Sault Ste. Marie cuts ties with Federation of Canadian Municipalities
The City of Sault Ste. Marie is withdrawing its membership with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
Mayor Christian Provenzano said the city will focus on its participation in the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities and the Association of Municipalities Ontario instead.
He said council agreed being a part of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, or FCM, was not necessary.
“I think that it would have been easier to make the argument to stay in FCM and to pay the fees if the previous council had been actively participating,” he said.
“But the previous council is aware that it hadn’t that nobody had gone to the FCM for the past four years. In light of that, it was a natural conclusion that it wasn’t a membership fee worth paying.”
Provenzano said that membership fee is about $10,000.
But city councillor Steve Butland didn’t agree with the decision.
“The other communities pay for membership and FCM administers and operates a half a billion dollar fund with monies from the federal government,” he said.
“Well, we still qualify [but] it’s hardly fair [that] others do the dirty work and pay their share and we just say well, it doesn’t matter, we’ll still qualify for the programs. It makes no sense.”
As for having a voice in Ottawa, Provenzano said he’s not concerned about not being heard on federal issues.
“I’m confident that when our city of Sault Ste. Marie needs a voice in Ottawa, our federal member of parliament will help us,” he said.
“Frankly, if I think there’s an issue in Ottawa that’s … important to Sault Ste. Marie, and requires some attention, I’ll go to Ottawa and it’s not going to cost $10,000 for me to do that.”