© Guardian photo by Dave Stewart
Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee is going to be busy in 2014, hosting the mayor of Quebec City, governor general, all the lieutenant-governors across Canada and four different conferences.
Engaging the city’s youth is one of Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee’s priorities in 2014.
It’s a big year in the capital city, as Charlottetown celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference in 1864 that led to Canadian Confederation.
Lee already has a council of politicians. Now, he’s looking to create a youth council and he’ll be talking to the senior high schools in the city about just that.
“Those youth councillors will meet once a month, talk about current-day issues and discuss issues that would have been relevant back in 1864,’’ Lee said. “I think that’s a good way to get youth more engaged in municipal government.’’
The city isn’t stopping there. Pages will return to council chambers this year. Each of the schools in the city will select pages for each council meeting and perform the same functions pages do for the legislative assembly.
Lee also wants to engage veterans and is still working on the fine details.
“I will be hosting a major recognition of our veterans in 2014. The reality is if it wasn’t for the contribution of veterans in the two world wars and the other conflicts that followed we wouldn’t be talking about celebrating the 150th anniversary. We simply wouldn’t be allowed to so it’s key, in my mind.’’
Lee will also be busy in his role as mayor, hosting Quebec City Mayor Régis Lebaume, Governor General David Johnston and all the lieutenant-governors across Canada. P.E.I. Lt.-Gov. Frank Lewis is hosting a conference of lieutenant-governors in Charlottetown this year and Lee is hoping to engage the Queen’s representatives about the 150th anniversary celebrations.
There are plans to put some more public art on display, with funding help from P.E.I. 2014 Inc. and the federal government, with some cost footed by the city.
“I will be hosting a major recognition of our veterans in 2014. The reality is if it wasn’t for the contribution of veterans in the two world wars and the other conflicts that followed we wouldn’t be talking about celebrating the 150th anniversary. We simply wouldn’t be allowed to so it’s key, in my mind,’’ Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee
Lee is adamant that any event this year that the city is involved with will be free to the public.
“This is a celebration that I want Charlottetownians to be a part of. I have no intentions of holding galas. I want to concentrate our time and effort into the larger community.’’
At least some of those events will be held at Victoria Park where the city plans to erect a permanent band shell to showcase local entertainers.
“We’d like to have different music every week. It’s a great way to showcase the local talent here and we would like to pay our musicians.’’
The city will host four conferences in 2014 - the Federation of Canadian Municipalities sustainability conference in February, Atlantic Mayors Congress in April, Canadian Capital Cities Organization in August and the national Communities in Bloom awards gala in September. There are many more conferences scheduled for Charlottetown but those are the four that the city corporation itself is formally hosting.
Also in 2014, the federal government has kicked in $75,000 to help the city expand Natal Day into a five-day event for this year to showcase the city’s arts and culture community and the year will end just like 2013 did, with a big party on Great George Street on New Year’s Eve.
As for big projects, Lee isn’t saying much beyond continuing with the water and sewer separation project, the new water source and metering programs.
He will be chasing another term in office in November when residents go to the polls to select a new city council.