Mayor John Dooley’s work at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities board table has been recognized by his peers who elected him chair of the BC caucus.
“The recognition for the City is considerable,” said Dooley, who was elected by his political peers to the Federation board for the seventh time last month.
“It’s a privilege. You’re amongst a small group of people who are given the responsibility of representing all of Canada’s communities at the national level.”
Dooley is one of eight members of the caucus, which represents the best interests of rural communities, towns and major cities across British Columbia in dealings with the federal government on important matters such as taxation, infrastructure, housing, transportation and green initiatives.
The mayor says the caucus chair appointment puts him in a position of knowing what sort of trends and decisions are arising in Ottawa that may impact BC’s rural communities and small cities like Nelson.
“The Federation is full of leaders,” said Prince George city councillor Garth Frizzell, one of the fellow BC caucus members who voted for Dooley as chair. “And even amongst that group of incredible people, John is a confident, natural leader.”
The Federation has been the national voice of municipal government since 1901 with nearly 2,000 member communities. The BC caucus was voted on by nearly 200 elected officials who attended the Federation’s recent annual general meeting in Saskatoon.
“Those meetings often see us working late in the day on difficult decisions, trying to figure out compromises that will satisfy municipalities form coast to coast to coast,” said Frizzell. “Whether the work is going forward or temporarily in a rut, I have consistently seen that when John takes the microphone, peoples stop to listen.”
Frizzell said Dooley — now in his third term as mayor and 14th year on city council — has become very well connected.
“When we meet each November with MPs and senators, John often gets recognized with a friendly handshake and story before he can get introduced.”
Dooley has also been appointed as the Union of BC Municipalities’ representative to the FortisBC resource planning advisory group, where he’ll speak on behalf of the interests of homeowners and small community business owners.
The mayor said the role is another great opportunity to build important relationships and confidence in the City of Nelson.
“The fact that the City of Nelson has its own hydro generation facility — the only municipality in BC that does — is going to be a real benefit,” he said. “We work with FortisBC very closely.”
Union of BC Municipalities president Heath Slee said Dooley is the ideal appointment for the position.
“With his knowledge of the region, and of local government generally, John will provide useful insights and perspective to FortisBC’s planning process,” said Slee.