2013 Executive Goals and Priorities Established

The UBCM Executive held their first, quarterly board meeting on November 29th and 30th. Eight committees met including the newly established Local Government Finance Committee; Executive members adopted their goals and priorities for the year ahead; and met with the Honourable Bill Bennett, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.

Highlights of the November 30th Executive meeting include:

• approved legal assistance funding to Islands Trust in their appeal of a case which found that two local trustees were not in a pecuniary conflict of interest when they authorized funding to community groups with which they were involved.

• appointed Chair Al Richmond, UBCM 3rd Vice President and Mayor Greg Moore, Port Coquitlam as co-chairs of the new Special Committee on Local Government Finance.

• appointed Mayor Mary Sjostrom, UBCM President and Mayor Sharon Gaetz, UBCM Director at Large, to the Board of Directors of the Local Government Leadership Academy.

• approved conveyance of endorsed 2012 resolutions to provincial and federal government /FCM and other organizations; and referred 8 endorsed resolutions requesting UBCM action to specific Committees as part of their advocacy efforts.

• approved direction to work with Province on implementing recommendations from the BC Transit Independent Review Panel .

• indicated support for the Province' response to the Fire Services Liaison Group's report that signaled a willingness to work with local governments to improve the delivery of fire services.

• requested a report back from staff on dyking management in BC; including roles and responsibilities of local, provincial and federal government and fiscal challenges for communities with dyking issues.

• confirmed plans for an Electoral Area Directors Workshop on February 19th in advance of the February 20-21 Local Government Leadership Academy Forum.

• approved holding the January 2013 Executive meeting in Victoria to facilitate UBCM advocacy efforts in advance of the provincial election.

• announced Executive Committees and approved various external committee appointments.

Highlights of the November 29th Committee meetings include:

Presidents

How is UBCM doing? The Presidents Committee will be asking for your opinions in their triennial member satisfaction survey. Further information will be coming in 2013.

Community Economic Development Committee

Goals, priorities and new tools to support economic development were key topics at the inaugural Community Economic Development Committee meeting on November 29th. Committee members will continue advocacy efforts on resource policy matters; undertake research on policy and regulations around pipeline development; support Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training staff in the development of workshops, resources and tools that will assist communities enhance their economic development potential. The Province will announce more information on these specific resources in coming weeks.

Community Safety

Lobbying the federal government to release its new policy on medical marijuana use was identified as a key action item for 2013 for the Community Safety Committee. Reviewing the new BC Policing Plan, further engagement with the Province on Building Code changes and emergency program management were also identified as top priorities for the year ahead. Members will continue their work the Province and other agencies on crime prevention and flood protection measures.

Healthy Communities Committee

Participating in a Leadership Table to establish a physical activity strategy for BC and working to define the role of local governments in the Public Health Plan were identified as priorities for the Healthy Communities Committee in the coming year. Continued support for age-friendly, disability-friendly and child-friendly initiatives; Regional Community Poverty Reduction Planning Strategy; and implementing the remaining recommendations from the 2008 RHD Cost Sharing Review were also identified as key activities in 2013.

Environment Committee

Small Water Systems; Tsunami Debris Management plans; Water Act Modernization process were all identified as key areas of activity for the Environment Committee in 2013. Implementing the Collaborative Watershed Governance Accord endorsed at the 2012 Convention and concluding the work of the UBCM's Packaging and Printed Paper Working Group were also confirmed priorities. Assisting local governments meet their Climate Action Charter commitments also ranked high on the work plan.

First Nations

One of the key priorities for the coming year includes partnering with the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation to broaden both member and provincial understanding of the 2012 MOU on New Relationship. Monitoring the First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act (FNCIDA), Additions to Reserve Policy (ATR), and Bill S -8: The Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act are also top priorities. Follow up action will also be taken on the endorsed 2012 resolution; SR1 – Service Agreements with First Nations & the Regulatory Gap.

Convention

Committee members reviewed delegate evaluations from the 2012 Convention, which attracted a record-setting 2,065 delegates. Members reviewed the 2013 work plan and plotted the Convention planning cycle. Convention agenda details, such as theme and program design are up for discussion at the January meeting.

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