The final day of the MNL conference wrapped up with various sessions and regional and ministerial meetings on key issues for municipalities. The overarching theme throughout the conference was on the municipal response to COVID-19 and more generally preparing for emergency situations and reimagining service delivery throughout a pandemic. Throughout one of the concurrent sessions, the Department of Environment, Climate Change, and Municipalities provided an overview of climate change resources for municipalities. The session began by giving context on the international and national approach to climate change adaptation/mitigation. Many Atlantic municipalities are hard hit by climate change, dealing with issues such as sea level rise and rising temperatures. Throughout the session it was explained that these climate change issues will continue to have an impact on municipal operations. It will impact water quality, the heating and cooling of buildings, the length of necessary winter operations, among several other issues. The province does provide resources for municipalities, so they are better able to plan for the impacts of climate change. For example, municipalities are able to access IDF curves and flood risk maps and flood risk systems in order to identify their risk level and plan accordingly.
In addition to ongoing concurrent sessions, the conference held regional caucuses to discuss specific issue areas. An overarching theme throughout all the regions was how municipalities were maintaining their budgets given ongoing constraints due to COVID-19. Most have seen an increase in fees, for example the fees for garbage collection have increased due to citizens being home more and producing more garbage, something the municipality must pay for. Overall, most municipalities have explained that they have been able to hold steady and have faired quite well throughout the pandemic.