet with key staff within the Ministry of Public Works and Government Services, and Ministry of Labour. This was to promote Esquimalt and our facilities at dockyard to be chosen as one of two centers of excellence for shipbuilding in Canada. The decision as to where these facilities will be sited is complex and a significant component is the partnerships that are in place for dockyard. We, the Township of Esquimalt are one of those important partners. The benefits of having a center of excellence extend far beyond our borders but they include job stability, economic and education growth opportunities, for our town.
Over the past year, I have also had discussions with Minister Day, President of the Treasury Board and Minister for Asia-Pacific Gateway, and Minister Yelich, Minister of State: Western Economic Diversification. With the decision potentially to come in the spring of 2011, I will continue to take the opportunity to promote our dockyard group as the best site for a center of excellence in shipbuilding. Working together, community and industry we will all be able to benefit.
Respectfully submitted by
Mayor Barb Desjardins
Township of Esquimalt
To provide input on this topic, email Mayor Desjardins at email@example.com or post a comment on this blog.