Martin Invites Provincial Engagement

On Wednesday President Rhona Martin renewed a call for the provincial government to join with UBCM in a comprehensive review of the local government finance system.

“BC local governments have said that changes are needed to the total system for local government finance – both expenditures and revenues.  We need to do this work for the sake of the citizens of British Columbia and we need to do it soon.”

At the 2013 Convention UBCM delegates unanimously endorsed Strong Fiscal Futures, a framework to review the system for local government finance. The framework included a provision for a review of both sides of the finance system.

Martin touched on several advocacy points from the previous year, including UBCM’s work in negotiating program changes to the federal Gas Tax Agreement in British Columbia.  Martin also spoke to UBCM’s Policy Paper on ferry fare impacts, saying that UBCM stands by the key findings of the report: higher fares are driving down ridership, and there are social and economic impacts as a result.

In the first resolutions session following the speech, convention delegates unanimously endorsed a resolution calling on the province to commit to meaningful engagement under the Strong Fiscal Futures framework in order to meet our respective mandates of strengthening the local government finance system.

Delegates also unanimously endorsed a resolution in relation to the ferry fares report with the following recommendations:

  • Request that the Province reverse its November 2013 decision, and restore service levels and ferry fares to 2013 levels.
  • Request that the Province take a ‘pause’ or ‘time out’ to consider the results of this socio-economic impact analysis and commit to undertaking further socioeconomic impact analysis that will build on these findings.
  • Request that the Province take action to recognize the coastal ferry system as an extension of the highway system and administer and fund it accordingly.
  • Request that the Province work cooperatively with coastal communities and other interested parties on the development and implementation of a long-term strategy for the coastal ferry system, based on solid socioeconomic impact analysis, that will ensure the sustainability of coastal communities and the ferry service.

Following the resolutions session, Premier Clark, Minister Stone and Minister Bond met with coastal Regional District Chairs and Claire Moglove, UBCM 3rd Vice President to discus the ferries' policy paper.

Meta Navigation