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The Canadian Association of Municipal Administration Celebrates Membership Milestone
CAMA is pleased to be celebrating a membership milestone, as Scott Spicer, the Chief Administrative Officer for the Rural Municipality of Alexander, Manitoba becomes the 600th member.  CAMA has tripled its membership during the past decade.

When asked why he joined CAMA, Scott Spicer stated ``I was encouraged by two Manitoba colleagues and CAMA members Rhonda Stewart and Jean-Marc Nadeau. Their insight into the benefits of membership, along with my attendance at the CAMA Conference in 2017, convinced me that my career will benefit through professional development and networking.   I look forward to more opportunities in the future.”

CAMA is a national association that represents Chief Administrative Officers/City Managers (and any person employed in a senior management position that reports directly to the CAO) from large and small communities across Canada. CAMA has grown and matured since its inception in 1972 when a handful of senior municipal managers attending the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Conference decided to form a networking group.  CAMA was incorporated in 1986.
Janice Baker, CAMA President and City Manager/CAO for the City of Mississauga, Ontario says “Our members have told us that networking and sharing of best practices is the number one benefit from being part of this Association and our ultimate goal is to enrich municipal public service and the quality of life of our citizens.  CAMA supports our growing membership by providing access to high quality professional development and networking opportunities.”
CAMA is very proud of its many accomplishments and using the four pillars of the Strategic Plan (Professional Development, Networking and Partnerships, Member Engagement and Support, and Resilient Leadership) we continue to develop many new member services.  Of particular note is the Position Paper outlining a series of administrative recommendations as input on Federal Funding Programs for Municipal Infrastructure in 2016, a CAO Performance Evaluation Toolkit, and a partnership with the Provincial and Territorial Associations to recruit the next generation of municipal leaders to the profession. 
A highlight and premiere professional development opportunity for our members is the Annual Conference taking place this year in Fredericton, NB (May 28-30, 2018) at the home of the CAMA National Office.   CAMA also promotes municipal best practices throughout the country through our  Awards of Excellence Program and we recognize those members who have dedicated their careers to local government through our Long Service Recognition Awards Program.  

Interested in becoming a member of CAMA?  See all of the great membership benefits at or contact the CAMA National office at 1-866-771-2262 and [email protected].

Examining Approaches to Defining and Maintaining the Roles of Mayor, Council and the CAO in New Zealand: Lessons for British Columbia
Rob Buchan, Chief Administrative Officer for the District of North Saanich, BC (and CAMA member) had the opportunity to participate in a research project undertaken through the Overseas Managers Exchange Program which is a partnership developed by the Local Government Management Association (LGMA) of British Columbia and the Society of Local Government Managers (SOLGM) of New Zealand (an affiliate partner of CAMA).
This visit took place from September 9-25, 2016  in the Bay of Plenty Region which was named by Captain James Cook during his 1769 to 1770 exploration.  The Maori name for the Bay of Plenty is Te Moana-a-Toi and it is located on the North East Coast of the North Island below Auckland.  Rob visited the City of Tauranga, Districts of Western Bay of Plenty, Kawerau, Whakatane and Opotiki, and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.
The research objectives were to learn best practices, how our colleagues address matters of mutual interest, and to build relationships.  The project investigated how role clarity is achieved and maintained between elected officials and Chief Administrative Officers in New Zealand:  “What can we learn from the New Zealand experience that might improve role clarity and without cause CAO terminations?”  Interviews were conducted with Mayors, CAOs, and representatives of the organizations representing elected members (UBCM & Local Government New Zealand) and CAOs (LGMA & Society of Local Government Managers).  In addition to the interviews, legislation, policy documents, and best practices for establishing role separation and clarity of New Zealand local governments were reviewed.
An executive summary of the findings are as follows:
  •  Role Separation is not a major problem in New Zealand.  The tension is managed.
  • Due to significant legislative differences regarding the CAO, Mayor and Council roles and responsibilities, there are virtually no without cause CAO terminations in New Zealand. Work environments are far more stable than they are in Canada.
  • The legislative differences in New Zealand are supported by a culture that embraces clear role separation.
 Rob’s full report can be found here.

A Letter from Alliance for Innovation President Karen Thoreson

To the Alliance membership, partners and friends:
November of 2017 marks a decade for me of working for the Alliance for Innovation
It has been a fantastic opportunity to work with the most progressive local government organizations in North America.  I have gotten to see and support many new businesses enter the field of serving local governments with innovative products and services that produce better community results.  Together, we have built collegial relationships with numerous organizations – academic and philanthropic – that all share the goal of promoting leading and emerging practices that advance communities.
It’s been a great run – I am grateful for having the opportunity to be a part of this vibrant organization. But it is time for a change – and I will be leaving the Alliance effective November 30, 2017 to follow new dreams and, in turn, make way for new leadership.
Here is the secret. The Alliance is strong and relevant because of the people involved:
  • Amazing local government staff at the leadership level and everywhere in between.
  • An incredible board made up of thought leaders representing all spectrums of local government.
  • Corporate partners, ICMA and Alliance Fellows who care deeply about helping local communities grow and thrive.
  • Academic partners across the country and our Marvin Andrews students at ASU, working to provide research and resources that produce successful local government outcomes.
  • And a tremendously talented, committed staff who will continue to serve our members and members in the best possible way.
  • For nearly 40 years, the Alliance and before the Innovation Group, has been focused on how to find ways to make local government better, smarter, quicker, connected and able to apply innovation in their communities. It’s honorable and important work.  It’s inspirational work and it is critical that it continue and evolve.
Thank you for letting me share this journey with you. I soon will be cheering you on from the sidelines, but am assured that your efforts will continue to make a difference in countless people’s lives going forward.
Karen Thoreson
Alliance for Innovation President/CEO

Nova Scotia Members: Age-Friendly Community Grant is Accepting Applications

The Age-friendly Community Grant is open for applications. The grant supports projects that promote healthy, active living and make communities better places for Nova Scotians as they age.  "We all benefit when older Nova Scotians stay connected and involved in their communities," said Seniors Minister Leo Glavine. "Our communities will thrive if all members can participate fully and contribute their ideas, skills and knowledge."

The grant is open to non-profit and community organizations, municipal governments, associations and universities. Successful applicants can include partnerships or collaborative projects and can receive a grant up to a maximum of $20,000.

The Municipality of the County of Victoria launched its age-friendly communities plan in September. The Department of Seniors provided a $20,000 grant to support development of the plan.  "Resident input, community partners and businesses informed the development of our age-friendly plan and will continue to guide the work we do together to make Victoria County age-friendly," said Fraser Patterson, municipal councillor and chair of Victoria County's Age-friendly Communities committee. "It's important we enable people to stay involved and connected to their communities at all stages of their life."

Applications will be accepted ongoing until Feb. 1, with projects approved this November and February. Application forms are available at or by calling, toll-free, 1-844-277-0770, or in Halifax Regional Municipality, 902-424-0770.

The grant is one of the actions identified in SHIFT: Nova Scotia's Action Plan for An Aging Population to support age-friendly planning in communities. The plan is available at .

Coquitlam Wins National Municipal Award for Professional Development

Marie- Hélène Lajoie, CAMA Past President;  Peter Steblin, City Manager, City of Coquitlam; Nikki Caulfield, Director of Human Resources, City of Coquitlam; Jean-Marc Nadeau, 2017 CAMA Awards Chair
The City of Coquitlam, BC has received national recognition for its leadership development program called Leading with Purpose  from the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA).  The City was presented with the 2017 CAMA Professional Development Award, in the Over 100,000 population category, during CAMA’s national conference in Gatineau, QC. 

The approach was developed to show the importance of intentional leadership to engage employees in every aspect of their career lifecycle.  The cornerstones of the philosophy are the two formal Leadership Development Programs:  Strategic and Core.  The Strategic Leadership Development Program (SLDP) identifies a cohort of up to five employees who are supported by senior management as having high and/or management potential.  Those who are selected attend courses in applicable leadership competencies and participate in project-based learning.  

Over the course of the program, they gain exposure to senior leaders in the organization and are expected to report to Council on their progress.  At the end of the program, many of the participants have leveraged their success in the SLDP to attain high-level or management positions within the organization.  

The Core Leadership Development Program (CLDP) is a foundational course and competency-developing initiative, which sees twenty employees gain knowledge about themselves and insight into various aspects of leadership, while learning about other parts of the organization by being part of a cohort.

Other components of our leadership program include the Leading with Purpose Speaker Series – a quarterly session where the City brings in an outside speaker to discuss topics of leadership, and the Reading with Purpose program – a monthly article about leadership. Learning has become part of everyday life at the City of Coquitlam.

For additional information, contact Kathleen Vincent, Communications Manager, 604-927-3019 or by email at  [email protected] 

Welcome New CAMA Members!
  • Andrew Allison, Chief Administrative Officer, Municipality of Clarington, ON
  • James McDonald, Director of Saskatoon Transit, City of Saskatoon, SK
  • Charlotte Helfrich, Administrator, RM of Prairiedale No. 321, SK
  • Peter Avgoustis, Chief Administrative Officer, Town of Kirkland Lake, ON
  • Denyse Morrissey, Chief Adminstrative Officer, Municipality of Meaford, ON
  • Fraser Smith, General Manager of Engineering, City of Surrey, BC
  • Stephane Labonne, Chief Administrative Officer, Town of Hinton, AB
  • Benoit Hurtubise, Director General, City of Westmount, QC

Do you have a story for our next issue?
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CAMA e-Brief is published every two weeks. Watch for the next issue on: The week of November 27th, 2017 
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