Welcome, Thanks for Visiting
This web site provides you with information on my speaking, writing and consulting services to municipalities and community organizations. There is also detailed background information on both my career and the activities of my company, Hume Communications Inc., which I founded in 1988.
I’ve been very fortunate to have a varied, fascinating and global career that has ranged from broadcasting to newspaper publishing to municipal government to writing books and speaking to audiences around the world. This combination of business, public service and entrepreneurship has helped to shape my views and ideas about government, society, global trends and people. Life can be a really interesting journey if we embrace adventure, exploration and the courage to get out and try new things and meet new people…
I am the author of four books that deal with building strong, sustainable, creative, dynamic and prosperous towns and cities. It is my conclusion that for most people and most businesses, most of the time, local government has become the most important order of government. That’s why designing, restructuring and supporting strong local communities is so important to our national economy as well as our own sense of place.
I am currently researching my 5th book, which will be out in the fall of 2014. It is called ‘Places and Spaces” and will explore the public and private realm, how municipalities can influence growth and prosperity through local planning decisions, and how communities need to commit to better urban design, more innovative planning policies, and how they can improve public accessibility and support for public facilities. I’ll be travelling to Australia and New Zealand this winter to talk with local leaders there, and to explore their cities and towns.
I’ve had some wonderful experiences in my life and career, ranging from being a volunteer helping radio stations in Ukraine (I froze and starved) and Guatemala (had a fabulous time, and avoided being shot by the guerillas) to being the mentor for Canada’s first Miss Universe (8 bombs went off the night of the pageant in Lima, Peru but we were all OK). It has been a fascinating journey, including 13 years as an elected official.
After retiring from London City Council at the end of 2010, I am now focused on helping municipalities, as well as business and community organizations. I’ve been honoured to be asked to speak at many Municipal Councils, community forums, business conferences and municipal government, union and industry conventions, universities and colleges, and for many other government, business, health and community organizations and meetings in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia.
I have been privileged to meet, talk with, and sometimes even become friends with our political leaders, from Pierre Trudeau to Justin Trudeau, from John Diefenbaker to Stephen Harper, from Tommy Douglas to Jack Layton. One can learn from each of them, regardless of your own political beliefs.
I’ve been fortunate to travel to many countries around the world and I find the study of the culture, cuisine and history of nations to be both intriguing and educational. I’ve climbed the Great Wall of China, attended two Olympic Games, and walked hunched-over in a North Korean tunnel under the DMZ that makes Korea the only divided country left in the world. I’ve visited the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xi’an, the palaces of ancient kings in Bangkok and Seoul, the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, the famous Black Jesus in Guatemala, ancient Mayan temples, and at the end of this year will head for my first visit to explore Australia and New Zealand.
I’ve eaten perogies in Ukraine, goulash in Budapest, Sacher torte in Vienna, Peking Duck in Beijing, and drunk Pisco Sours on the beach in Peru, had some wonderful seafood in Costa Rica, enjoyed kim chee in Korea, great southern barbeque in a little dive in Texas, paella in Spain, and bouillabaisse at a two-star Michelin restaurant overlooking the harbour in Marseilles. I’ve ridden a Russian train on the way to Hungary, a cruise ship in the Caribbean, ‘tuk tuks’ in Thailand, the Mag Lev train in Shanghai that went 431 kms/hour, a rollicking bus in Mexico and somehow survived driving the freeways in California when I spent one winter driving the US coast to coast to coast.
I once took 800 women to see Elvis Presley in Niagara Falls, New York (it’s possible a couple of them are still there…it was a crazy night).
It’s been a fun life so far--and I look forward to more adventures!
If you’d like more information on any of my books, just visit www.municipalworld.com then Bookshop.
I hope you enjoy browsing this web site. And please don’t hesitate to contact me at any time if I can be of assistance to you. To contact me, just go to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All the best,