AMBM President and Reeve of the Rural Municipality of La Broquerie, Ivan Normandeau, issued the following statement following the public announcement of the launch of the Municipal Eco-Action Centre of the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA), and the signing of a partnership agreement between Eco-West Canada (EWC) and SUMA:

The AMBM is delighted to announce a formal partnership between its subsidiary Eco-West Canada (EWC) and the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA). As President of the AMBM and EWC, I had the pleasure of signing this partnership agreement with Mrs. Randy Golden, President of SUMA, in the presence of representatives of many AMBM member municipalities, as well as associations and municipalities from across Canada. The event took place on the afternoon of June 8th, 2024, during the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ (FCM) 2024 Annual Conference and Trade Show, in Calgary, Alberta. On May 30th, 2024, the AMBM Board of Directors ratified the appointment of Mr. Jean-Marc Nadeau, Chief Executive Officer of SUMA, as a new member of the Board of Directors of its subsidiary EWC.

Recognized since 1905 as the collective voice of Saskatchewan municipalities, SUMA represents the interests of municipal governments on policy and program issues under provincial jurisdiction. For its part, EWC is a national non-profit organization based in Winnipeg, whose mandate is to promote and support the sustainable economic development of Canadian municipalities through the planning and implementation of environmentally responsible infrastructure and initiatives.

Building on this new partnership, SUMA is in the process of creating the Municipal Eco-Action Centre, with the support of EWC, to support its member municipalities in their sustainable and green infrastructure projects, including transportation, waste management, energy production and use, and capacity building, to name but a few. EWC’s expertise will also be important in supporting SUMA’s efforts to prepare funding applications for green infrastructure, municipal adaptation to climate change, and the achievement of zero-emissions targets.

The AMBM applauds and recognizes the strength of EWC in pragmatically accompanying municipalities in a concrete and beneficial energy transition. This new agreement recognizes the strength of our subsidiary and anchors its national mandate.

In addition to playing a hands-on role with local governments, one of the strengths of the EWC team is to mobilize the other two orders of government to set up multi-partner financing formulas for the projects it accompanies, reflecting the specificities of the Prairies. Over the years, EWC has created impressive multiplier leverage effects for the financing of numerous municipal projects in the province of Manitoba.

Today, EWC will put this expertise to work for SUMA and its members. In the future, all options will be considered in order to continue the expansion of our subsidiary through the creation of new partnerships with municipal associations in other provinces and territories, with a view to taking concrete action to ensure the prosperity of municipalities and their sustainable economic development.

The FCM has always been and will continue to be a key partner in the funding of green initiatives coordinated by EWC, thanks to the financial support of the Government of Canada. We expect this collaboration to grow through the SUMA partnership. Federal programs aimed at financing sustainable infrastructure have multiplied over the years. Each year, many of these programs fail to distribute all their funds, as many Canadian municipalities lack the resources to access them. This is exactly the kind of situation where EWC, as a valued independent entity, can help by not only supporting the structuring of projects, but by raising the necessary funding to make them a reality.

Provincial/territorial and federal governments also have a vested interest in teaming up with EWC to strengthen partnerships with municipalities in the green economy and achieve their targets. In Western Canada, Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCAN) is a key partner in the sustainable economic development of bilingual municipalities in Manitoba and across the three provinces. PrairiesCAN can count on the full cooperation of the AMBM Group in implementing its Framework to Build a Green Prairie Economy.

Finally, the AMBM would like to congratulate SUMA on its commitment to official languages, having recently concluded a promising agreement with the Assemblée communautaire fransaskoise (ACF), the principal organization representing the French-speaking community in Saskatchewan. This philosophy is fully compatible with that of EWC, the only bilingual environmental economic development organization on the Canadian Prairies. The AMBM looks forward to working with SUMA on official languages issues and the provision of municipal services in both official languages.

The AMBM is the voice of bilingual municipal leadership in the province of Manitoba. It represents 16 local governments committed to providing services in both official languages to their citizens. Together, these municipalities represent the majority of Manitoba’s population. Manitoba’s bilingual municipal leadership is also at the helm of the AMBM Group, a consortium of three complementary organizations: AMBM, the Economic Development Council of Manitoba Bilingual Municipalities (Conseil de développement économique des municipalités bilingues du Manitoba, or CDEM) and Eco-West Canada (EWC), which specializes in the green economy. These three complementary organizations actively contribute to the development, vitality and sustainability of the province’s Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs).

Information: Office of the Chief Executive Officer (O-CEO), 204-289-4077, [email protected].

New green economy partnership agreement between Eco-West Canada and the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA)