Highlights of the November 21-22 Executive Meeting

UBCM Executive members held their first, quarterly board meeting on November 21st and 22nd.  Seven committees met to set their priorities and work plans for the coming year; Executive members adopted their goals and priorities; held an orientation session and met with the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, the Honourable Coralee Oakes.

Executive Meeting

Highlights of the November 22nd Executive meeting include:
  • approved direction and next steps for implementing the Strong Fiscal Futures report of the Select Committee on Local Government Finance including extending the term of the Committee to September 30, 2014; adopted a Terms of Reference for the Committee and discussed importance of ongoing outreach and engagement processes between UBCM, the Province and other stakeholders.
  • received a report on the latest consultations with the Province on development of the local government elections legislation; highlights of the meeting between UBCM President and First VP with Parliamentary Secretary Linda Reimer on the Elections White Paper; engagement plan by the Minister on Phase 2 – campaign expense limits over November and December; and feedback to date on the White Paper.
  • received a report on the Agreement in Principle reached on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the Economic Union and requested that a delegation be arranged with provincial trade negotiators to provide an update on the impacts of the Agreement for BC and its local governments.
  • approved conveyance of endorsed 2013 resolutions to the provincial and federal governments, FCM, and other organizations
  • referred 4 endorsed resolutions requesting UBCM action to specific Committees as part of their advocacy efforts
  • considered 6 resolutions referred directly to the UBCM Executive by the 2013 Convention
  • considered 20 resolutions not dealt with at Convention due to time constraints, which were referred automatically to the UBCM Executive; a report on decisions of Executive will be included in next week's Compass.
  • received an update on Gas Tax noting that the federal government has indicated an interest in signing renewed Gas Tax agreements in each province/territory in sufficient time to ensure that the typical flow of payments to local governments is not interrupted.  Executive was also advised of the results of the recently completed member consultation program for the Gas Tax renewal, and approved a negotiating strategy for the renewed agreement based on those results.
  • received a status and action report on a variety of policy areas that continue to be monitored by UBCM including; implementation of a new Off Road Vehicle Management framework; Natural Resource Roads Act project; Derelict Vessels; BC Transit Independent Review working group; Community/Rail Proximity Initiative; National Municipal Rail Safety working group; Assessment Appeals on Special Use Properties; Aggregate Resource Management; Liquor Policy Review, Federal Additions to Reserve and the Independent Panel on Internet Voting.
  • received the financial report for the period ending October 31, 2013.
  • received reports on Victoria Operations including Local Government Program Services.
  • received a report on UBCM's activities in FCM International Programs including our work in Vietnam and Cambodia and participation in workshops that share experiences to date and to learn and solve problems based on the experiences of the various program partners.
  • declined a funding request from the Fraser Basin Council for a Phase I study that would focus on developing specific technical information on flood management in the Lower Mainland as UBCM does not have funds to support this type of initiative.
  • received a request from AVICC to establish a working group to address watershed management on privately managed forest lands; a report will be forthcoming at the next meeting with further policy background on this matter for the Executive's consideration.
  • confirmed plans for an Electoral Area Directors Workshop on February 4-5, 2014, held in advance of the Local Government Leadership Academy Forum on February 5-7.
  • announced Executive Committees and approved various external committee appointments.

Committee Meetings

Highlights of the November 21st Committee meetings include:

Presidents Committee
Committee members confirmed their terms of reference; appointed Third VP, Councillor Claire Moglove as the member responsible for the Financial Management portfolio; discussed the work plan associated with the Excellence Awards Program; and received reports on members services and group benefits programs.  The Committee also placed priority on completing a review of Executive Policies in the coming months.

Community Economic Development Committee
Upon renewing their Terms of Reference, the Committee established a work plan for the coming year that included broad goals to support greater economic development opportunities.  The also Committee identified specific initiatives including: monitor implementation of BC Hydro's Integrated Resource Plan; support the Rural BC project; monitoring community consultations on BC ferry fares and service levels; writing the Minister of Agriculture seeking clarity on what if any changes/actions are being considered to the Agricultural Land Commission as part of the core review; and prepare a response to DFO of member feedback on Fisheries Act changes.

Community Safety Committee
The Community Safety Committee will continue to look at a number of ongoing issues (i.e. payout of severance and the cost of the new RCMP headquarters) that have not been resolved in the new RCMP contract.  In addition, the Committee will closely monitor the new federal regulation to access marijuana for medical purposes and write the BC Assessment Authority to determine the tax status of the new commercial marijuana operations.

The Community Safety Committee will also participate in provincial reviews of regional policing in the Lower Mainland and Southern Vancouver Island; policing responsibilities at the federal, provincial and municipal levels; crime reduction; and correction facilities. 

Healthy Communities Committee
Surveying health care needs in remote and rural communities and working with health authorities to address capacity for mental health issues 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 working with the Province on the Healthy Families BC Community initiatives were also identified as key activities in 2014.

Environment Committee
Land-based Spill Response and Preparedness; Water Act Modernization process; Packaging and Printed Paper Recycling Regulation were all identified as key areas of activity for the Environment Committee in 2014. Completing the work of the Small Water Systems Working Group and concluding the work of the UBCM's Recycling Negotiating Committee were also confirmed priorities. Assisting local governments meet their Climate Action Charter commitments also ranked high on the work plan.

First Nations Relations Committee
The First Nations Relations Committee approved its Terms of Reference and 2013/14 priorities, with consideration given to resolution 2013-B123: Aboriginal Affairs Committee. Key priorities for the coming year include outreach and reconciliation activities with BC First Nations organizations, engagement with AANDC on the reinstatement of an MOU with UBCM and key files such as the federal Additions to Reserve policy and Bill S-8, and continued work with MARR on a joint staff working group and potential Strategic Engagement Agreement (SEA) pilot project. The Committee also reviewed UBCM's submission on the revised ATR policy, discussed UBCM's First Nations Relations Grant Programs, and received a report on the MARR joint projects discussed above.

Convention Committee
The Convention Committee dedicated its inaugural meeting to reviewing attendance and delegate feedback from the 2013 Convention.  The Committee also received reports regarding media relations, catering, and the convention interim financial report, which revealed that preliminary estimates show final revenues and expenditures to be on target with budget. Convention agenda details, such as preliminary program allocations, theme and program format, will be discussed in January.

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