E-News Bulletin--October--In This Issue

President's Remarks - This is my last e-news bulletin as UNSM President. While we have accomplished a great deal this year in completing a number of key initiatives, it has also been a challenging one for most municipalities. When I began as President, I set two specific goals: I wanted to gain more recognition for UNSM, and encourage municipalities to become more open to change, as it is coming whether we like it or not. The One Nova Scotia report has drawn attention to the latter, and the new Fiscal Report supports it. The guiding principal for me is fairness - we need to support each other in a fair manner, not just focus on what is good for your own municipality. The Towns Task Force motto stated "we need to think with our heads, not our hearts". This is sage advice which will be required as we move forward.  

I would like to thank Minister Furey and staff from Municipal Affairs for working with us. A special thank you to the UNSM Board of Directors, our outstanding staff, and you, the members of UNSM - it has been a year full of enjoyment and I hope to show you some appreciation at our upcoming fall conference.


•    President's Activities
•    UNSM Board of Director Outcomes from September 26 meeting
•    Upcoming Workshops/Events
•    Provincial Issues
•    Building Canada Fund
•    FCM Issues

President's Activities

For a list of the President's activities over the past month, click here.

UNSM Board of Director Outcomes from September 26 Meeting

  • Governance and Dispute Resolution Report - The Board approved the final report of the Towns Task Force Governance and Dispute Resolution Sub-Committee. The report recommends a province-wide mediation program open to all municipalities and various legislative changes to outline the mediation-arbitration process for municipalities. The report has been sent to Minister Furey. For a copy of the report click here:
  • Farm Practices Board - The UNSM Board appointed Councillor Merrill MacInnis from the County of Victoria to the Farm Practices Board.
  • Provincial Program to Identify Nova Scotians at Risk - The UNSM President will write to Municipal Affairs Minister in support of the Province's initiative to develop a program to identify Nova Scotians at risk during emergency situations.
  • Nominations Committee Report - The Board approved the UNSM Nominations Committee report nominating the following individuals for the UNSM Table Officer positions for 2014-15: For President: Warden Keith Hunter, Municipality of the County of Cumberland; for Vice President, Councillor Claire Detheridge, Cape Breton Regional Municipality.
  • By-Law Revisions - The UNSM membership will be asked to vote on By-Law amendments at the Annual Fall Conference in November. Proposed revisions were e-mailed to the membership on July 17 with a request to provide feedback by September 17. The membership will have an opportunity to voice any concerns with the proposed changes at the AGM which takes place at the Westin Nova Scotian in Halifax on November 6. For a copy of the By-Law Revision Report, click here.
  • Provincial Environmental Regulations Strategy -  The UNSM President will be meeting with the NS Environment Minister to discuss municipal issues with provincial environmental regulations. The UNSM is in the process of developing a strategy to tackle environmental regulations impacting municipalities. This would include solid waste, water and wastewater, climate change, and coastal zone management. The UNSM is bringing together representatives from the UNSM, AMA, Municipal Public Works Directors, land-use planners and sustainability coordinators together with senior provincial environment staff. The purpose will be to outline municipal issues and concerns and to come up with solutions. We know environmental regulations represent one of the largest financial impacts on municipalities. These discussions are crucial as we move forward with joint solutions.

Provincial Issues--October 2014

  • Vegetation Management: The UARB has issued its report on the response to Hurricane Arthur. It has requested that UNSM participate in a future process with respect to vegetation management and storm hardening. If you are interested in working with UNSM on the issue of vegetation management, please contact Betty MacDonald.
  • Health Authorities Act: Nova Scotia’s health care consolidation is moving ahead. Recently, the Health Authorities Act passed in the Legislature. The legislation moves the province towards a unified health system and enhances focus on patients, clients and families. It also streamlines collective bargaining. The consolidation process will streamline administration in the health sector, improve patient quality and safety, and allow the health system to think and act as one. For more information, go to http://novascotia.ca/DHW/.
  • Animal Control: UNSM will be meeting with the Department of Agriculture in the next few weeks to obtain more information on the implications for municipalities from the new legislation regarding animal control.

Upcoming Workshops/Events--October 2014

 

  • Ken Simpson Municipal Lecture Series - The Benefits of Using Mediation to Resolve Disputes: Tuesday, November 4, Commonwealth Room A, Westin Nova Scotian Hotel, Halifax, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. For more information and to register, click here.
  • UNSM Fall Conference: 2014 November 4-7, 2014 LOCATION:  Westin Nova Scotian Hotel, Halifax, NS. For more information and to register, click here.
  • Fiscal Review Workshops - A series of Fiscal Review Workshops will be hosted by Municipal Affairs. Elected officials and staff are invited to attend. Dates and locations are as follows: October 23, Town of Yarmouth, Rodd Grande; October 28, Town of Truro, Holiday Inn; October 29, Town of Port Hawkesbury Civic Center; October 31, Greenwich, Old Orchard Inn; November 4, CBRM, which is taking place at the Westin Nova Scotian Hotel. Each session will run from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. with the exception of the CBRM workshop which will take place from 9:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. Council feedback on the Fiscal Review Report is due December 15, 2014.
  • oneNS Website - UNSM, in partnership with AMANS, has developed a website dedicated to municipal interests contained within the oneNS Report. The website will be officially launched prior to the 2014 UNSM Annual Fall Conference. Municipal officials will be invited to share their ideas and initiatives through the website.

Building Canada Fund

  • Nova Scotia and Canada are currently negotiating the Small Communities Fund (SCF) Agreement, which is part of the New Building Canada Fund. Through the SCF, Nova Scotia and Canada will each provide one-third cost sharing of $42.6 million. To facilitate project starts in 2015/16, Nova Scotia has initiated a call for applications. Please note, no projects will be approved prior to the signing of the Canada-Nova Scotia SCF Agreement.
     
    Eligible applicants under SCF include Nova Scotia municipalities and villages with a population under 100,000. For this round of applications, only one application will be accepted from each eligible applicant. Further information on funding categories, eligible project costs, and a general program overview can be found by clicking here
     
    The Province asks you to ensure your priority project falls within the eligible project categories and can be initiated within the next 3 fiscal years (ie. 15/16, 16/17, or 17/18). Applications will be accepted until midnight on December 19, 2014.  The downloadable application form and details on the application process are available on the Municipal Affairs website: click here.