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2012 CAMA E-Brief Partner: September 25, 2012            

CAMA Provides Input into Canada’s Long-Term Infrastructure Plan
The Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA) provided a Position Paper and a series of administrative recommendations as part of Infrastructure Canada’s Long-Term Infrastructure Plan.
Ron Shaw, President of CAMA and Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Stratford, ON, presented the association’s formal position paper to Mr. Taki Sarantakis, the Assistant Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Canada on September 24, 2012.   This marks the first time the association has submitted a formal position paper to the Government of Canada.

“The foresight shown by Infrastructure Canada to engage municipal administrators to participate in this consultative process shows a determination to address Canada’s municipal infrastructure deficit in a way that works best for all Canadians,” said Mr. Shaw.  “I was pleased to be able to deliver feedback from our members into the new grant program.” 

CAMA presented nine priorities, which were identified by the association’s members as having a high importance from an administrative standpoint. These include:

1. Predictable funding
2. Simple application and reporting process
3. Single point of contact
4. Stackable with other grants
5. Flexible financial arrangements
6. Comprehensive funding
7. Realistic project deadlines
8. Streamlined review process
9. Continued input on program design
“As an association, CAMA strives to promote excellence in municipal administration in order to enhance the quality of municipal government and the services provided to Canadians,” said Mr. Shaw. “By working with Infrastructure Canada, we are coming a step closer to addressing the important infrastructure issues facing municipalities today.” 

In order to ensure that the position paper appropriately represented the opinions of its membership, CAMA formed a subcommittee of its executive to oversee the development of the paper.  Research was carried out, one-on-one surveys were conducted with members, a member survey was carried out, and CAMA participated in a full-day workshop on the subject hosted by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).

For more information about the association’s position paper on Infrastructure Canada’s Long-Term Infrastructure Plan, please visit CAMA’s web site at
or our Blog at:

Summary of Priorities Concerning Infrastructure Canada’s Long-Term Infrastructure Plan
The following is a summary of the nine priorities identified by the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA) as part of Infrastructure Canada's consultation process for Canada’s Long-Term Infrastructure Plan.

1) Predictable Funding: CAMA strongly recommends that any future programs include an ongoing long-term commitment to allow for predictable budgeting. Most municipalities have a 10-year capital plan, while many even have Infrastructure Plans that span 25 or 50 years.  A predictable source of funding would enable municipalities to plan better.

2) Simple application & reporting process: CAMA believes that a streamlined process for applying and reporting for grants would make a significant difference to our members and would save administrative costs for all orders of government. For example, the Gas Tax Program is much more streamlined than other grant programs have been.

3) Single point of contact: CAMA recommends that a single point of contact be implemented for the provincial/territorial and federal interest in the application. Again, we believe this would greatly reduce the amount of administrative time spent applying for grants as well as save on administrative costs.

4) Stackable with other grants: CAMA suggested that funding from the Federal Infrastructure Grant Program should be able to be matched with other federal (i.e. Gas Tax) or provincial/territorial grants.
Some municipalities simply do not have the cash, reserves or borrowing capacity to match grants.

5) Flexible Financial Arrangements: CAMA believes that flexible financial arrangements would be extremely beneficial for municipalities in planning large capital projects. For example, the City of Edmonton was able to secure such funding for the light rail transit project, a large scale project that needed dependable, ongoing funding in order to properly plan and execute.

6) Comprehensive Funding:  CAMA recommends that federal infrastructure grant funding allows for cost sharing of all project costs. For example, some grant programs exclude such things as land acquisition, studies, or engineering from the eligible project costs. These exclusions prohibit the municipality from sharing the full cost of the project with other orders of government.

7) Realistic Project Deadlines: CAMA advises that for any future programs, the project competition “countdown” begin only once a project has been accepted. This recommendation comes from feedback from members who report that the deadlines to apply for some grants and the tight time limit for project completion are unrealistic and unnecessarily short. The Infrastructure Stimulus Program was particularly challenging.

8) Review Process: CAMA recommends a streamlined application review process from Infrastructure Canada. Some members have reported waiting two years for a review to be completed.

9) Program Design: CAMA believes that it is important to have a face-to-face participatory conversation with Infrastructure Canada and FCM when the application and reporting process for the 2014 municipal infrastructure grant program is being designed. We believe our insight into municipal operations would assist Infrastructure Canada in creating processes that address federal needs while avoiding being unnecessarily complex for all parties involved.

ICMA Partnership With Yangzhou, China

At the recent CAMA Board meeting, information from Mr. David Grossman, Director of ICMA International with respect to his recent visit to Yangzhou was presented.  The Vice-Mayor of Yangzhou, Mr. Wang Zhiyong, has requested ICMA assistance in establishing contact and partnerships with other cities around the world to share the aspiration of building upon their strong traditions of strong heritage and blending ancient culture and modern civilization.  President Shaw suggested that there may be cities in Canada that may be appropriate partners with a similar population (1.28 million) and would be amenable to comparing benchmarks and general information sharing with Yangzhou officials.  For more information, contact Mr. David Grossman, Director, ICMA International, 202 962 3550 or

LGMA-CAMA E-Learning Series - OCTOBER 2012
In partnership with Paragon Strategic Services and Jan Enns Communications,  the LGMA
and CAMA are pleased to offer the following courses in October that will help meet your training needs and increase capacity in your organization, all from the comfort of your own office. These programs are open to all public service employees. The webinars are scheduled to run over two consecutive weekdays from:
• 10:15 am - 11:45 am Pacific Time
• 11:15 am - 12:45 pm Mountain Time
• 12:15 pm - 1:45 pm Central Time
• 1:15 pm - 2:45 pm Eastern Time
• 2:15 pm - 3:45 pm Atlantic Time
• 2:45 pm - 4:15 pm Newfoundland and Labrador
The last half hour of each session will be set aside for discussion of the topics for those that are interested. If an attendee misses a session, the recording will be available for viewing for 7 days after the course is offered.

Cost:  The two-day webinar sessions are $150 plus 12% HST per person.  All fees must be paid at the time of registration by credit card and are non-refundable.  Transfers to another registrant are permitted.
Register Online Today!

October 11 & 12:  Planning for Successful Citizen Engagement in 10 Easy Steps
Presenter: Jan Enns, Jan Enns Communications
In order to be successful, planning for citizen engagement needs to inform and involve your community from the start. When done right, programs can move forward on time and on schedule. When done wrong, it can mean a drain on resources, damaged relationships and even damaged reputations. This fast-paced and engaging session will elevate your understanding of public consultation and provide you with a step-by-step
guide to apply effective consultation planning in your organization.
Register online at:

October 16 & 17: Customer Service in the Public Sector
Presenter: Tracey Lee Lorenson, Paragon Strategic Services Ltd.
The unique challenges of service delivery in the local government sector will be discussed, including the difficulty of dealing with such a diverse client base. We will explore whether private sector “customer service” approaches are relevant in the public sector, and why good service is critical to both staff and Council success.  BONUS: Participants will complete an online assessment of their personal skills
and abilities in delivering customer service.
Register online at:

October 18 & 19:  Introduction & Overview to Community Sustainability Planning
Presenter: Cheeying Ho, Whistler Centre for Sustainability
This is an introductory webinar that will provide the basics to integrated community sustainability planning for communities. It will include an introduction to community sustainability, integrated systems, an overview of a sustainability planning process, and describe benefits and outcomes.
Key Learning Outcomes – At the end of the webinar, participants will have learned
• What integrated community sustainability planning means
• The process involved in community sustainability planning
• Why it is important to think about the community as integrated systems
• Key benefits and outcomes of a community sustainability planning process

October 23 & 24: Negotiation Skills
Presenter: Tracey Lee Lorenson, Paragon Strategic Services Ltd.
While we sometimes think of negotiation as a “big ticket” event, we negotiate every day with individuals inside our organization and key stakeholders in the community, including those difficult conversations with individuals with divergent opinions. Even simple discussions of allocation of resources require individuals that have an awareness of their negotiation style so that they can maximize the benefits to their organization in an environment of respect. This course focuses on interest based negotiation techniques,
and is of use to those negotiating, or to those that deal with difficult individuals.  BONUS: Participants will complete an online assessment of their personal approach to negotiation.
Register online at:

October 25 & 26: Integrating Your Sustainability Plan into Other Plans and Policies
Presenter: Dan Wilson, Whistler Centre for Sustainability
This webinar will discuss the intent of a sustainability plan as the community’s highest level policy and how all other community plans and policies should be aligned and integrated with the vision and goals of the sustainability plan.

Key Learning Outcomes – At the end of the webinar, participants will have learned about:
• The role of a community sustainability plan as the highest level policy
• Strategies for integrating the vision and goals from a sustainability plan into other
plans and policies
• How the directions from a community sustainability plan should be used to guide
• Examples of plans and policies that have been aligned to a community sustainability
Register online at:

October 30 & 31: Essential Supervisory Skills: New & Experienced Supervisors
Presenter: Tracey Lee Lorenson, Paragon Strategic Services Ltd.
Our front line supervisors provide our most critical interaction with employees and yet often they have not had training on the most effective way to deal with their teams and workload. In this interactive course we will explore the unique challenges of leading those that you may have had a peer relationship with, some of the labour issues that can arise (depending on whether supervisors are in or out of the bargaining unit), and coaching others in a respectful and supportive manner. In addition, we will discuss the
most effective ways in which supervisors can get the support they might require from management in the organization, to ensure the organization operates efficiently and staff feel supported.

BONUS: Individuals will have the opportunity to complete an online assessment of their supervisory skills including: time management, listening skills, communication, planning and scheduling work, setting goals, assessing people and performance and coaching skills. This report provides specific developmental
suggestions unique to the individual.
Register online at:

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