The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Annual Conference and Trade Show was back June 2-5 in Regina, Saskatchewan, with a unique hybrid format. More than 2,000 delegates participated in person, including some of CUPE’s National Executive Board and staff members.
CUPE had a strong presence at the municipal conference, holding valuable conversations with mayors, councillors and other municipal officials and staff from across Canada and hosting an information booth.
“CUPE is proud to have a big footprint in the municipal workforce in Canada, representing 150,000 workers in the municipal sector from coast to coast,” said CUPE’s National President Mark Hancock during his opening remarks. “From day one of the pandemic, members have been on the front lines, providing health care, social services, emergency response, and other essential services.”
During the conference, CUPE also hosted a panel session titled “Municipal Funding – an Equity Lens.”
Through local stories from municipal elected officials and researchers on the panel and audience participation through polling questions, there was an engaging discussion about equity and public services in housing, transportation, child care, and sustainability.
Panellists included: Cheryl Stadnichuk, Regina City Councillor, Kemi Akapo, Peterborough Councillor, Simon Enoch, Saskatchewan Director, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and Angella MacEwen, CUPE’s Economist.
The panellists agreed that community research, especially consulting with vulnerable and marginalized residents to find out what they want and not make assumptions, is critical in designing equitable policies and meeting people where they are at.
Kemi Akapo said to reach marginalized communities, they host sessions at the New Canadian Centre, go to classes where newcomers learn English and work with service providers who work with the homeless.
Read more about CUPE and the municipal sector, visit cupe.ca/municipalities.