Books By Ian

“Timely as community leaders turned off by party politics and polarization turn to their county and town hall to try to make life better close to home. I agree with McCormack's recurring premise that 'The politics of local government doesn’t have to be zero sum,’ and his book describes many of the attributes and skills necessary for mayors to steer councils, municipal organizations and communities on the non-zero-sum path. More communities led in this thoughtful way would add up to stronger communities, a stronger country, and a timely antidote to the politics of division we see around us."

- Don Iveson (Former Mayor of the City of Edmonton

At a time when in Canada, and indeed around the world, national and provincial governments are being elected on populist platforms that are remarkably unencumbered by any vision that extends beyond next Tuesday, local governments in Canada still provide those essential services that people need and want.

Mayors and the rest of council’s members want to make their communities, whether the largest cities or the smallest rural communities, better, says author and local government expert Ian McCormack. They are interested in the well-being of their citizens and the success of their businesses. They know that people choose to remain in their communities for a reason, or they choose to move there for a reason.


Identifying that reason, the ‘special sauce’ that makes them unique and attractive, is critical to the long-term survival of many a community, whether on the northern coast of Hudson Bay, or on the southern tip of Vancouver Island.


This book explores what makes municipalities the best they can be and where some of them fall short. Other authors have explored the to-do of good governance and some have explored the not-to-do. This book does a little of both. By exploring the principles of good governance and how they can be implemented for the benefit of the people, it is hoped that elected officials, municipal administrators, and interested citizens might make their communities even better.