CAMA E-Brief
e-Brief April 17, 2021
Much of CAMA’s success over the past 50 years can be attributed to the members that have helped build the association from the very beginning.  As part of the #CAMA50 project, we will be publishing feature profiles of people who have made a lasting impression over the years.  Our first profiled member will be former CAMA Board Member John Ernest “Jack” Willis.  While we do not have much information in the CAMA Archives about Jack Willis, he is still the only person to have an Award of Excellence named in his honour.

Jack was born in Manitou, Manitoba, and spent his life dedicated to community and public service. He is perhaps best known for his involvement in the Metro Corporation of Greater Winnipeg (METRO) from its inception in 1960. He served in a variety of functions, including Chairman from 1967-1971, at which time he was involved with the first Tri-Level Conference of elected officials. It was at this event that the first discussions around the Canadian Association for Municipal Administrators are believed to have taken place.

Mr. Willis was an active CAMA member from the beginning, and even served as executive secretary along the way. His contributions and involvement lasted into the 1990, well into his 70s. The Willis Award for Innovation is awarded annually in his name. Jack also served in a variety of capacities with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities through his work with METRO.

Those who remember Jack speak of him fondly. They talk about a man dedicated to the betterment of community and was involved with a number of service organizations even as he enjoyed a full professional career in business and sales.
One person we talked to spoke of a man with many great ideas and who was an agent of change; someone who encouraged innovation and fostered new ways of thinking. His obituary cited that “he was greatly respected by all who knew him” and “a man of integrity and honour”. It seems only fitting that we now pay tribute to Jack Willis through an award that encapsulates the spirit of innovation and recognizes the best and most admirable across the country.

Jack Willis passed away in 2002 in Victoria, B.C., where he moved post-retirement in 1991 . In addition to his professional and community endeavours, he also was a dedicated family man to wife Laura, and three daughters
L’ACAM doit en grande partie le succès qu’elle a connu ces 50 dernières années aux membres qui ont contribué à son expansion depuis les tout premiers débuts.  Dans le cadre du projet #ACAM50, nous publions le portrait de gens qui ont marqué les esprits au fil des années.  Le premier membre sur qui nous braquons les projecteurs est l’ancien membre du conseil d’administration de l’ACAM, John Ernest « Jack » Willis.  Nous n’avons pas beaucoup d’archives sur Jack Willis, mais il est tout de même la seule personne à avoir un prix d’excellence qui porte son nom.  

Jack est né à Manitou, au Manitoba, et a consacré sa vie au lien social et au service public. Il est surtout connu pour sa participation à la Metro Corporation of Greater Winnipeg (METRO) depuis sa création en 1960. Il y a occupé diverses fonctions, dont celle de président du conseil de 1967 à 1971, période à laquelle il a participé à la première conférence tripartite des élus. C’est d’ailleurs à cette occasion que les premières discussions concernant la formation de l’Association canadienne des administrateurs municipaux auraient eu lieu.

Dès le début, M. Willis a participé activement à l’ACAM, occupant même le poste de secrétaire général à un certain moment. Il s’est ainsi dévoué à l’Association jusqu’en 1990, bien après ses 70 ans. Le prix Willis de l’innovation est décerné chaque année en son nom. Jack a également occupé diverses fonctions à la Fédération canadienne des municipalités dans le cadre de son travail à la METRO.

Les gens qui se souviennent de Jack parlent de lui avec tendresse. Ils évoquent un homme qui se consacrait à l’amélioration de la société et participait à plusieurs organisations associatives malgré une carrière dans le domaine des affaires et de la vente.

Quelqu’un à qui nous avons parlé se remémore un homme aux nombreuses et grandes idées, un acteur du changement qui encourageait l’innovation et les nouvelles façons de penser. Sa notice nécrologique mentionne qu’« il était très respecté par tous ceux qui le connaissaient » et qu’il était « un homme intègre et honorable ». Rendre hommage à Jack Willis au moyen d’un prix qui incarne l’esprit d’innovation et reconnaît les meilleurs et les plus admirables dans tout le pays semble donc tout à fait approprié.

Jack Willis est décédé en 2002 à Victoria, en Colombie-Britannique, où il s’était installé après avoir pris sa retraite en 1991. En plus de ses activités professionnelles et associatives, il était aussi un père de famille dévoué et attaché à sa femme Laura et à ses trois filles.

AMONTario Climate Change & Asset Management Conference: April 26 - 27, 2021
Through a partnership with Asset Management Ontario (AMONTario), CAMA members are invited to attend without charge the ‘Strategic Perspectives’ sessions of AMONTario’s Climate Change & Asset Management Conference.  On April 26 and April 27, the sessions run from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The content focuses on strategic and governance-related issues for CAOs. Key themes include: social resilience; sustainability; and integrating climate change and asset management planning.
Speakers include:
  • Laurie Scott - Ontario Minister of Infrastructure
  • Julie Stevens – CAO, The District of Muskoka
  • Marcia Wallace – CAO, Prince Edward County
  • Matti Siemiatycki – Director, School of Cities, University of Toronto
  • Chris Boivin – Manager Director, FCM’s Green Municipal Fund
  • Ewa Jackson – Managing Director, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability
For full details, see the conference agenda at:
Complimentary CAMA registration
ICMA Members: Nominate an Individual for Honorary Membership!

Recognize an individual outside of the profession that is known for:


  • contributing to strengthening the structure of local government.
  • increasing citizen understanding of governance and management of local government.
  • a history of developing and implementing innovative programs.

Nominate her/him for the Honorary ICMA Membership!

Honorary membership in ICMA is awarded to an individual outside of the profession of local government because of his or her distinguished public service and contributions to the improvement and strengthening of the profession.  Submit nominations by April 23, 2021.
As part of our ongoing commitment to our members we are pleased to present the CAMA 50th Anniversary Professional Development Series for 2021. This program is comprised of various webinars that are coordinated FREE of charge for the CAO/City Manager, senior managers and employees.  Along with our own webinar series, CAMA Partner companies will be providing educational and informative learning opportunities that showcase innovative services and products relevant to municipal management.  Have any topics you would like to see presented in the series?  Contact the CAMA National Office at 1-866-771-2262 and please also forward all opportunities for your staff members.
April 22: Webinar: Council Chambers: Optimize your Technology Investment hosted by DataVisual

Council Chamber are the centre piece of any municipal government. It is where elected officials come to work. Any bumps or hiccups in a meeting are not acceptable. With the demands for public transparency and openness among constituents the doors are virtually opened to the public. Councillors want to be seen in the best light and constituents want to see and hear what is happening. Toss in the growing desire for remote access and those who are tasked with managing Council Chambers must be able to rely on the technology in the room working in every meeting.  It is crucial that the technology investment you make in a successful Council Chamber is significant. It must be technology that will work and of course you must protect that investment from factors that could cause damage.  In this, the second of three webinars, DataVisual highlights key technologies from our vendors that are working in Council Chambers.

Televic will highlight discussion systems and how they have solutions that can fit council chambers from small to large and be flexible in the features demanded of a municipality. And it can be wireless, wired or both at the same time. Your audio will be heard clearly. We have many municipal installations across Canada and are the system installed in the House of Commons.
Vaddio will present their cameras and camera control solutions. An absolute must for broadcast, conference, and streaming needs.
Barco If you want to present, share content, switch between presenters, or even launch a video call wirelessly within Council Chambers Barco ClickShare has the solution you need.
SurgeX A key factor to any successful meeting is that the equipment does not fail because of a power disturbance. A brown out or a small surge could ruin a meeting if it adversely effects the equipment in the room. SurgeX will outline strategies to protect your investment in technology and keep your meeting going.  For All Event Details Visit This Brochure   Event Details: Thursday, April 22, 2021 / 1:00 p.m. EST   Registration Cost: FREE but registration required
May 6, 2021: Do You Have an Asset Management Plan. What Next? Webinar Hosted by CAMA
So you have an Asset Management Plan. What Next?
As a result of Public Sector Accounting Board rule changes for municipalities, many municipalities went through an accounting exercise for PSAB 3150 compliance. But what do you do next? How do you use the data to make better decisions? Hear the story of the City of Fredericton’s asset management journey, accomplishments, partnerships, and the road to sustainable infrastructure.
Speaker:  Alicia Keating, Assistant Director, Corporate Services/Acting City Treasurer, City of Fredericton, NB
Date: May 6th, 2021
Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST
Who Can Attend This Webinar?  CAMA Members and Their Employees. Non-Members are also welcome to attend.
Who Will Benefit from This Webinar?  CAOs, Chief Financial Officers, City Treasurers, Finance Staff, Engineers, Senior Management
Registration Cost:  FREE but registration is required using the link below.
Link to Register
May 13: Roadmap to Municipal Modernization: Funding, Tools, and Strategies for Success Hosted by PSD Citywide

As municipalities continue to face the unique challenges of the pandemic, pre-existing operational inefficiencies are more prominent than ever. Many municipalities have realized their systems and processes are outdated and no longer able to keep up with their growing city. The prospect of modernizing operations can be overwhelming.

In this webinar, PSD Citywide’s asset management consultants and product experts give you a map to modernization and address concerns about data gaps, workflow improvements and migrations, and identifying your city’s needs in order to choose the right digital system.  Tune in May 13th, 1pm-2:30pm ET.  Free registration.  For more information click here.
Free for a Year! - Exciting opportunity for businesses in these categories!


If your passion is in helping people navigate difficult life or career changes, muniSERV and CAMA have the opportunity you’ve been looking for.  We have clients for you!   We’d like to put your name in front of a ready audience of individuals—a group of people who are in genuine need of your services.   Together, CAMA and muniSERV are working to fill a Members in Transition toolkit with valuable professionals who can help transitioned CAOs navigate this change successfully.    Do you qualify? We’re looking for…
Employment Lawyers, Financial Planners, Career/Transition Counsellors, Recruiters, Therapists and more …. If you fall into any of these categories, we want you! In fact we Need You!   So if you’re one of these professionals, register before April 30th and we’ll showcase you on muniSERV and in the Members in Transition toolkit - FREE for A Year ($460 value!)  Learn More & Register Here
The 2020 CAMA Awards of Excellence Submissions
We are pleased to feature the 2020 Awards of Excellence Submissions over the next few editions of e-Brief.  These are valuable sources of information and can also be found in the Members Section.
Submission: 2020 Willis Award for Innovation – Population Between 20,001 and 100,000 -Strathcona County
Strathcona County Municipal Land Framework

Strathcona County is located in central Alberta, adjacent to the City of Edmonton. In 2018, the total population of Strathcona County was 98,381, with 71,332 within the Urban Service Area and 27,049 within the Rural Service Area.

As Strathcona County grows and invests in its future, a cohesive framework to guide theuse, acquisition, and disposition of County Land in a timely, transparent, and strategicmanner is key to success. The Municipal Land Framework provides policies andprocesses for these decisions over the next 25 years.

The most significant components of the Municipal Land Framework are the processes regarding the use, acquisition, and disposition of land. Diagrams showing the overarching process for each and a discussion of the challenges and opportunities presented by each element follows. Policies contain the specific actions which will lead to successful land management outcomes.

In serving to guide the actions of Strathcona County’s Land Management Services branch and to provide transparency about the processes by which decisions are made, the Municipal Land Framework will lead to better management of land in Strathcona County.
Submission: 2020 Willis Award for Innovation – Between 20,001 and 100,000 Submission- The District Municipality of Muskoka Indigenous Leadership Table
The District of Muskoka is playing a leadership role in bringing together elected officials and senior leaders from Indigenous and Municipal governments. Regionally, the Muskoka Area Indigenous Leadership Table (MAILT) is a unique response to addressing truth and reconciliation, breaking down barriers and building bridges. There are few examples of historical collaboration, partnerships or shared services between municipal and Indigenous communities in Muskoka. In an effort to strengthen relationships and improve outcomes between the seven municipalities and the eight Indigenous communities, the District developed an Indigenous Relations Strategy in late 2018 and launched the MAILT in early 2019. As a result the District , in collaboration with MAILT members, has delivered the following: Established a strong leadership table involving almost 40 senior leaders and 16 elected officials. Established two sub-committees: the Land Acknowledgement Working Group and the Duty to Consult Working Group. Initiated a broad Indigenous Awareness education strategy. Unanticipated benefits are already being realized in Indigenous and municipal organizations.  The District anticipates further successes and long-lasting integration.  
  • Duane Elverum, Executive Director, CityStudio Vancouver, BC
  • David Barrick, Chief Administrative Officer, The City of Brampton, ON
  • David Hutten, Chief Administrative Officer, Town of Hartland, NB
  • Jim Jones, General Manager of Community Services, City of Swift Current, SK 
Do you have a story for our next issue?
Let us know by contacting
CAMA e-Brief is published every two weeks. Watch for the next issue on: May 1, 2021
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CAMA is a non-profit association open to all senior managers dedicated to improving municipalities in Canada.
Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators
PO Box 128, Station A
Fredericton, NB E3B 4Y2