UBCM Executive Meeting Highlights

The UBCM Executive met in Richmond April 24 – 25 for the Committee and Executive meetings. Highlights included an update on the UBCM election platform; an initial review of the UBCM member survey, in which 94% of respondents noted that UBCM's work is “very important” or “important”; and, an update on member engagement being done by the Select Committee on Local Government Finance.

Highlights of the April 25-26 Executive meeting include the following actions:
  • received an analysis of the 2012 Provincial Responses [PDF - 583 KB] to UBCM resolutions and discussed UBCM follow-up in response to specific resolutions.  
  • received a report from the Select Committee on Local Government Finance on its work to date and reported that the Committee would be meeting with members at the Area Association meetings to seek feedback and direction on proposed options and strategies.
  • appointed Councillor Murry Krause to the Off Reserve Aboriginal Action Plan Provincial Coordination Team; appointed Chair Al Richmond to the Fire Services Liaison Group; Gary MacIsaac to the National Zero Waste Council Advisory Body; Mayor Dianne Watts as Interim Chair to the BC/Local Government RCMP Contract Management Committee and approved the appointment of two AVICC and NCLGA appointments to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Aquaculture Management Advisory Committees on finfish and shellfish.
  • in response to recent conflict of interest court rulings, directed that staff follow up with the Province post-election on solutions that would provide greater clarity to local government elected officials that are also directors of a society.
  • agreed to work directly with FCM and its Rail Proximity Committee in response to the endorsement of resolution B116-2012 which sought the establishment of a UBCM Rail Committee to address specific community concerns with rail company operations. Interested communities will be asked to work collaboratively with UBCM and FCM on this matter.
  • adopted a strategic approach on diking policy that will result in: UBCM meeting with the provincial government after the election to discuss flood hazard management; working in partnership with other agencies on specific flood management issues (i.e. flood mapping) and conducting a workshop at the 2013 UBCM convention on this issue.
  • expressed concerns that the report by Transport Canada on derelict vessels did not reflect the breadth of local government concerns, and in response, will be asking Transport Canada to move forward with the establishment of a inter-jurisdictional working group to ensure a process is in place to address local government interests.
  • confirmed continued UBCM participation on the Tsunami Debris Coordination Committee to develop a debris management plan.
  • received a report on the BC Transit Independent Review working group, comprised of BC Transit, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and local government staff, that are charged with advising on process for implementing recommendations from the BC Transit Independent Panel Review.
  • received an update on the 911 Wireless Levy Committee that is working with the Province and the telecommunications industry to develop legislation to implement a Call Answer Levy (CAL) for wireless services.
  • agreed to work with the Province in the development of a new strategy for aggregate management and address the conflict that presently occurs around aggregate operations.
  • agreed to write the Minister responsible, post-provincial election, to request that legislation be introduced to address the assessment appeals of special use properties.
  • discussed the extent of cutbacks in Greyhound bus services throughout BC;  determined that a meeting between the Executive and the BC Passenger Transportation Board would be sought to better understand their role in regulating passenger service and to convey local government concerns about the impact of the cuts throughout BC communities.
Highlights of the April 25th Committee meetings include:

Presidents

94% of responding members rated UBCM's role as either very important or important in the latest results from the 2013 member satisfaction survey.  A full report on the results will be published in an upcoming issue of the Compass.   Congratulations to Whistler as the selected community to host the 2014 UBCM Convention.  Member response to the launch of UBCM's 2013 Provincial Election Platform document was discussed along with next steps and responses from the provincial parties to date.  Further info on the Platform is found at:  ubcm.ca/EN/main/resources/ubcm-2013-election-platform.html
Committee members approved plans for the 2013 Excellence Awards Program and also received a delegation from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, seeking to identify opportunities to engage with UBCM in a more proactive manner.

Community Economic Development Committee

UBCM will be seeking two representatives from AVICC and NCLGA to participate on the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Aquaculture Management Advisory Committees for finfish and shellfish, in response to DFO agreeing to expand local government representation on both committees.  Members will be sent a survey in the coming weeks to obtain feedback on the impact of federal Fisheries Act amendments and DFO re-organization on their local government operations.  NetworkBC will be invited to attend the July committee meeting to discuss how they are working to bridge the digital divide to expand internet service throughout the province.   

Community Safety

A review of the Province's BC Policing and Community Safety Plan was the key focus of Committee discussions.  Executive members subsequently endorsed the plan in principle subject to further consultation with local governments around the financial impact of proposed changes.  The following four actions were identified as areas where existing UBCM policy was consistent:
  • look at different service delivery and funding models for policing;
  • look at different law enforcement models (i.e. bylaw officers, sheriffs, private security etc.) for delivering policing and public security;
  • look at local government responsibility and funding for First Nations policing and legal constitutional aspects for providing policing on reserve lands;
  • develop a provincial crime prevention strategy and support for evidence based crime prevention programs.
Healthy Communities Committee

In addition to providing feedback on the Healthy Families BC Communities Initiative, the Committee has been asked to submit public health priorities for the new Guiding Framework for Public Health (previously known as the Public Health Plan). The proposed priorities would be:
  • request amendments to the Tobacco Control Act and regulation to increase the distance that smokers must be from doors, windows and intakes from 3 meters to 7.5 meters;
  • ban tobacco smoking in patios, bars, pubs, parks, playgrounds, beaches and public events; and
  • request amendments to the drinking water legislation and regulations to support the new definition of small water systems that was put forward by UBCM's Small Water Systems Working Group in 2011.
The Committee also discussed the results of a stakeholder forum held in February of the Regional Community Poverty Reduction Initiative, and noted that this initiative is on hold until after the provincial election.

Environment Committee

UBCM's Small Water Systems Committee will be postponed until after the election, when there is an opportunity to meet with the new Minister of Health.  In the interim, staff will continue to monitor progress of a concept paper on the new approach to small water systems. With respect to product stewardship, a policy paper will be developed for consideration at the 2013 UBCM Convention on the potential creation of a joint UBCM-Stewardship Association of BC advisory Committee to address product stewardship issues. For packaging and printed paper, UBCM will seek a legal opinion to determine if local governments are considered to be producers under the definition in the Recycling Regulation.  If deemed to be producers of packaging and printed paper, local governments may need to register with a stewardship agency and pay a fee for administration. The Committee has requested a delegation from the Province's Environmental Assessment Office to discuss changes to the environmental assessment process in response to federal Bill C-38.  UBCM will be seeking a seat on the provincial land based spill preparedness and response plan working group to monitor discussions of interest to local governments.
 
First Nations Relations

Much of the April First Nations Relations Committee meeting focused on work currently being conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation (MARR). This included follow-up to resolution 2012: B32, calling for local government involvement in Strategic Engagement Agreements, UBCM representation on the Off-Reserve Aboriginal Action Plan Provincial Coordination Team, activities pursuant to the 2012 MOU on New Relationship, and a potential inter-governmental joint working group on select issues of mutual importance. The Committee also discussed a recent meeting of the SLRD Aboriginal Relations Committee attended by UBCM staff, and considered UBCM's role in monitoring and responding to aboriginal issues. Staff also provided an update on the federal review of the Additions to Reserve Policy by the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples.

Convention

Convention planning is ramping up, with the Convention Committee providing direction on a variety of convention elements, such as keynote speaker, banquet entertainment, partners programs, and convention logo and program design. The Committee is pleased to be pursuing Stephen Lewis as the 2013 Keynote Speaker. Feature banquet entertainment will be provided by Roman Danylo, with after-dinner dance music provided by the HitZone. Other items discussed include the Clinic and Workshop proposal process, catering plans, and delegate WIFI. The Committee also received an update on Presidents Committee discussions regarding the 2014 Convention location RFP.

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