The success of FCM's international programming lies with its focus on local govenment. Through FCM's cooperation approach to development, local governments are improving the way they deliver services, to the great benefit of men, women and children.

The Pam McConnell award is given to a municipal expert, elected or non-elected, contributing to the advancement and promotion of gender equality in FCM’s programs. 

The awards for Outstanding Institutional Contribution to FCM International programs recognize Canadian local governments and local government associations that have demonstrated exceptional commitment and leadership in the scope of their participation in FCM's international programs. The projects in which they participated distinguished themselves in terms of innovation, support from their council or board, and their lasting impact in their partner community.

The Mike Badham Award is given to an individual whose contribution to FCM's international programs has gone above and beyond in terms of innovation, creativity, engagement and leadership. This award was named after the late Mike Badham, former president of the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities' Association, in recognition of the leadership and dedication he brought to FCM's international programs from 1996 until his untimely death in January 2006.

 

The winners of FCM’s 2020 International Awards are:

Vicki-May Hamm, Mayor of Magog (Québec): Winner of the Pam McConnell Award for the advancement and promotion of gender equality in FCM’s programs.

Sean Lee, Assistant Director, Engineering & Operations at the City of Fredericton (New Brunswick): Winner of the Mike Badham Award for individual innovation, creativity, engagement and leadership.

City of Yorkton (Saskatchewan): Winner of the Outstanding Institutional Contribution Award for commitment, leadership and lasting impact in a partner community.

See a profile of the nine finalists below. Congratulations to all!

 

Meet the finalists:

 

Pam McConnell Award

Jim Lorraine (Town of Truro, NS)

Jim Lorraine, owner of River Breeze Farm and municipal volunteer with the Town of Truro, has a way of making everyone feel welcome and included. This has been an incredible asset for his work with FCM’s Partnerships for Municipal Innovation - Local Economic Development (PMI-LED) project, as he supports municipal staff, elected officials and community members in municipalities in Santa Cruz, Bolivia to promote local economic development and the inclusion of youth and women.  

In particular, Jim has been a strong advocate for improving women’s economic opportunities in Bolivia, where narrow gender roles often limit women to the household. He understands firsthand the strength of women in business and politics, and has tirelessly preached about how women’s success benefits families, both economically and socially.  

“Jim helped us to open our minds and dream of a future in which we, women, can be entrepreneurs and move forward, without having to submit to the economic dependence of our partners,” said Carla Soria, Local Economic Development Officer, Pailón. 

On a recent visit to Bolivia, one of his many overseas FCM missions since 2007, Jim met the interim president of Bolivia, who is a woman. In the days following their meeting, he encouraged young women entrepreneurs that they are capable of anything they set their minds to, especially in a country that has the example of a female president.  

In no small part because of Jim’s efforts, the PMI-LED project is helping women to become more financially independent and contribute to their household income. As a result, many women have developed more confidence to participate in public spaces and even, in some cases, overcome domestic violence. 

As an experienced entrepreneur, Jim has been a skilled mentor for female entrepreneurs. He has also been a strong advocate for establishing strong relationships between the business community and governments.  

In Nova Scotia, Jim constantly promotes the PMI-LED project in Bolivia, and his contacts within the business community have been invaluable in creating enriching learning experiences for visiting Bolivian partners. 

From Truro to Santa Cruz, Jim is known for his hospitality, warmth and generosity with his time. He is proud of his community and neighbours for being involved in the PMI-LED project—just as his community is proud of him for all the support he has provided to Bolivian women and communities.  

This profile is one in a series highlighting the work of the nominees for FCM’s International Awards 2020. The awards recognize outstanding contributions of individuals and municipal institutions in sharing their expertise and building relationships in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe. FCM’s international programs are funded by Global Affairs Canada. 

Vicki-May Hamm (City of Magog, QC)

No one better models—and inspires—female leadership in municipal government than Vicki-May Hamm. Vicki-May is past president of FCM, a mayor completing her third term of office in the City of Magog, QC, and an ardent supporter of FCM’s Inclusive Municipal Leadership Project (PLMI), which works with eight Tunisian municipalities to provide training to female Tunisian elected officials.  

In April 2018, one month before the country held its first democratic municipal elections, Vicki-May Hamm spoke to the Forum of Federations Middle East and North Africa in Tunisia, drawing on her experience in local government in Canada to speak about the importance of women’s involvement in decision-making processes.  

In the elections, Tunisians elected women as nearly half of their councillors and about one in five of their mayors. Not long after, Vicki-May returned to Tunisia to get PLMI off the ground. With her experience as a woman elected official and her established connections in Tunisia, she positioned FCM as a strong partner to national and local stakeholders.  

“With Vicki-May at the helm of FCM, we’ve had the chance to engage with the reality of women leadership and gender equality at the municipal level, and she was a key actor in helping us land our first feminist international assistance project with Global Affairs,” says Pascal Lavoie, Director, Programs at FCM.   

The PLMI was officially approved at the end of November 2018, excellent timing to contribute to the ongoing decentralization and democratic reforms taking place in the country. 

More recently, PLMI partners in Tunisia have been working to navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially around restricted face-to-face meetings for partners.  Activities moved online to Zoom, webinars, pre-recoded videos and even Facebook, including simultaneous interpretation channels for speakers of Arabic, French and English. 

Despite electoral gains, discrimination against women continues to undermine women’s progress and ability to fully participate in society. Leaders like Vicki-May are helping Tunisian municipalities enact gender-equitable management practices and provide women and other vulnerable groups with inclusive and gender-specific services.

“Our job is to support municipalities to put in place mechanisms that will help elected officials make decisions that take into account the specific needs of not only women, but also children, families and seniors. Currently, very little public space is occupied by women. They don't feel welcome. We therefore want to create public spaces so that they can express themselves in complete freedom,” explains Hamm. 

This profile is one in a series highlighting the work of the nominees for FCM’s International Awards 2020. The awards recognize outstanding contributions of individuals and municipal institutions in sharing their expertise and building relationships in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe. The Inclusive Municipal Leadership Project is a 40-month (2018 to 2022) initiative to support female local elected officials and citizens in Tunisia, implemented with the support of the Centre international de développement pour la gouvernance locale innovante. FCM’s international programs are funded by Global Affairs Canada.

Outstanding Institutional Contribution Award

Montreal, QC

In 2010, when a devastating earthquake struck Haiti and destroyed a large part of Port-au-Prince and municipalities in the Palmes region, the City of Montreal, FCM and the Union des municipalités du Québec recognized Haitian municipalities’ urgent need for support. 

Together, they established the Municipal Cooperation Project (MCP) to help Haiti’s municipalities stabilize their taxation systems so they could plan and coordinate their infrastructure work. In the decade since, the City of Montreal has provided incredible expertise to help Haiti’s local governments strengthen and modernize their administrative systems and processes. Municipal experts on citizen engagement, tax systems, gender issues, urban planning and more have devoted their time, expertise and enthusiasm to restoring basic institutional capacity to Haitian municipalities. 

“Efficient city halls and good governance will help the population to benefit from better quality services,” said Lubonheur Loredant, Deputy Director General of Haiti’s tax agency, the Direction générale des impôts (DGI). “Canada is providing us with excellent guidance, and we are seeing significant progress.” 

The MCP collaboration laid the groundwork for a second project in Haiti, the Haiti Digitalization of Land Registry Project (PIRFH). This project is modernizing the land registry process as a way to encourage prosperity and economic growth. By supporting the Haitian government to develop a digital land registry, which will allow it to phase out handwritten land titles, the City of Montreal is helping to decrease errors and make deeds easier to find and use. This has important implications for access to credit and loans, and for property rights, particularly for Haitian women, who find it difficult to protect their rights in the acquisition or transfer of land.  

In its 10 years partnering with Haitian municipalities, the breadth and depth of expertise offered by the City of Montreal has been truly remarkable. Staff from city departments including archives, taxation, libraries, and human resources, have travelled to Haiti and hosted Haitian partners. So have members of the Conseil des Montréalaises, a consultative assembly on the status of women in Montreal, and the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal, a planning, coordination and financing organization that brings together 82 municipalities in Quebec.  

All told, municipal experts from Montreal have visited Haiti close to 100 times, and it has hosted has hosted Haitian municipal leaders in Canada more than 20 times. 

The City of Montreal has also engaged Montreal’s Haitian community. It mobilized Montreal’s Haitian community by reaching out to the Maison d’Haïti à Montréal, a Haitian community and cultural organization. The two projects have also been publicized on Haitian community radio in Montreal.  

As described by Serge Rosenthal Jr., Director of the DGI, “Today, with our Canadian partners and the DGI, we have created an exceptional synergy, and the resulting environment is ideal for fostering Haiti’s short- and long-term development.” 

This profile is one in a series highlighting the work of the nominees for FCM’s International Awards 2020. The awards recognize outstanding contributions of individuals and municipal institutions in sharing their expertise and building relationships in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe. FCM’s international programs are funded by Global Affairs Canada. 

The Municipal Cooperation Project is implemented in partnership with the Union des municipalités du Québec and the City of Montreal. The Haiti Digitalization of Land Registry Project is implemented in partnership with the City of Montreal.

Yorkton, SK

Since 2018, the City of Yorkton has demonstrated unflagging commitment to the Jordan Municipal Support Project (JMSP), which supports Jordanian municipalities through improved municipal services and solid waste management. In its more than two years of working on the project, the City of Yorkton has built strong relationships with its Jordanian peers while also engaging communities in Yorkton, from city council to local media.  

The City of Yorkton’s efforts have been instrumental to the success of the JMSP. To date, five technical staff and one elected official, councillor Randy Goulden, who is also a national board member of FCM, have been deployed on nine missions, contributing 270 days of staff time in support of project activities. With their time and expertise, all 12 Jordanian project municipalities have seen improvements in their strategic planning and solid waste management programs. 

“While they invest in building strong ties and relationships with JMSP staff and municipal partners alike as well as being committed to project success, [the City of Yorkton is] also focused on providing as many opportunities as possible to their own municipal staff, when missions are requested,” said Lynda DeGuire, Project Manager at FCM. “They believe in exposing their staff and community to FCM’s international work and international development, whenever appropriate.” 

Jordan faces many infrastructure challenges. It is home to hundreds of thousands of refugees, which has increased the demand for water and sanitation services, and it is in the process of decentralizing, leading to a greater role for municipal governments. As a result, Jordanian municipalities have benefited immensely from the technical assistance provided by the City of Yorkton, which has included support for strategic planning activities and solid waste management activities.  

In October and November 2019, a Yorkton delegation spent 12 days in central and southern Jordan to develop their solid waste management and recycling programs. Around the same time, two staff from the City’s Environmental Services department supported a study tour that brought six Jordanian partners to Canada. In significant ways, these missions and study tours have helped to improve services offered by Jordanian municipalities, while also building strong relationships between all project partners.   

In everything it does, the City of Yorkton brings technical expertise and real commitment to the table. It also has a professional, friendly and positive approach that is always appreciated by the JMSP team and Jordanian municipal peers.   

This profile is one in a series highlighting the work of the nominees for FCM’s International Awards 2020. The awards recognize outstanding contributions of individuals and municipal institutions in sharing their expertise and building relationships in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe. FCM’s international programs are funded by Global Affairs Canada. 

JMSP is a five-year project implemented by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in collaboration with Jordan’s Ministry of Local Administration and 12 Jordanian municipalities.  

Mike Badham Award

Jason Fox (Town of Truro, NS)

Jason Fox, the Director of Planning and Development for the Town of Truro, knows that local economic development is not only about plans—it’s also about people.  

As part of FCM’s Partnerships for Municipal Innovation - Local Economic Development (PMI-LED) project, Jason supports Bolivian partner municipality Pailón to plan their local economic development demonstration project. In this role, Jason has demonstrated tremendous leadership and skill in bringing people together in Truro and in Pailón.  

“Jason Fox is an inspirational force to be reckoned with!” said Jim Lorraine, owner of River Breeze Farm and a Truro community volunteer. “Jason leads by inspiring all of us to be our best selves … and make a difference in people’s lives, one community at a time.” 

Since the beginning of the PMI-LED project in 2016, Jason has provided technical support to PMI-Bolivia staff on how to plan local economic development, with an emphasis on community tourism, entrepreneurship and business development, while ensuring this development includes youth and women.  

“His experience, knowledge and will to share his expertise and build capacity within his Bolivian partners are exceptional,” said Walter Flores, an administrator for the municipality of Pailón. 

Jason has demonstrated a remarkable ability in bringing together diverse community members to contribute to Truro’s international projects, both in Bolivia and previously in the Caribbean. He has coordinated the participation of colleges and universities, involved businesspeople, and built partnerships with First Nations governments. He also engaged the Latin community in Truro to find Spanish speakers for Bolivia, and to ensure events were culturally sensitive.  

According to Katherine Murillo, project manager at FCM, Jason fulfills his role with “confidence and ease, and makes involvement in his project and activities both rewarding and a lot of fun.” 

Jason has visited Bolivia numerous times, and has hosted delegations from Bolivia in Truro on several occasions. Most recently, five municipal leaders from Pailón visited Truro in May 2019 to learn about best practices in promoting tourism.  

The visit was a success thanks in large part to Jason’s engagement and leadership, and the Pailón delegates left impressed by the friendliness they experienced in Truro.  

“It is cold, but the warmth of your hearts is very big,” delegate Yesenia Bauer told the Truro Daily News.  

This describes how Jason has strengthened relationships in Truro and in Pailón—warmly and wholeheartedly, with a deep commitment to the success of all partners.  

This profile is one in a series highlighting the work of the nominees for FCM’s International Awards 2020. The awards recognize outstanding contributions of individuals and municipal institutions in sharing their expertise and building relationships in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe. FCM’s international programs are funded by Global Affairs Canada.

Garth Frizzell (City of Prince George, BC)

Garth Frizzell, city councillor in Prince George, B.C. and First Vice-President of FCM, believes passionately that local governments matter. In his work with the Sustainable and Inclusive Communities in Latin America (CISAL) project, he has been a tireless advocate for local governments’ ability to contribute to community development, voice the concerns of their people, and manage the impacts and benefits of resource extraction in communities. 

As a member of FCM’s International Relations Committee, Garth has never wavered in his commitment to raise awareness of the importance and relevance of FCM’s international programs. He has been involved in FCM’s international programs for 10 years, beginning with a mission to Vietnam in 2010. He played an important role in the discussions that led to the creation of CISAL, and was subsequently appointed governance representative for the project.  

“Wherever he goes, Garth earns admiration and recognition,” said Chantal Havard, CISAL Project Manager, and Christopher Yeomans, CISAL Project Director. “Whether ministers, mayors, municipal employees or project partners in rural areas, everyone appreciates his warm, open approach, his experience in the municipal world and his interest in creating links between local governments.”  

CISAL supported local governments in mining regions of Colombia and Peru to both seize the opportunities and address the challenges of resource extraction in ways that contributed to long-term economic growth and ensured sustainable and inclusive communities. Garth visited both countries on multiple occasions and contributed to numerous CISAL publications.  

In his CISAL work, Garth’s comments and actions were always sensitive to the cultural context of Colombian and Peruvian partners. He was also skilled at taking the lessons from one municipality to another. With his help, the municipality of Manaure, Colombia successfully adapted a multi-stakeholder approach used in Canadian municipalities to create a commercial agreement for a group of indigenous women in La Guajira, Colombia. 

Closer to home, Garth never misses an opportunity to promote CISAL, and he has mobilized other municipalities in British Columbia to contribute to the project. At FCM and beyond, he is known as a bridge-builder who is excellent at adapting to his audience. Francophones always appreciate the effort he makes to speak French with them.  

“We know that no matter what is asked of Garth on a mission, he will quickly determine what is necessary and deliver it with a smile, empathy and a quirky joke,” said Harvard and Yeomans.  

This profile is one in a series highlighting the work of the nominees for FCM’s International Awards 2020. The awards recognize outstanding contributions of individuals and municipal institutions in sharing their expertise and building relationships in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe. FCM’s international programs are funded by Global Affairs Canada. 

The Sustainable and Inclusive Communities in Latin America Program (CISAL) was a five-year (2014-2019) regional initiative, in which $20.5 million was invested to strengthen local governments in Colombia and Peru.

Each of the Canadian municipal experts contributed an important piece to the CISAL program. The team from Fort St John, BC helped empower the women in Chumbivilcas, Peru. The experts of Red Lake, ON and Sudbury, ON showed partners in Antioquia, Colombia how mining can benefit the local economy. The District of Elkford, BC and Sioux Lookout, ON helped improve dialogue between companies and indigenous communities of La Guajira, Colombia. The Capital Regional District, BC, and Kimberley, BC helped the communities in Ancash, Peru improve their solid waste management and promote sustainable tourism.

Seynabou Amy Ka (City of Montreal, QC)

As many at the City of Montreal know, Seynabou Amy Ka is the linchpin that keeps the city’s support for the Haiti Digitalization of Land Registry Project (PIRFH) running smoothly.   

After the project was established in 2016, Seynabou created a pool of experts with expertise in archiving, geomatics, organizational change and other skills necessary to support the Haitian government to digitalize their land registry. Her enthusiasm, attention to detail, and ability to foster deep relationships have been invaluable in working towards this goal.  

“Seynabou set up an innovative new way of working with the city of Montreal,” said Nora Benamra, Project Manager for Haiti, referring to her creation of a pool of experts. “She was a key person in the mobilization of municipal experts who participated in the implementation of the PIRFH in Haiti.” 

PIRFH is helping the Haitian government to develop a digital land registry, which will allow it to phase out handwritten land titles, decrease errors and make deeds easier to find and use. This has important implications for access to credit and for property rights, particularly for Haitian women, who can find it difficult to protect their rights in the acquisition or transfer of land. 

In the nine missions she has taken to Haiti, and in her support in Montreal, Seynabou has established strong working relationships with Haitian partners and created a sense of belonging among the municipal experts who have participated in the project. Thanks to her efforts, partners have worked together with a true sense of camaraderie.  

“Seynabou is empathetic, attentive to everyone's needs, always available to solve a problem,” said Jean LeBlanc, an archivist who was recruited by Seynabou to participate in the project. “She takes care of her experts; we feel confident in her.” 

Seynabou has also been instrumental in raising the profile of the partnership. Every time Haitian partners have visited the Montreal region, Seynabou has arranged for them to be interviewed on local Haitian radio stations to connect Montreal’s Haitian community to this work.  

Seynabou is the consummate professional, always ready to offer a helping hand and a solution where it is needed. She models how municipal staff in Canada can share knowledge, solve problems and forge strong relationships that help international partners improve local governance. 

This profile is one in a series highlighting the work of the nominees for FCM’s International Awards 2020. The awards recognize outstanding contributions of individuals and municipal institutions in sharing their expertise and building relationships in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe. FCM’s international programs are funded by Global Affairs Canada. 

The Haiti Digitalization of Land Registry Project is a joint project implemented by FCM in partnership with the City of Montreal. The support of the City makes it possible for Seynabou Amy Ka to participate in this project.

Sean Lee (City of Fredericton, NB)

Sean Lee, Assistant Director, Engineering & Operations at the City of Fredericton, is a resilient leader who perseveres despite obstacles. Nothing better exemplifies this than his work to help two South African municipalities modernize their infrastructure as part of FCM’s Building Inclusive Green Municipalities (BIGM).   

Sean was critical in establishing and developing strong working relationships with not one but two municipalities in South Africa, Port Saint Johns and Buffalo City, and he persisted in maintaining these important relationships despite political changes and some uncertainty in Port Saint Johns.  

Since 2017, with Sean’s leadership and excellent technical advice, South African municipal staff have implemented new ways of using geographic information systems for asset management, learned how to incorporate financial data analysis into asset-management decision-making, and adopted best practices in lifecycle management. All of this is critical for better asset management and climate change preparation. 

“Sean Lee has been a very active and dedicated municipal expert,” said Marshall Gallardo, Project Manager of BIGM. “It has been amazing to see how he has been able to provide technical capacity training to two South African municipalities.” 

Sean's sense of hospitality contributes to fruitful partnerships. He has hosted four study visits from South African delegations, and on each visit, he ensured that delegates were included in municipal events and took part in local activities. Delegates were introduced to the Fredericton City Council, including mayor Mike O’Brien, and met with many municipal departments in areas related to asset management and climate change.  

In his role working with two South African municipalities, Sean has astutely understood how to adapt technical assistance and project planning to political realities.  

“I would like to keep building the asset management capabilities of our partners, and use that information to help build a larger business case and understanding that the infrastructure doesn’t last forever, and it is critical to reinvest in it now,” said Sean. “There are huge political pressures to expand services so we need to create a realistic understanding of why it is important to also replace what you have to maintain services.” 

Sean has generously given his time to this project, and demonstrated an openness to collaborate with all partners. Combined with his perseverance, these traits have set him apart and have inspired South African municipal staff to continue working towards stronger technical capacity and better asset management.  

This profile is one in a series highlighting the work of the nominees for FCM’s International Awards 2020. The awards recognize outstanding contributions of individuals and municipal institutions in sharing their expertise and building relationships in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe. FCM’s international programs are funded by Global Affairs Canada. 

FCM’s Building Inclusive Green Municipalities project helps stimulate economic growth and modernize infrastructure in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province. This project is implemented in partnership with the South African Local Government Association.

Russ Smith (Capital Region District, BC)

Strong municipal waste management takes a village, as Russ Smith, the Senior Manager of Environmental Resources Management in the Capital Regional District on Vancouver Island, knows. 

Since 2019, he has participated in the Jordan Municipal Support Project (JMSP), which supports Jordanian municipalities to strengthen their municipal services and solid waste management. Importantly, this initiative also promotes social cohesion through community engagement.  

In his three missions to Jordan, Russ worked alongside Jordanian municipal staff to conduct waste audits, host focus groups and meetings with community members, provide training on sustainable waste management behaviour and analyze 12 municipalities’ performance in solid waste management delivery.  

Throughout the entire project, Russ has demonstrated commitment every step of the way.  

“Russ’ engagement has been remarkable. The team has truly appreciated his steadfast technical expertise, commitment and flexibility in supporting the JMSP team and project municipalities over the past year,” said Lynda DeGuire, Project Manager at FCM.  

When a Jordanian delegation visited the Capital Regional District last year, Russ organized meetings with local organizations for the delegation to learn firsthand about best practices in solid waste management in BC. This contributed to an enriching learning experiences with plenty of lessons to take back to Jordan.  

With an understanding of best practices, better data on performance and stronger community input, Jordanian municipalities have made important improvements to their waste management systems. They are also using the data to encourage composting and textile recycling, and to conduct clean-up campaigns in their communities.  

The success of the project hinges on not only sound technical advice, but also strong community engagement. As Russ said, “It’s more than just complying with government regulations. We create these plans to protect the environment, and to engage our citizens. It’s about creating stronger communities.” 

With his steadfast support for JMSP, Russ has contributed immensely to Jordanian partners’ learning and, by extension, to stronger Jordanian communities. 

This profile is one in a series highlighting the work of the nominees for FCM’s International Awards 2020. The awards recognize outstanding contributions of individuals and municipal institutions in sharing their expertise and building relationships in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe. FCM’s international programs are funded by Global Affairs Canada. 

JMSP is a five-year project implemented by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in collaboration with Jordan’s Ministry of Local Administration and 12 Jordanian municipalities.  

 

Take a look at our past recipients.

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