In municipal government, we work closely with other levels of government to build our communities, to make them stronger and more vibrant. Like a puzzle, these collaborations are integral pieces to our overall picture and creating livable, sustainable towns and cities. Just like it is a strategic priority of our Council to engage our community on a variety of municipal topics, I also urge you to get involved and educated on the issues surrounding the upcoming federal election this October.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) is the national voice of Canadian towns and cities from coast to coast. FCM has created a campaign called Hometown Proud, which encourages all of us to do our homework and ask all candidates the important questions about how they will help to shape our communities, if elected. Big steps forward in our country begin at the grassroots level. As a municipality, we remain neutral, we work with whichever representatives are elected by our citizens to lead our great country.

I know that we are all proud to call Newmarket our hometown. It is no accident that we have continually been recognized as one of the best places to live in Canada. With a federal election around the corner, it is very important that we ask whose platform will help contribute to creating safe, livable and globally connected hometowns across the nation. Here are five pillars created by FCM to keep in mind as we prepare to vote:

Livable Hometowns – this includes ensuring access to housing, opportunities for newcomers in urban and rural communities, closing the gender gap in municipal governance and strengthening partnerships with urban Aboriginal people.

Local Jobs, Local Growth – The future of our communities and our country relies upon healthy job growth and sustainable economic development. Improving roads, bridges and water systems is one of the best ways to create local jobs.

Environmentally Sustainable Cities and Communities – Hometowns are catalysts for the emerging clean technology industry and innovators in local renewable energy. Examples include efficient transit systems, low emissions buildings, cutting edge waste management and the highest quality water and wastewater treatment.

Global Municipal Connections – Canada’s municipalities are globally connected and ready to build on expanding roles in promoting two-way trade and investment to keep our towns and cities competitive, drive Canada’s economy and be hubs for environmental and social innovation.

Safe Cities and Communities – Canadian cities face the growing safety challenges of everything from the transportation of dangerous goods to extreme weather disasters. It is a necessity to have a plan for how the federal government will work with towns and cities to respond to public safety challenges.

Please make a note to vote on October 19. Remember to demonstrate your hometown pride by helping to make local priorities top-of-mind election issues. We are all equal partners in creating the roadmap to our future. Let’s ask our candidates how they are going to help us get there.

Visit the website of FCM’s Hometown Proud initiative for more information.