Andrew Pask, AP Public Affairs - Toronto, ON
ICPI had a busy last half of 2017 expanding on the existing Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) partner sponsorship.
Avid readers of the Paver Express will recall ICPI hosting a reception for targeted and key elected officials at the annual meeting and trade show of FCM in the National Capital of Ottawa to introduce them to the ICP Industry. This strategic approach will be continued at the FCM Sustainable Communities Conference and member sponsored reception in February 2018.
As part of the sustained strategy of municipal engagement with ICPI, we reached out to the Mayor of North Bay who enthusiastically accepted the invitation to speak at the Summer Meeting in Toronto. During and after his presentation to ICPI Members, Mayor Al McDonald repeated that even though their paver street was a success, pavers are not top of mind for city staff, designers and engineers in North Bay. The paver industry needs to continue to push and change this mind set. The Mayor enjoyed himself and had quite a few questions from the audience. We made sure to provide photographs from the Summer Meeting and a press release was sent to North Bay media about his involvement with ICPI.
Throughout the year, there was monitoring of municipal governments and associations across Canada and outreach to multiple politicians, political staff and public servants.
We will continue to monitor the local governments as part of the Canadian Municipal Government Relations plan and will be watching for anything of interest with BC, Manitoba, Ontario, PEI, NWT and the Yukon all having municipal elections in 2018.
If you have identified an opportunity or have a question/concern and want assistance with accessing or motivating a municipality in your market area, please do not hesitate to contact ICPI Director of Engineering, Robert Bowers, PE.
At the City of Toronto, discussion and communications continued all through the Fall on the issue of paver installation, opportunities, maintenance and the paver maintenance fee with the Mayor’s Office, Transportation Services, Engineering & Construction Services and other Senior City Staff.
A technical meeting was arranged on the topics of maintenance, installation best practices, specifications, inspection and training. City Staff learned a considerable amount of information during this session and many misconceptions of pavers were corrected by ICPI and proper specs provided. There was an offer of training on design specs and best practices.
Frequent ICPI modifications, corrections, clarifications and suggestions to the draft City of Toronto Unit Paver Specification have occurred since the technical meeting and a final “new” City spec should be finished in February.
With the technical work and education achieved between City Staff and ICPI this past year, we have created an environment to have thoughtful and deliberate discussions with City Councillors about changing the paver fee. Positive conversations about a re-evaluation of our paver fee/tax issue have occurred and more meetings and consultations are planned for 2018.