After one year of helping Portage la Prairie be represented nationally, Portage City Councillor Joe Masi hopes to stay on board.

Since being elected to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Board of Directors in May 2023, Masi says being able to help influence decisions made on a federal level has been helpful for City Council. He's been able to keep Mayor Sharilyn Knox informed when, in previous years, there would be a disconnect between the federal and municipal levels.

"I really wanted to continue to have input into the issues that affect municipalities in Manitoba by having worked for the Association," explains Masi. "Of course, I'm very familiar with a number of them, but for my community of Portage la Prairie, I think it also is very important that we have a voice there that can bring the issues that we're also concerned about here, whether it's the infrastructure, policing, those kinds of things."

He adds that the election process can be pretty stressful, but step one is receiving the support of the Mayor and the rest of Council, which was officially provided on April 8. Now that he has Council behind him, he has to convince other municipal government members at the FCM convention that he's a good fit. This can get hectic as the convention is June 6-9 in Calgary.

"It's a very short window that you need to be able to get around for the convention. It's the Manitoba delegates that will be voting for the Manitoba positions on the board," says Masi.

While the tight timeframe could lead to some stressful situations, Masi is glad to note that they usually hold a "Manitoba night," which allows all Manitoban attendees to meet and converse, hopefully leading to Masi's re-election.

If Masi returns to the FCM, his second term will run from June 2024 until June 2025.