A Kamloops city councillor has been elected to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities board.
Coun. Arjun Singh joins the organization, which represents local governments across the country at the federal level, for a one-year term.
“I’ll be able to work on a national level with colleagues from across the country on issues that relate to the federal government and local governments and be a voice for Kamloops there,” Singh said.
Issues related to Kamloops on the federal stage cited by Singh include infrastructure and pandemic-related funding, climate action and the criminal code as it relates to street issues.
Singh joins the FCM following tenure on the Union of British Columbia Municipalities board, including as president. Council’s longest-sitting councillor said his UBCM experience will benefit his role on the FCM and explained how the two differ.
“It’s more sort of day-to-day work,” Singh said of working with the province. “But the big dollars come from Ottawa.”
Singh said the FCM has had success in recent years working with the federal government, adding he is excited to join the board, calling it an “honour.”
Despite his experience, he said it will be a learning curve and the board is bit daunting, with 75 members and bilingualism, due to representation from across the country. Singh won’t need to polish up his French, however. He will be part of the British Columbia caucus, one of eight representing the province on the national stage. This year’s FCM president is also from B.C. — Prince George city councillor Garth Frizzell.
“I know Garth well,” Singh said. “He’s a very, very good man and I think it will be fun to work with Garth and the rest of the FCM board this next year.”
Singh’s FCM commitment is for one year, with possible re-election year-by-year, and includes board meetings that would typically require travel, but are likely to be held via Zoom, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Singh was elected to FCM by elected officials across British Columbia. He thanked Mayor Ken Christian and city council for support.
Coun. Sadie Hunter was elected to UBCM board earlier this year. However, she has stepped aside to run as the Kamloops-North Thompson candidate in the provincial election, which is on Oct. 24.