WHITEHORSE—Yukon moved a step closer towards building long-term resilience in municipalities at the Our Towns, Our Future Summit hosted Friday by the Government of Yukon and the Association of Yukon Communities (AYC).
More than 40 delegates, including mayors, councillors, senior administrative officers and Yukon government staff worked together to identify priority action items and develop a work plan to implement the 75 findings of the Our Towns, Our Future municipal sustainability review.
"I am pleased with the collaboration among the Government of Yukon, the Association of Yukon Communities and municipal governments as we work together to build healthy, vibrant and sustainable Yukon communities,” Community Services Minister Archie Lang said. “Officials are already meeting with municipal councils and fire chiefs to develop a plan for the Yukon government to assume responsibility for protective services in rural Yukon municipalities."
There are also plans to design options for an increase to the Comprehensive Municipal Grants in preparation for a new five-year grant program in 2013-14.
The summit prioritized exploring realistic options for municipalities to generate revenue and developing strategies to address rising energy costs. In addition, summit participants discussed the structure and composition of the community development teams which are intended to be responsive to the unique needs of Yukon municipalities.
“We made some real progress in advancing the Our Towns, Our Future initiative today,” AYC president and Whitehorse Mayor Bev Buckway said. “I am pleased that participants are looking at ideas to address the 18 themes that came from the findings report, as those ideas may promote stronger, more efficient municipalities in Yukon. It is crucial to continue to build relationships and partnerships so we can work best with our scarce financial resources.”
“We are working on municipal sustainability matters. The Comprehensive Municipal Grant and the Municipal Act review commitments are critical to municipal governance and service delivery, and working discussions on these initiatives will take place over the next few months,” Lang added.
Launched last year in response to Yukon municipalities’ concerns, the Our Towns, Our Future review was led by representatives of the Yukon government, the Association of Yukon Communities and municipalities in Yukon. The review committee’s findings report was released on May 13.
For more information and to see the Our Towns, Our Future Findings Report, visit www.community.gov.yk.ca.
Communications, Community Services