Cypress County councillor runs for position with FCM following Medicine Hats boycott

By Jessie Weisner/Hayley Ferguson
May 9, 2019 - 11:32am

MEDICINE HAT, AB -- Medicine Hat City Council has been a hot topic since they announced at Monday’s council meeting that they would be boycotting the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) conference at the end of the month because it is being held in Quebec.

Cypress county held their own vote at their councils’ meeting on Tuesday and have decided that not only will they be sending a representative to the conference, but that councillor Robin Kurpjuweit will actually be running for a spot on the FCM’s board.

“It was a little ironic it was the night before our meeting where we voted unanimously to send myself to the conference,” says Kurpjuweit.

Kurpjuweit will be running for the position of third vice president, representing the prairies. A role that he says would eventually transfer to presidency for FCM.

“We were looking at making a run for a board position, we didn’t realize that the third vice president roll was up for election this year in prairies,” says Kurpjuweit. “So I’m excited. I think the choice that the city made on Monday is one they made for themselves and we support any municipality to make a decision that is theirs. However, I think for Alberta we have an opportunity right now to have someone from Cypress County that could potentially be on the board.”

So far, of four names being put forward for the position, Kurpjuweit is the only one from Alberta.

He says that Cypress County respects Medicine Hat’s choice to not attend the conference but feels that this is too important an opportunity, especially in a federal election year, to miss.

“I think with advocacy, when you look at the work these groups do and especially with resolutions that come forward at different events, you have to be present to make an impact. And although we don’t agree on a lot of things, there are certain things we do agree on and we need a strong Canadian economy and we need to be able to build contacts, connections, relationships in order to have the strongest impact that is possible.” saysKurpjuweit.

FCM’s 2019 annual conference is being held May 30 to June 2 2019.

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