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City of Saint John Wins National Municipal Award for Innovation


 Saskatoon, SK (May 30, 2012) – A bold new plan to guide the future of Saint John, charting the course for a more sustainable and liveable city, has the earned the municipality national recognition for its innovation.

The Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA) has presented the City of Saint John, NB with the 2012 Willis Award for Innovation for PlanSJ:  A Bold New Plan to Guide Saint John’s Future at its national conference held in Saskatoon, SK.

“CAMA is pleased to recognize the innovation and administrative excellence demonstrated by the City of Saint John in creating their new municipal plan,” said Jim Toye, president of the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators, CAMA representative for Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Nunavut, and City Manager of North Battleford, SK.  “The plan models how small cities can attain success through a path of innovative urban planning, sound infrastructure investments and a focus on making the city attractive for newcomers.”

Two years in the making, PlanSJ came together through the most inclusive public outreach effort ever undertaken by the City.  The result is a truly “made in Saint John” plan.  PlanSJ reflects the vision of Saint Johners to grow the City smarter, by protecting natural and rural areas, reinvesting in the Saint John’s urban neighbourhoods, and promoting denser more complete suburban communities.  By leveraging existing municipal infrastructure, the Plan supports enriched quality of life.

PlanSJ halts decades of urban sprawl and supports walkable, transit-oriented neighbourhoods. The result is more complete communities where people can live, work and play.  The plan is now a guiding document for the entire City.  It has been central to the municipal budget and a realignment of City Services.  Urban planning at the City of Saint John will now be a central function of municipal service.  The approval of this Plan is not the end, it’s a beginning, with the process continuing with a review the City’s zoning bylaw and efforts to move forward with neighbourhood plans.

“The quality of award submissions from municipalities across the country continues to impress us,” said Don MacLellan, Chair of CAMA’s Awards Committee, CAMA representative for New Brunswick and General Manager – Community Safety Services for the City of Moncton, NB.  “We had 43 entries this year, so picking eight winners was a challenge. Congratulations to all the entrants.”

The Willis Award for Innovation, awarded in recognition of Jack Willis for his contribution to CAMA, is presented for programs, projects or services that demonstrate exceptional innovation or meritorious initiative.  Because Canada has a unique mixture of small and large communities, awards are granted according to population – for municipalities under 20,000, for those between 20,001 and 100,000 and for those over 100,000.  Certificates of Merit may also be awarded.

About CAMA:
A Canada-wide network and the national voice of senior municipal administrators, the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA) strives to nurture and build municipal administrative excellence by providing its more than 480 members with knowledge sharing and learning opportunities, access to best practices, and valued input into policies and programs aimed at ensuring healthy and thriving communities across Canada.

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