City Hall is continuing to feel the aftermath of Mayor Matt Brown and Councillor Maureen Cassidy’s affair.
For the first time in over five years, London does not have a voice on the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
Mayor Brown originally nominated Cassidy as this year’s London candidate, but she withdrew her nomination and began her leave of absence just days before the national conference.
The departure comes in the midst of London’s efforts to land $375 million in federal government to build its new rapid transit system.
Councillor Harold Usher represented London on the FCM board for the last five years and believes having a member would have been beneficial.
“We go to MP’s and talk about the projects we are doing in our community and across Canada,” Usher tells AM980. “In addition to that when we meet, we talk about how we are going to do these things. We are one of the main voices that they listen to when it comes to municipal requirements and community requirements.”
Usher believes London lost an opportunity to continue to voice its need for federal funding on rapid transit.
“I felt that we were cheated because we should have a member on the board,” Usher says. “I have been talking about rapid transit at FCM for many years. Not that FCM can give us the money, but FCM keeps the idea of rapid transit and transit in a whole in the face of the government.”
Following Cassidy’s exit, council nominated Tanya Park to become a member on the FCM board, but her bid was not successful.
In effort to keep London’s representation alive, several councillors are seeking positions on the FCM standing committees.
Councillor Mo Salih is also looking to appoint two new councillors to take on the file of rapid transit at City Hall that was originally taken care of by Mayor Matt Brown.
With files from Rana Aladdin