Highlights of the November Executive Meeting

UBCM Executive members held their first, quarterly board meeting on November 27-28, 2014.  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 confirmed direction with respect to filling vacancies on the Executive as a result of the 2014 local government elections.

Highlights of the November 28 Executive meeting include:

  • approved direction to seek eligible candidates to fill the three vacancies on the UBCM Executive as a result of local government elections. A notice was circulated to members on December 4 requesting expressions of interest from eligible elected officials to fill two Director at Large positions and one Vancouver Metro Area Representative position.
  • welcomed two new Executive members: Mayor Gerry Taft, Invermere and Councillor Barbara Price, Comox as the Area Association appointments from the AKBLG and AVICC, respectively.
  • announced and approved various UBCM Committee and external committee appointments. As a result of the 2014 Local Government elections the Executive will need to fill a number of vacancies. A full report on new Committees will be announced following the February Executive meeting.
  • approved conveyance of endorsed 2014 resolutions to the provincial and federal governments, FCM, and other organizations
  • referred 5 endorsed resolutions requesting UBCM action to specific Committees as part of their advocacy efforts
  • reviewed various announcements made at Convention including the Small Communities Fund of the New Building Canada Fund; new Asset Management grant program; establishment of the Special Committee on Local Elections Expense Limits; and the creation of a Rural Advisory Council. Executive agreed to work with the Province as these announcements move to implementation.
  • advised that a submission had been made to the Special Committee on Local Elections Expense Limits on the issue of ‘principles’ for setting expense limits in keeping with the previously adopted principles of the Elections Task Force. Executive committed to engaging in Phase 2 of the Special Committee deliberations on setting expense limit amounts.
  • received a report on new and amended legislation and policy put forward by the Province in the last House sitting.
  • received a status and action report on a variety of policy areas that continue to be monitored by UBCM including: implementation of new Off Road Vehicle Act; Natural Resource Roads Act project; problem 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; federal additions to reserve; federal Comprehensive Land Claims Policy; and assessment of medical marijuana grow operations.
  • received the financial report for the period ending October 31, 2014
  • received reports on Victoria Operations including status of various Local Government Program Services; and it was noted that the federal Gas Tax Strategic Priorities Fund was about to launch for a new round of applications.
  • indicated support for the City of Vancouver’s request to BC Assessment for a study/review on a split class assessment option.
  • considered a letter from LMGLA on the issue of Area Association First VP attendance at UBCM Executive meetings and agreed that the July meeting could serve as an orientation opportunity for incoming Area Association Presidents if they wish to attend in an observer capacity, with the financial support of their Area Association.
  • received a report on staff activities including numerous post-Convention responsibilities.
  • reviewed changes to the building approval process that the Province intends to introduce in 2015. The changes will remove the “concurrent authority” powers with respect to the BC Building Code that currently exist under the Community Charter and remove the references to the Code under the Local Government Act. The new measures will bring in minimum qualification standards for building officials. The changes are intended to be broad in scope and the intent is to limit local government authority when reviewing building proposals.
  • confirmed upcoming conference dates including the following series of Local Government Leadership Academy Elected Officials seminars:
    • Small Communities – Jan 13-15, Richmond
    • Large Urban – Jan 14-16, Richmond
    • Electoral Areas – Jan 19-21, Richmond
    • SILGA – Jan 20-22, Kelowna
    • AVICC – Jan 27-29 and Jan 28-30, Parksville (2 sessions)
    • NCLGA – Feb 4-6, Prince George
    • AKBLG – Feb 18-20, Kimberley

Other seminars include:

  • RD Chairs and CAOs Forum – March 24-25, 2015
  • Community Poverty Reduction Strategies Forum – March 2015
  • Urban Deer Management Workshop – January 2015 (tentative)

Highlights of the November 27 Committee meetings include:

Presidents

Committee members confirmed their terms of reference; appointed First Vice President Chair Al Richmond as the member responsible for the Financial Management portfolio; discussed the work plan associated with the Excellence Awards Program; and received reports on member services and group benefits programs. The Committee agreed to meet via conference call to review proposed amendments to the Executive Policies; confirmed locations for the 2016 and 2018 Conventions; and discussed work plan for the year ahead.

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 Committee identified specific initiatives including: continued monitoring of the Province’s response to the BC Ferries policy paper; impact of LNG development; the move to more area-based forest tenures; and agreed to support the work of other organizations that promote economic development initiatives.

The Committee committed to continued engagement with local governments as the Province proceeds to implement the new Off Road Vehicle Act, and advocating for UBCM representation on the new Rural Advisory Council that was announced at Convention. Committee members received a delegation from Ian Miller on the work of the Minister’s Advisory Council on Forest and Range Practices. It was recommended that Councillor Brian Frenkel be nominated to serve as UBCM’s appointment to the Advisory Council; and members agreed to receive a delegation from the Independent Wood Processors Association at their February meeting.

Community Safety

The Community Safety Committee renewed their Terms of Reference and approved a work plan for the upcoming year. The Committee indicated that it intended to review the Provincial report on policing responsibilities and a report on crime reduction prepared by a Blue Ribbon Panel both of which are expected to be released in 2015. The Committee also stated that it would continue to look at the implementation of the RCMP contract, new provincial liquor policy and federal Medical Marihuana regulations. In addition, the Committee identified a number of other issues it would monitor: police best practices when dealing with people with mental health challenges; downloading of police costs on local government; and the policing of work camps in rural areas.

Healthy Communities Committee

The Committee reviewed and approved the terms of reference and 2014/2015 work plan. Over the next year, the Committee approved continuation of work on the Regional Community Poverty Reduction Strategy and work with the Ministry of Children and Family Development to organize a stakeholder forum in March 2015. Staff will meet with the seven communities prior to the forum to determine the agenda. The Committee also agreed to continue to provide feedback on provincial projects such as the Healthy Families BC Communities initiative; BC Physical Activity Strategy; Standing Committee on Health; and Healthy Eating Strategy. Information was also received on the Ministry of Transportation’s 10-year Plan, and grants under Local Government Program Services.

Environment Committee

The Committee renewed their terms of reference and approved the work plan for the upcoming year. Priorities identified for 2014/2015 included: continued work with the Province on the Land Based Spill Preparedness and Response framework; monitoring and advising on the implementation of the packaging and printed paper product stewardship program; monitoring of changes to the Environmental Assessment process and the impact on local governments; collaboration with the provincial government on an urban deer workshop in January; continued work on assisting local governments in meeting their Climate Action Charter commitments; work with the Province on the development of regulations for the Water Sustainability Act; and work with the provincial government on the implementation of recommendations from the BC Ombudsman’s report on the Riparian Areas Regulation.

A delegation was also received from Neil Hastie, Development Director, StewardChoice Enterprises. StewardChoice would be a potential competitor to Multi-Materials BC as an agency responsible for the implementation of packaging and printed paper stewardship.

First Nations

The First Nations Relations Committee reviewed and endorsed their Terms of Reference for the 2014/15 year. The Committee established a work plan and priorities including an emphasis on engagement, outreach, consultation and relationship-strengthening activities; monitoring of key legal developments; and monitoring activities related to federal policies and legislation. In particular, the Committee agreed to continue to monitor the status of the federal Comprehensive Land Claims Policy renewal process, as well as invite AANDC staff to meet to discuss the Policy and issues raised by UBCM in their submission as part of the Policy renewal process.

The Committee also received updates on Canada’s interim Comprehensive Land Claims Policy; the report, First Nations Property Tax, Services and Economic Development in British Columbia; the Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act; Additions to Reserve Policy; First Nations Relations Grant Programs; unused Northern Treaties TAC funds; joint projects with MARR; the recently signed Partnership Agreement with Reconciliation Canada; cultural competency training for local government representatives; and Reconciliation Canada’s 100 Reconciliation Dialogue Workshops.

Convention

The Convention Committee dedicated its inaugural meeting to reviewing attendance and delegate feedback from the 2014 Convention.  The Committee also received reports regarding media relations and catering, as well as a preliminary report on convention financials. The 2014 revenues and expenditures are on target with budget – a full report will be brought forward in February. Convention agenda details for 2015, such as preliminary program allocations, theme and program format will be discussed in February. However, the Committee did direct staff to secure the Vancouver Convention Centre – West Building as the 2015 Welcome Reception location.

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