Our national planning organization, the Canadian Institute of Planners, develops policies and plans affecting the profession, including an equity plan, strategic plan, and policies on reconciliation. We also represent professional planners on other boards, such as the Commonwealth Association of Planners, and weigh in on key issues like the professional competencies that define the profession and how our students are educated. CIP has resources for almost every planning topic imaginable for students and the public to use: this is the place to look for examples of Indigenous planning, case studies on northern communities, guidelines for healthy communities, etc. CIP has done member surveys to find out what municipalities are doing on critical issues like climate change and adaptation, offers awards to professionals and student doing meaningful work, and recently started a scholarship for Indigenous students.
I’ve been the Academic Director on the Board of Directors for three years, and am running for re-election this year. Each year, several of our positions are open for new candidates as most of our positions have three-year terms (except the Student Director which is a two-year term). I joined in 2020 and the Board could only meet virtually until last summer, when we were finally able to meet in person for the Annual General Meeting and conference in Whistler. We met again in Calgary last fall and are hoping to do two in-person meetings per year now that COVID is finally manageable. I’ve really enjoyed working with the Board, meeting planners from across the country, and being able to contribute to national-level strategies. Recently I was on the sub-committee to review the professional competencies, which I’m involved with regularly as a professor–we have to include a list of which competencies we’re integrating into each course we teach in our accredited programs. Others have been more involved in the strategic plan and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Roadmap. In the three years since I’ve been a board member, our leadership has been consistent with CEO Beth McMahon, President Dan Huang, Vice President Jenna Schoeder, and Treasurer Doug Daniels. I’m hoping to keep working with this amazing team for the next three years! If not, I’ll at least see everyone at the annual conference, which we’re hosting in Halifax this June!