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Rethink, Replace & Rejuvenate: The New 3 R's

There is absolutely nothing to be said in favour of growing old. There ought to be legislation against it. - Patrick Moore

Whether or not we embrace it, this is one of life's truths – we are getting older. And as the workforce tips the scale toward retirement, local governments must adjust to accommodate this shift.

Local governments currently face increasing challenges with respect to aging populations, workforces and infrastructure. Emerging trends are presenting new challenges, and our ability to anticipate these challenges may determine our capacity to grow and adapt our communities, long-term.

The dynamics of our communities are changing. Concepts that we have long understood – retirement, volunteerism, and community involvement, among others – are being rethought. By engaging these shifts, we can create stronger local governments with deep roots throughout the province.

Now is the ideal time to take a renewed look at our environments, policies and procedures, and rethink the way we serve our communities. There will inevitably be gaps that need to be filled, and facilities in need of repair. But despite shifting demographics, there are also ample opportunities to tap into the potential within our communities.

This week, we will develop the policies that will shape our actions over the coming year, and beyond. We will also take time to expand and hone our knowledge base, and develop approaches for anticipating change and building momentum. And as always, we will rely on one another to share strategies and successes.

At the 2011 UBCM Convention in Vancouver, let us develop a proactive approach to the challenges we face, and turn trends into progress.

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