Calgary gets centre stage at Quebec conference — at 7 a.m. on a Sunday
City council planning to make energy pitch at annual gathering of municipal leaders
Calgary's city council is putting together a full-court press to sell Canada's energy story at the upcoming annual meeting of Canada's municipal leaders in Quebec City.
But it will have to make one of its pitches at 7 a.m. on a Sunday.
Two thousand delegates with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) are expected at the group's annual convention.
The City of Calgary has a booth at the tradeshow that runs alongside the convention.
The mayor will speak to the delegates, and councillors are expected to work the floor and the hallways of the meeting as they talk up Alberta's energy story and the need for pipelines.
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The city asked for a workshop session to allow a panel to speak to the delegates on the theme of "Powering Canada through Energy Development."
However, FCM convention organizers gave them the breakfast time slot on Sunday, June 2 which will run from 7:00 a.m. to 8:15 a.m.
"It's always packed"
Mayor Naheed Nenshi told reporters after a meeting of council's intergovernmental affairs committee that it's actually not as bad as it sounds.
"The people who go to these conferences are eager beavers, man. So usually, (the Green Party's) Elizabeth May as the fourth party leader gets that early morning Sunday slot, and it's always packed. So hopefully a lot of people will come," said Nenshi.
The mayor said the workshop session is just one of a number of opportunities council will have during the four-day conference to get out its message in support of the energy industry.
Coun. Joe Magliocca, council's representative with the FCM, said he was "shocked" that Calgary was given such an early time slot.
But Magliocca said the council members who are going will have to make the best of it to ensure their pro-energy industry message is heard.
"We have to get out there and promote it ourselves and go around. And I'm going to be promoting energy there, let me tell you," said Magliocca.
"I'm going to be wearing the T-shirt there, and I'm going to do everything I can in my power to promote the energy sector while I'm there."
Council to be well represented
Nine of the 15 council members are expected to attend this year's FCM convention.
Although Coun. Jeromy Farkas supported council taking more of an active stance in promoting the energy industry, he's not attending the conference.
He said there's isn't a need for all council members to go.
As for the Sunday workshop, Farkas expects the other municipal leaders at the conference will likely be up late networking the night before.
"I don't think that the turnout is going to be good, and it's probably going to be just preaching to the choir. So the people who are interested in energy will make the time to go to that breakfast."
The FCM conference in Quebec City runs from May 30 to June 2.
The leaders of the four major federal political parties will also attend the gathering and speak to the delegates.