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EXCHANGE EXCHANGE is is aa quarterly quarterly magazine magazine published published by by the the Local Local Government Government Management Management Association Association (LGMA) (LGMA) of of British British Columbia. Columbia. It’s It’s about about sharing sharing information, information, exchanging exchanging ideas ideas on on best best practices, practices, enhancing enhancing professional professional development development and and building building networks. networks. Reach Reach us us at at








Resiliency Under Pressure


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Professional Development 2 3 4 5 19 21

Tips & Tactics: Tools for a Resilient, Safe Workplace


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5 A Closer Look at the CP Rail Right-of-way Case This installment of Case of Interest looks at what happened in the City of Vancouver’s recent case against Canadian Pacific Railway over use of the railway right-of-way.


Exchange is the magazine for members of the Local Government Management Association of British Columbia. Exchange is distributed quarterly to over 900 members of the LGMA, as well as Mayors and Regional District Chairs.

Resiliency Under Pressure This follow-up to our December 2010 When the Bully is the Boss story uses the fictional town of Happyville to illustrate scenarios in local governments that put managers in difficult situations.

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Promoting Professional Management & Leadership Excellence in Local Government

11 Building a Resiliency Toolkit Experts provide advice on how to protect yourself in a challenging workplace, how to improve your work environment and how to move ahead with your career.


18 2015 LGMA Conference Learn, connect and recharge this June at the 2015 LGMA Conference. This year’s amazing speakers will inspire you to exceed expectations and demonstrate how to be “change ready.”


ackling issues like a disrespectful workplace is tough enough in a magazine story. It’s so much worse to hear about coworkers and colleagues across the province who are experiencing harassment, bullying and general disrespect in real life. Even worse are the situations leading to health concerns and people being fired without cause. I believe we all learn better behaviour in kindergarten, yet for some reason those solid lessons are being ignored in the workplace.


It used to be elections were jokingly referred to as the “silly season” due to the specific pressures and issues that arise as candidates lobby for positions. Now it seems that instead of just dealing with the silly season, local government managers are dreading the months following elections as some newly elected officials flex their muscles and make knee-jerk decisions that affect careers and impact people personally and professionally. There also appears to be a growing sentiment in the community that citizens are entitled to rant at and insult government employees. It’s wrong and it should not be ignored or accepted. Maybe all B.C. local governments will need to adopt a bylaw like the one recently approved in Taber, AB, which includes a $75 fine for spitting in public and a $150 penalty for yelling, screaming or swearing in a public place. Maybe there could be an extra fine when the spitting and yelling is directed at local government employees. Maybe just a few people taking a stand, and flexing their muscles using their legal rights, will help shift this tide. A shift of some kind is certainly needed. Everyone in local government knows that politics can make job security for managers a bit dicey at

times, but truly disrespectful workplace scenarios seem to be on the rise. When we did the first Exchange story on bullying (December 2010: When the Bully is Your Boss), we used experiences shared by retired local government managers. We wanted to provide tools just in case the stories and related advice would be helpful. In many ways, it was alarming when the LGMA office staff received numerous calls from people across the province who thought we had somehow heard about what they were going through and wrote the story about them. For this edition, we pulled from news coverage about municipalities in the U.S. and general experiences from the past. But I again suspect that we will hear from local government managers who think the story is about them. It’s not. But sadly, if it feels familiar, it’s likely because this is happening too often in our communities. If you’re experiencing a tough time due to a disrespectful workplace – whether it’s due to the way your citizens treat you, or elected officials or colleagues – I hope that the advice from experts in this edition helps, as well as the resources and tips provided. I also believe that there is a lot of support available through the LGMA, and your network of friends and colleagues. Please reach out for help when you need it, and reach out to offer help when you see others in need. It’s somewhat reassuring to know that there is some progress towards building respectful, healthy workplace standards in larger organizations in the private sector, because even if local governments have a way to go, the lessons learned and positive examples available have the potential to provide a guide to success. Therese Mickelson, ABC Editor Upcoming themes for Exchange: Summer 2015 Engaging First Nations Neighbours Fall 2015 Best Value in Procurement Winter 2016 Human Resources Report

Promoting Professional Management & Leadership Excellence in Local Government



As an LGMA member, there is a wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise available, and often, all you need to do to tap into this amazing resource is ask for some help.

n my office area we have what we call the Inspiration Board. It is just a plain old white board where we dedicate half the space to inspirational quotes and the other half is “Today I am thankful for…” Co-workers will come by throughout the day to read the daily quote and sometimes to add comments as to what they are thankful for.


Recently I came across a quote that really spoke to me. “The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The work of life is to develop it. The meaning of life is to give your gift away.” Throughout my career, I have worked under different supervisors; some of them were better than others. Some have what I would call “the gift.” These were supervisors who knew how to bring out the best in their workers by building trust, having integrity and leading by example. They knew how to get the best out of their staff and the importance of building a team. These individuals would teach you, challenge you with new and interesting duties, support your desire to further your education, and offer guidance when asked. I consider these people to have been my mentors. I know I would not be where I am today if the City Clerk that I first worked for had not encouraged me to continue my education by taking the Capilano College (as it was then) courses in local government. She made her staff feel like we made a difference in the department, that we were important to the organization. She was my first mentor, and to this day, I try to lead as she did. In each municipality where I have worked, there have been people I have turned to for guidance. These are usually people who have worked for local government for many years and have a wealth of information. One mentor taught me about critical thinking, one showed me how to be better organized, one challenged me with duties that were out of my comfort zone but if I had questions, was there to guide me in the right direction, and one taught me the importance of giving your employees your undivided attention when they come into your office to speak to you. This knowledge was their gift, which they freely gave away to anyone wishing to learn. Promoting Professional Management & Leadership Excellence in Local Government


You don’t have to work with someone to ask them if they would be your mentor. Recently, I asked a friend who works in local government to be my mentor. I have known this colleague for many years through the LGMA and felt that I could learn something – and I already have. Sometimes you may need a mentor to help you work through challenges or tackle a new project. Other times a mentor may help you with career planning. As an LGMA member, there is a wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise available, and often, all you need to do to tap into this amazing resource is ask for some help. When you’re a member, you’re surrounded by people who understand what it means to work in local government. Are you interested in becoming a mentor? Are you looking for someone to mentor you? At this year’s LGMA conference, taking place in Prince George June 16-18, many of our local government leaders will be attending. With a theme focused on networking – Creating Connections, Building Bridges – the conference provides a great opportunity to connect with others, either to mentor a colleague or gain access to mentors who can support you. I hope to see you there! Kelly Ridley Acting President


No matter how bad the circumstances, you can be assured you are not alone and there are people around you who understand what you’re going through.

’m always saying I have a fantastic job in an amazing profession, a profession that is a vocation or calling for many, with people of integrity, strong values, ethics, and a passion for serving their communities. Every day I’m privileged to meet and talk with local government professionals, and they willingly share their stories and remain positive and resilient in the face of intense pressures. Senior managers in local government roles in British Columbia are incredibly professional. While I’ve been exposed to hair-raisingly bad political behaviour in any number of emerging democracies, I have to say, I’ve been surprised by some of the experiences that have been playing out in communities across the province in the aftermath of the November elections.


I may be naïve, but I like to believe that after each election there is the hope for positive actions and new leadership with fresh ideas. Apparently that hasn’t been the case in a number of communities in B.C., where editorials, blogs and media stories have pondered some of the decisions of newly elected officials and how some of them could be unclear about their roles and responsibilities. And from our internal perspective, it’s been hard to stand witness to some of the very difficult situations being experienced by local government managers. Respected, skilled, principled leaders in local government are losing their jobs or are working under very challenging circumstances. And while every Chief Administrative Officer and exempt manager knows it’s part of the risk of being in the role, it’s not easy when it happens. For those who have experienced losing their job, or fear it is about to happen, the LGMA is part of the broad professional support system here to assist you through the transition. No matter how bad the circumstances, you can be assured you are not alone and there are people around you who understand what you’re going through. There is a deep well of experience among members, and you will find your colleagues empathic and willing to offer advice. They can act as mentors to help you develop future-oriented thinking to support you as you move forward.

Being able to move through those emotions of denial and anger to acceptance and being ready for whatever the next stage of your life will be takes courage and encouragement. LGMA’s network of professionals is here to support you. LGMA members, please reach out to your colleagues who you know have gone through troubling times and let them know you are there for them. The LGMA offers a number of confidential services, including access to lawyers and financial advisors. We offer members complementary transition counselling services and pension advice to assist with the next steps, including career assessments, stress management, and financial management. We have recently updated the Executive Compensation Toolkit, with more advice on employment contracts and things to consider before, during and after employment. We are always looking for new mentors and ideas for additional support services, so please call me to share your thoughts. Leadership in local government is a tough gig, and it’s not for everyone. Those who have shared their experiences with me have some common traits. They all love working in local government and are well aware of the downside risks, and they have developed a core set of values from which they will not deviate and a strong belief in their leadership skills. They recognize bad times are a temporary state of affairs, and continually maintain a positive outlook on future possibilities to remain resilient. They try not to take it personally when a Board or Council decides they aren’t the right fit, and they have the confidence that another Board or Council will. They take pride in their accomplishments and know that their skills and talents will land them a new role somewhere else. Thank you to all of you for your leadership, for modeling good governance every day, and for the incredible work that you do to serve your communities. Executive Director

Job loss is considered a major life event, not dissimilar from divorce, serious injury or the death of a loved one. It can be painful, shocking and depressing. Promoting Professional Management & Leadership Excellence in Local Government


By Ray Young Young Anderson


A Closer Look at the CP Rail Right-of-way Case City of Vancouver v. Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) and Attorney General for Canada [2015 BCSC 76] n an earlier judgment a decade or so ago, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) decided that the City of Vancouver’s downzoning of the CPR right-of-way (through the west side of Vancouver) from RS-1 single family to railway, cyclist and nature paths only, was not a sterilization of the land since the CPR could still run a railway over the land – they could just not subdivide the lands and use the land for single-family dwellings.


In this recent case, the City sought an injunction restraining the CPR from using the lands for railway purposes. In the interim since the original SCC’s decision, individuals began using the “unused” railway right of way for pedestrian and cycling paths and community gardens. The CPR did not enforce against such trespassers. The CPR now sought to evict the trespassers and utilize the rail line for railway purposes – such things as coupling and uncoupling trains and storing box cars and other rail cars on the tracks. To clear the right-of-way and repair any aged tracks, the CPR began to bar trespassers and evict community gardeners. The City has been negotiating to buy the CPR property for a number of years, but the parties are far apart on price. In advancing its injunction claim, the City took the position that the CPR’s removal of the trespassing community gardens was contrary to the Official Development Plan, as removal of the community gardens required a development permit because it constituted “construction”, “engineering”, or other operations on land, pursuant to the definition of “development” in the Vancouver Charter. The B.C. Supreme Court stated the obvious, that the CPR’s plans to clear the tracks and right-of-way to the extent necessary for safe rail operations was not work contrary to the Official Development Plan.

The upshot of the proceedings was that the CPR could make ready the tracks and the right-of-way for rail use. The CPR gave an undertaking to the Court to not operate trains until Transport Canada has inspected the rail line and determined that it complies with the Railway Safety Act. The CPR is thus free to evict trespassers and utilize the rails for various rail purposes, including, but not limited to, running trains, storing trains and loaded cars as a normal part of its rail operations.



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Happyville Chief Administrative Officer John is heading into the Council meeting when the Mayor stops him to give him a handful of parking tickets. “Get these taken care of, will you?” says the Mayor. e continues: “My buddy Bill is a big contributor to this community and shouldn’t be paying parking tickets. Plus, he had a sore knee from our golf game, so he was entitled to park in the handicap spot.”



Several weeks earlier...

When the Bully is Your Boss, our December 2010 story about staff being bullied by Council members, struck a chord with many of our readers.

The Happyville local election has been underway for more than three weeks, and everyone is counting down the days until it ends. Mark, the Chief Election Officer and Manager of Legislative Services, has been swamped with daily complaints about election signs. The new sign bylaw makes it clear that signs can only be posted in certain public areas, but two of the candidates are in a close race, and one of them is adamant that he can place his signs wherever he wants. At 8:30 a.m. on the nose, Mark’s phone rings.

We’re now expanding on that theme with another composite story about a fictional city called Happyville. The scenarios are based on actual experiences reported about local governments in news stories about communities in California and Washington State.

“Good morning, how can I help you?” he answers with some trepidation.

To the extent the scenarios are similar to historical situations in British Columbia, they have been tweaked to protect the individuals involved, but they are not exaggerated (other than the fact that everything is happening over a few weeks and in one organization).

John stares at the tickets in shock. “By the way, you’d better take care of those parking tickets tonight, because you’re fired as of tomorrow,” adds the Mayor.

“You can start by getting your head out of your arse and then you can put my signs back up where we put them!” yells the caller. “You have no f-ing right to take down my signs, and if I lose this election because of your incompetence and arrogance, you can bet you’ll be seeing me in court.” “Is this Mr. Smith?” asks Mark. “Who the hell do you think it is? I’m the only candidate that you’re trying to push out by taking down my signs and undermining my campaign,” the caller answers. “You might as well start packing up your office now, ‘cause I can guarantee you’ll be one of the first people I fire when I’m the mayor.” Mark was about to explain the bylaw to him for the tenth time when he heard the phone crash down as the caller hung up on him. It was shaping up to be another interesting day. After confirming that the bylaw officers had indeed met the bylaw requirements by removing the signs that were posted on a median within 100 metres of City Hall, Mark calls his CAO, John, to give him the heads up about the ongoing issue. The next day, the signs are back up on the median in the same place. They are again removed in accordance with the bylaw. Later that day, Mr. Smith storms into the CAO’s office. Promoting Professional Management & Leadership Excellence in Local Government


“You f-ing idiot! Stop taking down my signs or I’ll sue you for sabotaging my campaign. You’ll find yourself fired and spending the rest of your life paying off your debt!” screams Mr. Smith as he leans over John’s desk, doing his best to threaten and intimidate him. Frankly, John does find himself threatened, and the spittle sprayed on his desk doesn’t appeal to him either. But the reality is that he knows it’s his job to handle the situation as professionally as possible. “Mr. Smith, the Chief Election Officer and I have explained to you that there is a bylaw that states you cannot put signs on a median or within 100 metres of City Hall,” says John. “Any signs on a median are considered a traffic safety hazard as they impede driver sightlines and are distracting. And the signs are prohibited near City Hall as it was determined that this could be viewed as candidates being endorsed by the City.” John knows he’s not going to convince Mr. Smith but stays as calm as possible for the anticipated reaction. Continued on page 8

Resiliency Under Pressure Continued from page 7

“That’s a load of crap and you know it. You had better leave my signs alone or you’ll pay. Big time.” Smith shakes his fist as he storms out of the office. Mark, who works across the hall, waits until Smith has cleared out before making his way to John’s office. “I’m sorry John. I’ve done everything I can think of to explain the bylaw and now enforcement is our only option,” says Mark. “I know it. So does the staff. So do most of the candidates,” responds John with a sigh. “We’re just going to have to ride this out, but if his threats escalate to anything that approaches a personal safety matter, I’ll be calling the police into this.” John’s words were prophetic as over the following weeks, he and Mark receive hundreds of emails, sometimes as many as two dozen a day, questioning the City’s bylaws, election law and processes. Next Mr. Smith starts posting his complaints and accusations on social media, and the City’s solicitor starts tracking them to watch for defamation or threats that should be taken to the police. Everyone starts dreading election day. Meanwhile, as Mark continues to grapple with the challenging candidate, Louise, the City’s Information Technology Manager, calls John to flag a problem with a Councillor misusing his City-owned iPad. “Sorry to tell you this John, but we have evidence that a Council member has been using his iPad to download inappropriate materials,” says Louise.

Frankly, John does feel threatened, but the reality is that he knows it’s his job to handle the situation as professionally as possible. “What do you mean by inappropriate?” asks John. “That’s code for porn, John,” says Louise. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” says John. “Who would do that – particularly in this day and age where everything can be tracked?” “I don’t know. Who would download that stuff, period? But to make it worse, it’s the same Councillor who was caught using the iPad for online poker six months ago and we went through all of the IT policies and protocols with him at that time,” says Louise. “When my staff contacted him on this recent incident, they didn’t handle it as well as they could have and now we have another problem.” Louise explained that when her staff member Jane contacted the Councillor to advise him of the issue, the Councillor first tried to deny he did any such thing. Jane then asked him if anyone else had access to his iPad and could have done it, and he said no. Jane then told him he should take responsibility for his actions. That was bad enough, but when another staff member heard what had happened, he took it upon himself to criticize the Councillor and suggested he should resign. “The long and short of it is that the Councillor called me and demanded that we discipline those two staff for their behaviour as he feels they disrespected them and it’s insubordination,” says Louise. “It’s not insubordination. They don’t report to him. Poor judgment maybe, but not insubordination,” says John. “I know. I’ve spoken to them about the fact that it wasn’t their place to speak to the Councillor and that they may need to apologize, but that’s it,” adds Louise. John thinks for a bit about how to handle the situation and realizes he’ll need to take it from here with the Council member. “Thanks for letting me know Louise. I’ll follow up on this for you,” says John. Just as John hangs up, the Councillor involved steps into his office. “Councillor, I was just about to call you,” says John. “If it’s about this iPad thing, the slanderous accusations are ridiculous, and I’m furious about the way I’ve been treated,” says the Councillor. “I want those staff disciplined. And I think your IT Manager should be fired as she clearly can’t manage her own people.” “I understand your concerns and I’m sorry for any disrespect you experienced. We have spoken to the staff,” says John. Promoting Professional Management & Leadership Excellence in Local Government


“We do need to address what happened with your iPad as it contravenes our usage policies. Primarily, we need your assurance this won’t happen again.” “You’re kidding me here. I’m the one who has been insulted and you’re just adding to it. I’m going to talk to my fellow Councillors right now and you can expect consequences – including whether you deserve to sit in this office,” says the Councillor. A few hours later, John receives a call from another member of Council. “Hi John, I just heard from a fellow Councillor who is pushing to have you fired. What’s going on?” she asked. John explains the situation and summarizes what’s been done regarding the employees involved. “Oh for crying out loud. Are you serious? He’s done something stupid like that again and is trying to pretend it’s someone else’s fault?” she asks. “I’m going to call the Mayor and the rest of Council to give them the heads up on what really took place, and I think I can safely say that all of us will want to distance ourselves from his behaviour. He certainly won’t be getting the support from Council to call for a vote

Promoting Professional Management & Leadership Excellence in Local Government


on firing you, and if he doesn’t take responsibility for his actions, we’ll threaten him with censure by Council.” John thanked the Councillor for her understanding and took a deep breath. It was nice to have Council members who would take the time to find out the facts and who understood the importance of policies and allowing administration to manage staff. Election day finally arrives, and everyone is mobilized to assist at the polls and ensure the voting process runs smoothly. Mark is operating out of City Hall, with his desk phone in one hand, his cell phone in another and his email open on his computer. It’s only a few hours in, but things are running smoothly. He just starts to relax a bit when his cell phone rings. He sees the number, and he knows what poll she’s at, so he already suspects what the problem will be. “Hi Julie, what’s up?” he asks with a fair degree of apprehension. “A certain candidate, who has had issues with signs, has been at this polling station for the past two hours and he’s hassling John,” says Julie. “I know John won’t call you, he’ll feel like it’s his job as the CAO to just handle it, but it’s unnerving everyone here.” Continued on page 10

Resiliency Under Pressure Continued from page 9

“What do you mean by hassling?” asks Mark. “He’s quietly, but threateningly, following John’s every move here, and it’s making a few of us nervous. He just doesn’t seem stable – he’s literally vibrating with fury,” says Julie. Mark considers his options and realizes he has to put safety first. “I’m going to call the police to provide some additional security, particularly following the vote counting, as I’m concerned this situation could escalate and someone could get hurt,” says Mark.

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After confirming police were at the polling station and the irate candidate had left, Mark continued to monitor things for the rest of the day. After the votes came in, there was a sigh of relief throughout the organization when it was clear that a particular candidate had not been elected. Unfortunately, within a week of the inaugural meeting, it becomes clear that while the one challenging candidate didn’t make it into office, a number of the newly-elected Council members, including a new Mayor, have come into their positions with individual agendas. Over the next few weeks, the Mayor calls John into a series of meetings where he makes it clear that he feels the management team at the City is incompetent. Despite having no background in local government, the Mayor is convinced that his background as a taxi driver gives him the experience to run the City better than anyone else. He hires his own Strategic Advisor, a friend of his, whose first task is to help identify all the ways the administration needs to change – and apparently it needs to start with new managers. The Mayor tells John he expects him to fire his entire management team. John is stunned. There is absolutely no evidence of problems related to job performance. If anything, his team of managers has achieved award-winning results in the community over the years. John deflects the Mayor for the time being, but realizes the writing is on the wall. All he wants to do is protect his team – if it’s possible. A few days later, it’s 4:30 p.m. on Council Monday and John is already exhausted. As usual, he got very little sleep the night before. John is heading into the Council meeting when the Mayor stops him to give him a handful of parking tickets.


1years0 10 2005-2015

“Get these taken care of will you?” says the Mayor. “My buddy Bill is a big contributor to this community and shouldn’t be paying parking tickets. Plus, he had a sore knee from our golf game, so he was entitled to park in the handicap spot.” John stares at the tickets in shock and shakes his head, telling himself it was something to deal with tomorrow. As he is about to enter the Council chambers, the Mayor stops him again. “By the way John, you’d better take care of those parking tickets tonight, because you’re fired as of tomorrow,” he adds, before heading straight into Council Chambers. John finishes the Council meeting and goes home, relieved. Maybe now he’d start sleeping properly on Sunday nights. Within a few months, a new CAO is hired and by the end of the year, the majority of the management team is replaced with people handpicked by the Mayor. John never did fix those parking tickets.



Promoting Professional Management & Leadership Excellence in Local Government


By Therese Mickelson, ABC


Resiliency Toolkit t’s definitely not happy in Happyville, and it all comes down to a disrespectful workplace. Whether it’s a member of the public, a fellow staff member or an elected official causing the problems, the fact is that everyone is entitled to a safe and respectful work environment. When bullying, verbal abuse or threats enter into the work environment, it’s no longer safe. Fortunately, there are experts who have advice on how to protect yourself, improve your work environment and move ahead with your career.


Resiliency tactics in the workplace Resiliency can be measured by observing how effective an individual pushes forward after a setback. At its heart, resiliency requires individuals to trust and believe in their ability to problem-solve and


make decisions, along with the self-confidence to take action. When part of your job involves working with elected officials, it helps to understand how to interact effectively with each Council or Board member so you are prepared to adapt and stay safe. Dr. Bill Howatt, CEO of Howatt HR, with expertise in strategic human resources (HR) and mental health, notes that when it comes to how elected officials approach their role and deal with staff, most fall into one of three different categories: listed here as the Achiever, the Altruist, and the Commander. However, it is also common for an individual to have characteristics from more than one category. The following table provides an overview of the three categories found in many Councils or Boards.

Dr. Howatt’s advice on how to approach conversations


The Achiever

• • • • • • •

Typically younger Well educated Often new to local government No political background or agenda Leveraging Council experience to advance career Interested in innovation Can be overconfident in their abilities

The Altruist

• • • • •

Typically retired or primarily holds volunteer positions Conscientious and interested in giving back to community Believes in accountability Can be conservative Thinking is often aligned with traditional values of community service • Interested in stability and sustainability

Organizational structure and process is important to this group. When interacting, it is helpful to have facts both ready and right. Be prepared – it shows caring and commitment. Altruists are typically good listeners, and when they speak they expect their audience to listen in a respectful manner. They do not respond well to being challenged in public.

The Commander

• • • •

Avoid arguing. Be prepared for direct statements. This group will respect individuals that set a boundary. If you do not feel comfortable with a comment, consider asking an impact question to set a boundary. For example, “I am not feeling comfortable now, is that your intention?” They will either change their tone or approach, or they will continue. If they continue, move to an impact statement, “I do not feel safe now, I need to get some support.” The most effective way to stop inappropriate behavior or even bullying is to put the behaviour on the table, then get to safety.

Typically experiencing power and authority for first time Strong ego Appear to have a need to be in control Can be impatient and overtly judgmental, but can also be strong advocates for worthy positions • Approach can sometimes come off as overbearing and controlling • May be perceived as rude, threatening and even bullies – sometimes with justification and in other cases it may be that their intentions and actions are confusing, resulting in unfair judgment of their intentions

Promoting Professional Management & Leadership Excellence in Local Government

Seek to understand their position. This group is normally open to collaborative discussion; however, in some cases overconfidence can hinder collaboration. One effective approach is to ask “Why do you think …?” questions. This can help increase the dialogue, show interest in their position and facilitate two-way collaboration.

Continued on page 12


Building a Resiliency Toolkit Continued from page 11

While there may be more categories, the intention is to present a simple model for evaluating a typical Council or Board member’s tendencies and to provide staff members with a few coaching tips for how to communicate in a safe manner. Howatt’s point is that employees can improve their resiliency when working with Council and Board members by observing how they typically carry themselves. The end goal is to increase a staff member’s confidence when interacting with elected officials.

Building a respectful workplace For many organizations, creating a respectful workplace is still aspirational – some good intentions are being discussed but nothing solid is established. The reality is that there may be a lot of organizations stuck in the old adage of “all talk and no action.” Organizational policies and procedures are only the first step, and must be followed by documentation and action – the critical components required to promote and protect a respectful work environment. “It doesn’t make a difference if it’s a Council member who is not being respectful, or an employer or customer causing the problem – if employees are exposed to psychological abuse while in the workplace, the employer is responsible for psychological protection of their employees because the employer has put them in that position,” says

Howatt. “Every employee has a right to work in a place where they feel psychological and physical safety. Some employees will take a stand, others will go to the end of the continuum and avoid or rationalize what’s happening. Employees who do not talk or ask for help when they feel bullied can take several paths, such as developing a mental health issue (e.g. depression) or addiction, increasing their absenteeism, or decreasing their productivity, which are all attempts to cope.”

Dr. Bill Howatt

Howatt notes that there are three steps in the process to shift towards a more healthy and respectful workplace: 1. Assess the current environment: what is your Council’s profile; are there problems with bullying; what values, policies and procedures are in place; and where are you potentially liable under bullying legislation or Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) coverage. 2. Educate your employees: ensure employees understand their boundaries, their rights under legislation and the policies in your organization, as well as reporting procedures. 3. Take action: as individuals, do something proactive, e.g. reporting and documenting incidents and/or removing yourself from harm’s way.

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“We’ve agreed as a society that we should do no harm to each other, and with this decree we have then agreed there will be consequences when wrong is done,” says Howatt. “The problem is something called follow-through. When it comes to taking action there needs to be a shift to close the gap between intentions and reality. Many organizations are starting to put policies in place and enforce them, but small organizations like local governments have no mechanisms in place to provide the needed support to their employees.” Based on the experiences shared among local government managers across the province, there is still a significant gap between intentions for a respectful workplace, and consequences for inappropriate behaviour, particularly involving elected officials. “Unfortunately, while the conversations are being held more often, establishing policies related to workplace behaviour is still a future state for a lot of organizations,” says Rochelle Morandini, Partner, Co-Lead of National Health Consulting at the business management consulting firm Morneau Shepell. “But the need for these types of policies and procedures is backed by law. In B.C., not only is there stronger legislation around bullying and harassment, ongoing stress and really detrimental work situations are also covered from a mental injury perspective under the WCB.”

Morandini recommends establishing a culture and a code of conduct that encourages people to be assertive and able to deal with a bully effectively, either by addressing the problem directly or asking for help. This involves ensuring there is a clear, transparent process for handling these types of issues. While the first hurdle may be reaching Rochelle Morandini consensus on the culture, code of conduct and related polices and procedures, the next step is to get agreement on how to hold people accountable. There are national standards for psychological health and safety in the workplace, and the Mental Health Commission of Canada has developed The Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace Standard and Implementation Guide. It involves four key steps: Building the Foundation, Identifying Opportunities, Setting Objectives, and Implementation. As well, WCB has developed a Bullying and Harassment Prevention Tool Kit to help employers and workers understand their legal duties and prevent bullying and harassment. The kit includes training tools and a handbook for building a respectful workplace. Continued on page 14

2015 Assessment Roll · Total number of properties is 1,974,120, up about 1% from 2014 · Total value of real estate is $1.2 trillion, a nearly 6% increase from 2014

· Total amount of ‘non-market change’, including new construction and development: $18.69 billion, a 6.54% increase from 2014

More details about the 2015 Assessment Roll available at Contact BC Assessment Information Services: Phone: 1-866-valueBC or 1-866-825-8322 (local 00119) Email:

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Building a Resiliency Toolkit Continued from page 13

Morandini suggests that new Council or Board orientation packages include clear guidelines for expected behaviour – including having them sign an agreement related to workplace behaviour – as well as details relating to applicable bullying and harassment legislation and how they can be held accountable at a federal level.

She adds: “However, even when the contrast isn’t crystal clear, you never go wrong doing what you know in your heart and mind is the right thing. You can actually feel a shift when you make a choice like this – it feels like a relief, and suddenly, your headache is gone, your heart stops pounding and you can breathe again.”

Some municipalities are also having companies like Howatt HR Consulting and Morneau Shepell complete benchmark assessments on mental health to help them measure their organization’s coping skills.

Silverman recommends that individuals clarify their values and principles around how they will behave, and then stick to them. In addition, it is critical to always obey the law as well as any employer codes of conduct. As an example, fixing parking tickets or allowing an individual to break a bylaw just because of pressure and bullying is clearly wrong. Making the right, ethical choice can be a very positive, uplifting experience in a difficult situation.

“We have a strategy that involves going to their organization to develop an employee health, productivity and engagement profile that unpacks a psychological safety profile, then we tell them where they are at and what it will take to build a respectful workplace,” says Howatt.

Safeguarding your psyche Sometimes, the most critical first step in dealing with a disrespectful work environment is to protect your mental health by taking some control, adhering to your principles and focusing on positive choices even in difficult situations. “Many of our frustrating experiences can make it difficult to know what to do because we don’t always see a clear line in the sand about what would be the right choice,” says Robin L. Silverman, Senior Consultant at Right Management, a talent and career management firm. “The one positive thing you can say when someone behaves in a very negative way that you absolutely, positively know is wrong is that such behaviour provides a definite contrast for making the best decision.”

Robin Silverman

“When you’re given that clear line in the sand, you need to be self aware and ask yourself about your choices,” adds Silverman. “I’ve never heard of anyone who ultimately is sorry for doing the ethical thing – even if they are fired for it. If that happens, when you go to the next job interview and they ask why you were let go, you can tell them it was because you refused to do something unethical. The details are kept confidential, but the interviewers know they are speaking to a person with integrity, and that’s always valued.” In addition to making good choices about actions and decisions, individuals can also make a deliberate choice to think more positively, which can help both their mental and physical health. “There is a science called neuralplasticity that says, ‘neurons that fire together, wire together,’” says Silverman. “In other words, when you think the same thoughts repeatedly over time, you are creating brain connections that impact your expectations and experiences. Since about 90 per cent of the 50,000 thoughts we each think every day are framed negatively, as in ‘I can’t do this,’ or ‘this isn’t what I want,’ one of the hardest things for human beings to do is to perpetuate positive thinking. But since thought creates emotion, we can improve both our experiences and our health by hardwiring our brain for happiness rather than unhappiness.” Silverman cites a set of five simple practices promoted by Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, which, when followed for a month, are designed to hardwire your brain for happiness. Silverman summarizes the steps below:

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1. Exercise. This can be as simple as getting up from your desk to move around. 2. Meditate or pray. Release your thoughts and worries to a higher power. 3. Write down three things you’re grateful for each day. 4. Write a short paragraph each day about something that went well. 5. Do a random act of kindness. This can be as simple as sending an email to someone to praise or thank them, or paying for someone’s coffee without saying anything – just do it for fun. Promoting Professional Management & Leadership Excellence in Local Government


“I’ve done these and they work,” says Silverman. “It doesn’t take a lot of time, and when you do them for a month, you will feel happier and more resilient.” Another personal resiliency practice involves building a network, expanding your skills and keeping your resume updated. “Change is happening at a very rapid pace in most organizations,” says Silverman. “It’s important that you continue to align with any new business strategy so you can keep adding value to your employer. Keep learning, growing, trying new things and networking with people both in your organization and outside of it, both so you can stay current and engaged with your work and also so you can help others.” “While it’s incredibly upsetting to be let go, ask yourself if you truly want to stay where you can either no longer add value, have to suffer abuse, or be faced with threats to do things you know are wrong. Recognize instead that you are a good person who has valuable skills that you can share elsewhere,” adds Silverman. “People think it’s the worst case scenario when they lose their job, but it’s not. The worst case scenario is when you stay somewhere that causes you to lose yourself, because when that happens, you’ve lost everything.”

Promoting Professional Management & Leadership Excellence in Local Government


Moving forward when you move on A number of scenarios can lead to leaving an organization. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to resign – and sometimes you’ve mentally resigned for months before you head out the door. In other cases, it’s sudden because you’re laid off or fired without cause. It’s first important to understand your rights, particularly for Officer positions. For a local government Officer who is defined either by the Community Charter or through a bylaw, or both, a termination cannot occur until the following criteria are met: • Council or Board needs a two-thirds majority of elected Council or Board members. • Council or Board must give the Officer a hearing, which is subject to the rule of procedural fairness, before considering the termination. Under the rules of procedural fairness, the Officer must: ∙ Have adequate notice to prepare for the hearing (usually five to seven business days); ∙ Be given the right to representation by legal counsel in the hearing; and ∙ Be provided with copies of any documents or other information the Council or Board may be reviewing when considering termination. Continued on page 16

Building a Resiliency Toolkit Continued from page 15

Non-Officers do not have this same protection unless they are fulfilling an Officer role, and union employees have protections that are covered by the collective agreement and labour law. As well, it’s important to remember that an individual is protected under Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy legislation, which means personal information cannot be released. If the local government alleges cause when there is none, it may also be subject to additional damages and the process must be conducted confidentially. Understanding these rights helps to ensure the proper process is followed, but at the end of the day, the loss of a job is still traumatic. “Whatever the scenario, the individual who is leaving an organization will go through a mourning process,” says Susan Eick, Vice President, Business Development with Right Management. “It’s an emotional

experience where you’ve lost your livelihood, and for many people, their selfworth is intertwined with their job, so it’s like going through a death process.” Eick notes that the worst thing a person can do is to start sending out resumes right away because emotionally, the person isn’t ready yet. If they do get an interview, they are likely not going to present themselves in the most positive way.

Susan Eick

“If you don’t work through the healing process, you take a lot of baggage with you that can look like a lack of self confidence or hidden anger,” says Eick. “You absolutely take the loss of your job personally, but talking to someone can help you shift away from the internal focus and move ahead with positive steps to your next position.”

tips & tactics Tools for a Resilient, Safe Workplace

Companies like Right Management are often included in out-placement packages provided by employers. Whether you resign, are laid off or are fired, the bottom line is that you’re out of a job. When that happens, Eick says, in their world, you’ve become a candidate for a new job.

WorkSafeBC: • Toolkit provides training and tactics to help prevent bullying and harassment. BullyingAndHarassment/home.asp

The process includes reaching out to the candidate to outline the package and connect them with a career coach. Services include oneon-one counselling, resume development, and tips on how to use social media like LinkedIn to network and market their skills. There is also training in interview and negotiating skills.

Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health (CARMHA): • Improve personal resiliency, including skills for psychological self management, increased capacity for relaxation, using structured problem solving, identifying and improving work and life balance: • Employers Action Guide to Psychological Health & Safety, including best practices: psychological-health-safety-guide-for-employers.html

“At first, people feel that this isn’t happening, and there is anger and fear that they cannot make the situation better, and the loss of power can cause people to feel depression,” says Eick. “We tell people to get involved and engaged in our process with our counsellors right away, and I think one of the most immediate benefits is that they know they’re not alone. Rather than being overwhelmed, they take the time to prepare and find a position that is best for them.”

Howatt HR: • Survey tool leads users through the 13 factors of the mental health standard: • Quality of work life, self assessment tool: https://www. Morneau Shepell: • Tips on how you can help your workplace to function at its best: Little%20Respect%20Goes%20a%20Long%20Way • Articles related to bullying, the impacts on work, life and family, and prevention tips: Mental Health Commission of Canada: • The Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace Standard and Implementation Guide: http://www. implementation-guide Many thanks to our contributors for highlighting resources that support achieving a healthy, safe and respectful workplace.

Whether working on improving personal resiliency and respectful workplace policies, or making a career move, the bottom line is that everyone is entitled to a safe and healthy work environment. It may still be an aspirational goal for many, but there are experts and resources in place to provide support along the way.

SHARING THEIR EXPERTISE: Bill Howatt, Ph.D., Ed.D., Howatt HR Consulting Bill is a highly skilled and qualified strategic human resources consultant, executive coach and mental health professional with over 25 years’ experience. He has delivered professional development for adult education, EFPP organizations, Nova Scotia Community College, universities, federal, provincial, and municipal governments, and public and privately owned organizations. He founded and authored the Certificate in Management Essentials for the University of New Brunswick. He is a regular contributor to The Globe and Mail’s 9 to 5 business career column Leadership Lab. He also partnered with The Globe and Mail for the National Your Life at Work Study and publishing of 360 In Vivo, and 13 PHS Factors online assessment tools. Promoting Professional Management & Leadership Excellence in Local Government


Rochelle Morandini, Partner, Co-Lead of National Health Consulting, Morneau Shepell Rochelle has spent over 20 years in human resources and organizational health as both an in-house professional and a national consultant providing strategic and practical advice to some of Canada’s largest and most complex employers. Her expertise lies in helping individuals and organizations thrive through healthy workplace systems. She helps organizations design and integrate their health and productivity efforts with the goal of getting the best results for the dollars and efforts spent on wellness, employee assistance, disability management, safety and even engagement initiatives.

Robin L. Silverman, Senior Consultant, Right Management Robin is a talent development specialist who has delivered exceptional results working with both emerging and established leaders. Her background includes multicultural and diversity work, and she is

Understanding Your Legal Rights

Promoting Professional Management & Leadership Excellence in Local Government

known for her ability to identify and align an individual’s strengths with business strategy to increase motivation and personal effectiveness. Robin has performed more than 600 hours of coaching for executives at all levels, helping them accelerate their effectiveness and impact. She has served as a master coach for team development and is experienced in methods that lead to profound and lasting positive change

Susan Eick, Vice President of Business Development, Right Management Susan’s specific client capabilities include strategic planning, aligning business priorities, assessing organizational impact of change and developing repeatable processes that increase efficiency. Prior to joining Right Management, Susan managed her own consultancy in British Columbia, working primarily with technology executives who were experiencing the need to rapidly shift their organizations. ❖

For a list of legislation that protects your legal right to a safe and respectful workplace, please visit and click on Exchange Magazine under Resources & Publications, where an “Understanding Your Legal Rights” summary is posted with the Spring 2015 edition of Exchange.



Learn, connect and recharge Hear from amazing leaders who will inspire you to exceed expectations and demonstrate how to leverage change to drive positive results. Hosted at the confluence of the Nechako and Fraser Rivers in Prince George, this year’s conference reflects the power of creating connections to share ideas and build relationships with colleagues. The 2015 conference features Roberta Jamieson – a woman whose distinguished career is marked by “firsts.” She was the first First Nations woman in Canada to earn a law degree; the first non-parliamentarian appointed an ex-officio member of a House of Commons Committee; the first woman Ombudsman of Ontario; and the first woman elected Chief of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. A member of the Order of Canada, Jamieson is an impassioned and engaging mediator and speaker, devoted to advancing Canada’s democratic leadership in the world. She is also a strong advocate for

the preservation and enhancement of human rights. Join her as she explores what the public expects of public servants, and the problems public servants have in meeting the expectations of politicians. With cutting-edge content and valuable insights, Dr. Mark DeVolder makes people “Change Ready” and shares essential leadership tools and a template to successfully survive and thrive during times of extreme change. As an expert in the dynamics of change management and employee engagement, DeVolder reveals why many change initiatives fail to achieve their stated goals. With straightforward strategies and convincing business examples, he shows leaders how to drive results to improve the bottom line.

Roberta Jamieson

Dr. Mark DeVolder

This year’s program includes workshops on how to perfect your presentation skills and how to prepare your local government to respond to new industrial development. Learn how to effectively engage citizens on a limited budget, and what to do if you are the subject of defamation. Get the legal scoop on workplace addictions, accommodating disabilities and homelessness issues. Hear from communities that have revitalized their downtowns, tackled the impacts of climate change, or been the subject of audits. Take advantage of the Conference as an opportunity to recharge your batteries. Learn the “secrets of longevity” and how to maintain the health of your brain (brain wellness back by popular demand!). Be awed by one of B.C.’s hidden treasures with a visit to the Ancient Forest. Wrap things up by celebrating at the Annual Banquet. Enjoy a wonderful dinner, have your senses altered by Canada’s “crown prince” of hypnotism Wayne Lee, and rock to Prince George’s Sound Addiction. Conference room blocks are secured at the Coast Inn of the North ($115-130 plus taxes; call 250-563-0121) and the Ramada Downtown Prince George ($116 per night plus taxes; call 250-563-0055). Identify yourself as being with the LGMA Annual Conference to receive the special rates. To view the full conference program visit, or register today at

Promoting Professional Management & Leadership Excellence in Local Government



Our Members in the Spotlight

SPECIAL RECOGNITION Certified Municipal Clerk Designation The following individual has earned the prestigious Certified Municipal Clerk (CMC) designation from the International Institute of Municipal Clerks: • Anitra Winje, CMC, Regional District of Central Kootenay

Ron Poole Chief Administrative Officer, District of Kitimat Role model and mentor to local government professionals, especially those in the northern part of British Columbia, where he has spent his entire 30-year local government career Inveterate local government volunteer, always willing to give his time, energy and experience in the betterment of the profession Board member of the North Central Municipal Officers Association and LGMA Board Member and President Committed educator, serving as a Mentor for MATI Advanced Communication, MATI Leadership, MATI Managing People, MATI Foundations faculty, and the LGMA representative to the Board of Examiners Instrumental in developing professional training opportunities in the North, particularly for First Nations, helping to develop and teach Northwest Community College’s local government public administration program Believes that success in the job begins at home and with friends and always puts his family first Genuinely loves to be around people and is a wonderful host Always thinking of others before he thinks of himself and always willing to give a helping hand Loves fishing at the lake and river, especially with daughter Ashley Passionate about volleyball, which he played in university and coached for many years, and he also coached both of his kids when they were involved in soccer Proud of his genealogy – his mom is 100% Hawaiian from Kauai (less than 1% of Hawaiians can claim to being 100% Hawaiian!)

Promoting Professional Management & Leadership Excellence in Local Government


LOCAL GOVERNMENT COURSES Join the hundreds of local government employees who have taken Capilano University’s Public Administration courses and earned their professional certificate. Ω Local Government Leadership Development Certificate Designed to equip you for more senior leadership roles.

Ω Advanced Certificate and Diploma Advance your knowledge and skills, and build on your Local Government Certificate.

Fall 2015 Courses Starting in September – register today! Ω Local Government Administration in BC – North Vancouver and Kelowna

Ω Local Government Finance in BC – North Vancouver Ω Municipal Law in BC – Parksville Ω Local Government Problem Solving & Policy Writing Skills – Kelowna

Ω Ethics & the Responsible Local Government Professional – North Vancouver

Ω MATI The Successful CAO: Local Government Advanced Management – Kelowna (October 4-9)

To find out more about these and future courses, contact Alison McNeil at and see

MEMBERS PAGE MEMBER MOVEMENT Annette Antoniak, Chief Executive Officer, Macdonald Park Fort McMurray Island Park/ Wood Buffalo (formerly Chief Administrative Officer, City of Penticton) Mark Brennan, Administrator, Stz’uminus First Nation (formerly Chief Administrative Officer, Village of Lytton) Kelsey Green, Finance Clerk, Village of Hazelton (formerly Clerk, Hazelton) Wendy Hunt, Chief Administrative Officer, District of New Hazelton (formerly Chief Financial Officer, District of New Hazelton) Theresa Kingston, Director of Corporate Services, City of Port Alberni (formerly Manager of HR & Communications, Port Alberni) Michelle Martineau, Director of Corporate Services, District of Sparwood (formerly Director of Corporate Services, City of Fernie) Bryan Teasdale, Chief Administrative Officer/Chief Financial Officer/Approving Officer, Village of Montrose (formerly Manager of Infrastructure and Sustainability, Regional District of Kootenay Boundary) Linda Tynan, Chief Administrative Officer, District of Summerland (formerly Chief Administrative Officer, Village of Nakusp)

RETIREMENTS Ken Bjorgaard, Chief Administrative Officer, District of Mission

Lisa Hope, Manager of Human Resources, Regional District of Fraser Fort George Wendy Nordin, Manager of Policy Initiatives, City of Prince George Tim Palmer, Chief Administrative Officer, City of Revelstoke

LGMA PROGRAMS & EVENTS April 10-12, 2015 Working Together: Effective Fire Service Administration for Fire Chiefs and Local Chief Administrative Officers Best Western Plus Baker Street Inn, Nelson April 15-17, 2015 Local Government Administrative Professionals Conference Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort and Spa, Victoria April 24, 2015 Bylaw Drafting Essentials Workshop Radisson Hotel Vancouver Airport, Richmond April 26-May 1, 2015 MATI Advanced Communication Skills (CAPU/LGMA) Bowen Island May 24-29, 2015 MATI Managing People in Local Government Organizations (CAPU/ LGMA) Bowen Island June 16-18, 2015 LGMA Annual Conference and Tradeshow Prince George Civic Centre, Prince George

June 21-26, 2015 MATI Leadership (CAPU/LGMA) Bowen Island August 9-14, 2015 MATI Foundations University of Victoria, Victoria September 11-13, 2015 Working Together: Effective Fire Service Administration for Fire Chiefs and Local Chief Administrative Officers TBC, Vancouver Island September 24, 2015 CAO Breakfast Marriott Pinnacle Vancouver Downtown October 4-9, 2015 MATI The Successful CAO (CAPU/LGMA) Lake Okanagan Resort, Kelowna October 14-16, 2015 Clerks and Corporate Officers Forum Radisson Hotel Vancouver Airport, Richmond October 18-23, 2015 MATI School for Statutory Approving Officers South Thompson Inn, Kamloops

RELATED ORGANIZATIONS PROGRAMS & EVENTS April 7-9, 2015 North Central LGMA 35th AGM and Conference Ramada Hotel, Prince George April 10, 2015 Lower Mainland LGMA AGM Sheraton Guildford, Surrey

April 15-17, 2015 West Kootenay Boundary-Rocky Mountain Joint AGM Nelson May 17-20, 2015 International Institute of Municipal Clerks Annual Conference Hartford, Connecticut May 27-29, 2015 Government Finance Officers Association BC Annual Conference Penticton June 1-3, 2015 Canadian Association of Municipals Administrators Annual Conference & Tradeshow Jasper, AB June 5-8, 2015 Federation of Canadian Municipalities Annual Conference Edmonton, AB August 23-26, 2015 Institute of Public Administration of Canada Annual Conference Halifax, NS September 9-11, 2015 Alberta Rural Municipal Administrators’ Association Annual Conference Wetaskiwin, AB September 16-18, 2015 Thompson Okanagan LGMA Annual Conference Osoyoos September 21-25, 2015 Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) Annual Convention Vancouver Convention Centre September 27-30, 2015 International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Annual Conference Seattle, WA

Promoting Professional Management & Leadership Excellence in Local Government


MEMBERS PAGE OUR TOWN: CITY OF SURREY The City of Surrey is transforming from a bedroom community of Vancouver to a metropolitan centre with over a half-million people. And we’re growing quickly. The 2011 Census reported we’re the third fastest-growing city in Canada. At 317 square kilometres, Surrey is the size of Vancouver, Burnaby and Richmond combined. The speed and scale of change presents many opportunities to truly shape the community for the long-term. For example, Surrey has never had a thriving downtown core – an important ingredient for the local economy. Now we are building a downtown from the ground-up around three Skytrain rapid transit stations, two universities, a hospital campus and growing business community. The area was catalyzed by Simon Fraser University’s opening over a decade ago. SFU’s student population energized the area and provided much needed university spaces for our young population. We have six town centres, where we are creating complete communities so residents have what they need close by. We have made building new community infrastructure a priority, including recreations centres, pools, athletic fields, libraries and parks. Surrey was named the Cultural Capital of Canada in 2008 and will be hosting the Creative City Summit in 2016 that brings together 200 thought leaders in Canada’s arts sector for a three-day event. We’re invested in the arts including a new 250-seat performing arts centre in our Council Chambers and a cultural grants program to support projects and capacity building. Natural space is one of Surrey’s greatest assets, and approximately one-third of the land is agricultural. We’re making sure to preserve and enhance the natural environment with over 6,000 acres of parks and protected areas. Most importantly, we pride ourselves on partnering closely with the community, from economic development to early childhood education. To take advantage of having a university district and hospital campus located downtown, we created a new partnership model to drive entrepreneurship and innovation. Innovation Boulevard is a partnership of health, business, higher education and government creating new health technologies to improve people’s lives. By bringing partners together, we created a network that can dramatically increase access to the expertise and facilities required for health innovation. The community and partners benefit through new jobs, lower costs, attracting bright people and improved healthcare. Kensington Prairie (KP) is an integrated early childhood development facility located in South Surrey. To meet the needs of Surrey’s children and families for high-quality daycare, the City of Surrey worked with nine partners to create the Kensington Prairie Community Centre. KP uses an integrated service delivery model to provide early childhood development programming and resources, including child care, education and health.

Promoting Professional Management & Leadership Excellence in Local Government


Investment in the arts – including the Surrey Arts Centre, above – is one of the reasons Surrey was named Cultural Capital of Canada in 2008 and will host the Creative City Summit in 2016.

In January, Surrey was recognized as one of the world’s “top seven most intelligent communities” by the Intelligent Community Foundation, a New York-based think tank that educates cities on how to use technology and innovation to build prosperous economies, solve social problems and enrich local cultures. The think tank noted that the City’s collaboration with universities, non-profits and business is part of an emerging trend across the globe that is fundamentally shifting how cities operate. The community’s desire to work together to build a great place to live and work is our greatest strength and what sets us apart. There is a spirit here that we talk about. It’s a willingness to come together and, often by necessity, look for new approaches to shared challenges. There is a lot of pride in what the community has achieved in a very short time, and it will be exciting to see what the next few years bring. – Donna Jones, Manager, Economic Development, City of Surrey

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