LGLA Virtual Leadership Forum February 3-4, 2021

Core Forum Program Runs February 3-4

The Leadership Forum entitled “Leading in Unprecedented Times: Drafting a Blueprint for the New Normal”, will take place Wednesday February 3rd, 1pm to 4:30pm, and continue with full day of programming on Thursday February 4th, from 8:45am to 4:30pm.

 In keeping with the theme, the Forum will be exploring how the events of 2020 have shaped local government, what changes are here to stay, and what skills, technology, and resources will be crucial to navigate uncharted waters.

Forum Program Week Runs February 1-5

The core Forum program will run on Wednesday and Thursday February 3-4, however delegates will be able to “enter” LGLA Forum Week on Monday February 1st to explore the site and to interact with other delegates.

Bonus content will be added right up to Friday February 5th.

LGLA Forum platform will also house UBCM’s EA (Electoral Area Directors) Forum February 2-3 – Tuesday 1pm-4pm and Wednesday 9am-12 noon, prior to the start of the LGLA Forum.  Delegates will need to register for the EA Forum separately to access the dedicated content.  All EA Forum registrants receive a $25 discount to attend the LGLA Forum.

We hope that we will reach a record number of local government and First Nations elected officials and senior staff, and that technology will bring more of us together than ever before.  

Please sign up early to help us correctly identify our broadband capacity requirements!

Participation cost is $200 per delegate.  Register through CivicInfo here

Introducing Our Keynote: Nora Young

Host of CBC Radio’s Spark | Author of The Virtual Self

Nora Young is the host and the creator of Spark, a national radio show and podcast about technology and culture, which airs on CBC Radio. She was the founding host of CBC Radio’s Definitely Not the Opera, where she often discussed topics related to new media and technology.

Her work has also appeared online, on television, and in print. As a journalist, author, and speaker, Nora explores how new technology shapes the way we understand ourselves and the world around us. Her book, The Virtual Self, focuses on the explosion of data about our behaviours, thoughts, opinions and actions.

Seeing the Forest and the Trees: Big Data, Resilience, and Community Post-COVID

The explosion of data about our lives offers great potential for building more responsive, resilient, digitally-driven communities, in particular, through Artificial Intelligence. At the same time, digital strategies raise questions of equality of access, privacy, and AI ethics. Nora looks at big picture changes in our data-driven future, how to prepare for those changes, and pitfalls to watch out for, in her February 3rd address to the delegates of the LGLA Forum.


Nora Young, CBC Radio Host, Speaker, Author of "The Virtual Self"

Program Highlights

Saanich, Our Virtual Host

The Forum’s province-wide journey begins in Saanich, with Mayor Fred Haynes leading the welcome as the mayor of the virtual host, the District of Saanich.

Keynote, Nora Young, CBC – Seeing The Forest And The Trees

Keynote Speaker, Nora Young of CBC Radio talks about the potential and the questions raised in our data-driven, digital world. Keynote will be followed by live Q&A.

Plenary Workshop – Local Government Management Association (LGMA) Presents:                     The New Normal – Building Constructive Council/Board Relations

Facilitator Reece Harding of  Young Anderson, is joined by Mayor Karen Elliott & CAO Linda Glenday from the District of Squamish, to examine how the last year has changed the way local governments conduct business. Plenary will include virtual small-group discussion and workshop, highlighting tools and skills you can use to prevent conflict around the table from spinning out of control

Municipal Finance Authority (MFA) Presents:                                                                                 Investing Local Government Reserves for the Long Term & Other Investment Topics

In this session, hear about the challenges facing BC’s local governments in managing their investments in an era of ultra-low interest rates and budgetary pressures created by unexpected events such as the COVID 19 pandemic.  As reserves across the local government system have grown significantly over the last decade, so too have the challenges of earning above inflationary returns to meet future capital needs.  Given the limited fixed income investment options traditionally available to LGs, MFA has introduced several new investment options over the last few years and is planning on introducing a new investment fund in 2021 that will, for the first time ever, invest in global investments across multiple asset classes, including equities. An understanding of the opportunities and risks associated with a Global Growth Fund, as well as strengthening of investment planning, policies, approaches and governance structure will be critical.  The session will also include a broad summary of how local governments have dealt with the financial impacts of the pandemic in 2020, what may be in store for 2021, as well as an quick overview of recent developments in the socially responsible investment space that has become a topic of interest for a small but growing number of municipalities and regional districts.

Presenter: Peter Urbanc, CEO of Municipal Finance Authority (MFA), Featuring: Doug Spindler, Reserves Manager, City of Burnaby.

Moving To Recovery: What We Learned From A Crisis

Moderator Nicola Marotz (Ministry of Municipal Affairs), leads a panel discussion comprised of elected officials as they share their experiences with mill closures; opioids; homelessness; floods; wildfires…and what they believe helped them and their communities through recovery and to emerge stronger than ever.   Join Mayor Sarrah Storey, Mayor Lyn Hall, Councillor Laurey-Anne Roodenburg and and Electoral Area Director Al Richmond, as they share their communities’ stories of resiliency. Panel discussion will be followed by a live Q&A session.

Indigenous-Local Government Relations

Session examining how collaboration during things like COVID, is shaping the future in Indigenous-Local Government Relations in the Province.

Business Rebound Part I – Business and Economy Rebound – Lidstone & Company Law Corporation

Panel discussion about what local governments can do to support business recovery, economic development and job creation in their communities during the final stages of the pandemic and after the health orders are lifted. What are the opportunities and best practices, past and upcoming? Discussion will centre around the role local governments will continue to play in assisting business recovery, the biggest challenges facing the business community, and how different sectors (including the Province, Canada, regions, and municipal associations) can collaborate and communicate in innovative ways to further common interests in the context of equity, diversity and climate change challenges.

Panellists: Hon. Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, on Post-COVID Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation; Garth Frizell, FCM president/Prince George Councillor, on FCM and Federal Programs, Including GMF and CIB; Joel McKay, CEO Northern Development Initiative Trust, on Innovation and Initiative at the Local Level); and Don Lidstone, on Valid Local Government Economic Development Strategies and Best Practices. Presentation will be followed by Q&A period.

Business Rebound Part II – Ways To Improve Resilience – Municipal Insurance Association of BC (MIABC)

Join Tom Barnes, Megan Chorlton and Sandra Mayo (MIABC) as they highlight the importance of resilience, and how organizations can manage crises and disruptions to operations.  Through case studies of challenges being turned into opportunities, delegates will gain insight into how resilient organizations can “bounce back” from events such as economic downturns, and the effects of crisis, such as the adverse effects of climate change

Valuing Diversity In Leadership

Join Jan Enns of Jan Enns Communications as she facilitates exploration of diversity in leadership.  How do we harness the best of diverse leadership styles and skills; how do we create environments that value those skills; and what can leaders do around their decision-making table to make valuing diversity the gold standard in our rapidly evolving world.  Moderator, Sooke Mayor Maja Tait,  will be joined by elected officials around the province: Mayor Richard Stewart of Coquitlam, Mayor Toni Boot of The District of Summerland,  Mayor Michelle Staples, from the City of Duncan and Councillor Arjun Singh from Kamloops.

Roundtable on Sustainability and Climate Change

Never taking their eyes off the target, municipalities kept up their work on Sustainability and Climate Change through the pandemic. Rebecca Newlove, Manager of Sustainability for the Corporation of the District of Saanich, talks  about the award-winning District of Saanich 2020 Climate Plan.  What does the future hold?   Can we apply the crisis management momentum to our ongoing quest to deal with climate change.

Technology “Takeover”

In this session,Todd Pugh, Executive Director of CivicInfo BC, and Tracey Lorenson of Paragon Strategic, explore the opportunities and challenges that rapidly evolving technology represents.  What have municipalities learned from responding to the 2020 communications challenge (remote workforce, virtual council meetings, engaging with the public). Going “back” is not an option, but what does the new hybrid look like with the increasing emphasis on communications, and being tech-ready.

Address by the Minister of Municipal Affairs

We are pleased to announce that the Minister of Municipal Affairs, The Honourable Josie Osborne will be addressing the delegates of the 2021 Virtual Leadership Forum on Thursday February 4th.



Canada! Look Yonder – A Virtual Tour with   Dr. Gordon McIntosh

Join Dr. Gordon McIntosh as he takes us on a scenic tour coast to coast to highlight current trends, exploring their relevance to British Columbia.

Bonus Content Friday!

Going Virtual: How (and Why) to Take Your Event Online

While it’s still unclear when in-person events will make a comeback, virtual events have proven to be a powerful alternative over the last nine months. If you’re wondering whether to take your event online, and what you need to know to get started, this session will answer the most important questions, including: What technology do I need? How do I engage my attendees online? And how do I monetize my virtual event?

Speaker: Bob Vaez, CEO, EventMobi

Bob founded EventMobi in 2010 with one of the world’s first event app platforms, and after 11+ years in the business Eventmobi now has over 100 employees in three countries. Bob worked closely with the product team while we developed our Virtual Platform in 2020 and is leading the charge on ensuring EventMobi can best meet the needs of Hybrid Events in 2021.

Register Now – Join our Expanding Broadband Audience

Please sing up early to help us correctly identify our broadband capacity requirements!

Participation cost is $200 per delegate.  Register through CivicInfo here
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