Executive Meeting Highlights

The UBCM Executive met in Richmond on July 15-17 for Committee and Executive meetings. The July meeting signals the Secretariat’s report out on a number of year end matters. Executive members also met with Grand Chief Edward John and Howard Grant of the First Nations Summit to renew our Protocol on Cooperation and Communication.

Highlights of the July 17th Executive meeting include:

• received reports from the President and staff highlighting activities and meetings on membership’s behalf since the last meeting in April.
• received a report prepared by UBCM - Auditor General for Local: Perspectives on Operations March 2013-March 2015 and adopted the recommendations included within the report. An additional recommendation was added to seek an independent review of the office within two years of the appointment of the next Auditor General for Local Government.
• received a report on pending changes to the Municipal and Regional District Tax, otherwise known as the hotel tax, and endorsed a recommendation to write to the Minister of Jobs, Tourism & Skills Training regarding consultation with local government.
• received a report from staff on the status of discussions with the Province on compensation and community infrastructure bank; including the current Draft Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Terms of Reference on Compensation and the Infrastructure and Community Development Bank.  A motion was adopted to endorse the current MOA and authorize the President’s Committee to finalize the MOA with MCSCD.
• received a report on the findings coming forward from the all-party Special Committee on Expense Limits noting that most of the recommendations were in keeping with UBCM policy as outlined in its April 2015 presentation to the Committee. UBCM will be raising concerns with the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development about the proposed January 1st start date for reporting campaign expenses by candidates, but not, third parties.
• received a report on UBCM’s “Advocacy Days” held in conjunction with the April Executive and directed that UBCM continue to undertake a similar initiative as part of the April 2016 Executive meeting.
• received reports on Victoria Operations including Gas Tax Management and Local Government Program Services.
• received a report on civil liability and adopted a short, medium and long-term work program for achieving improvements.
• received a staff analysis of the 2014 provincial responses and adopted recommendations for advancing the UBCM policy agenda.
• approved that a letter be written to the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development requesting a status report on the resort municipality of JUMBO in response to the announcement that the proposal for development has not been approved.
• received reports from Presidents Committee advising of the actions taken that are reported out elsewhere within this summary.
• received a report on provincial legislation introduced this session of interest to local governments.
• received a report from the 2015 Nominating Committee advising that the nominations process for Executive positions was underway and the appointment of Chief and Deputy Chief Scrutineer had been completed.
• received reports on the annual review of MOU and Agreements; Financial Statements for the month and year ending May 31, 2015; annual statutory compliance report; a year end status report of the 2014-2015 annual work program and received the proposed work plan for 2015-2016.
• received a status and action report on a variety of policy areas that continue to be monitored by UBCM including; Off Road Vehicle Act; Natural Resource Roads Act project; Problem Vessels; Community/Rail Proximity Initiative; Assessment Appeals on Special Use Properties; Aggregate Resource Management; Farm Assessment Report; Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act; Federal Additions to Reserve;  Care Home Sprinkler Safety; Farm Assessment-Medical Marijuana Grow Operations; Federal Comprehensive Land Claims Policy; National Municipal Rail Safety Working Group.
• approved external appointments to the following working groups/committees:

- Glen White, Manager of Land Development, Chilliwack to the Land Title and Survey Authority Stakeholder Advisory Committee
- Mayor Nils Jensen, Oak Bay to the BC Access to Justice Committee

• received a report on UBCM involvement in FCM International Programs and provided direction for UBCM to investigate future opportunities to engage in FCM’s new Sustainable and Inclusive Communities in Latin America program.
• received correspondence from Peter Watson, Chair and CEO of the National Energy Board in follow up to the UBCM delegation in March; Eric Magnusson, Regional Director General, AANDC regarding no funding for C2C funding; and the Ombudsperson advising of a review to be undertaken of local governments and their enforcement of local bylaws.
• received a status report on UBCM’s legal assistance fund.
• approved the annual allocation of $5,000 to the Board of Examiners in support of the Jeff McKelvey scholarship fund.
• received a delegation from the First Nations Summit.  The meeting also provided an opportunity for UBCM and First Nations Summit to renew their Agreement on Cooperation and Consultation.  See the July 29th issue of the Compass for details on the delegation and the renewal of the Agreement.

Highlights of the July 15th and 16th Committee meetings:

Presidents

The Committee received reports on staffing, member services and group benefits programs, financials and discussed the schedule for judging the entries for the 2014 Excellence Awards program. The Committee discussed a number of intergovernmental relations matters and staff presented reports on 2015 member visits and discussed advocacy options in advance of the federal election.  With respect to the latter, UBCM will be sharing FCM’s election platform and outreach tools with the UBCM membership and highlight key components of the FCM election platform in line with UBCM priorities.

Delegations were received from received from KPMG, UBCM’s auditors who discussed the Audit Findings Report.  The financial statements for year-end were also reviewed along with the 2015-2016 preliminary budget.  A second delegation was received the Municipal Pension Plan Trustees; members also discussed appointments to the MPP Board of Trustees and received an update on the work of the Municipal Pension Plan Partners.

Convention

The Convention Committee met to make final programming decisions and receive updates on Convention planning to date.  The Committee reviewed over 120 applications to host clinic and workshop sessions, and determined which sessions will be offered. The 2015 Preliminary Program will be updated in the coming weeks to reflect these topics.

Committee members also discussed various logistical and planning activities, including timing of awards presentations, speaker gift charities, catering choices, and room allocations. It was also noted that sponsorship and the event budget are on target and that special invitations have been distributed.

Environment Committee

The Environment Committee received a delegation from MLA Mike Bernier and Ministry of Environment staff to discuss the Climate Action Plan. The Committee also discussed UBCM’s recent meeting with the National Energy Board, the packaging and printed paper stewardship program, integrated pest management and the riparian areas regulation. Updates were provided on land based spill preparedness and response, urban and rural deer management, wastewater harmonization, Monday pre-conference session, and the Environment Committee annual report.

The Committee agreed to write to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to ask that they work with the federal government to improve the National Energy Board public hearing process; and seek a meeting at Convention with the Minister of Environment and the UBCM representatives to Multi-Materials BC’s Advisory Committee to discuss the state of the packaging and printed paper program. 

Community Economic Development

The Committee received reports on the status of the Rural Advisory Council; discussed the report released by the Islands Trust with respect to BC Ferries and their request for fare reductions on minor routes to kick start local economies; and also received the latest financial statements from BC Ferries. Councillor Frenkel, UBCM’s appointment to the Minister’s Advisory Council on Forest Practices provided an update on the Council’s work; and members also received a report on the CRTC’s telecommunications review that is underway and the coordinated effort undertaken by FCM to provide a submission on behalf of local governments across Canada.

The Committee also discussed plans for the Monday pre-conference session on Making the Most of the Backcountry and the Committee’s report for inclusion in the 2015 Annual Report.

Healthy Communities

The Healthy Communities Committee met with James Roy from the BC Non-Profit Housing Association to discuss a proposal for a social housing toolkit for local governments. The Committee provided advice on what should be included in the toolkit and noted that it should have separate suggestions for regional districts, small communities and large communities as they have different challenges.

The Committee also discussed the Community Poverty Reduction Strategies initiative, and asked that Ministry of Children and Family Development clearly articulate the new role of the family consultant in the pilot communities, and the commitment from the Ministry to provide a staff person at community planning tables in additional communities in the 2015 Progress Report. The Committee also agreed to draft a statement from UBCM for the 2015 Progress report, that would review the Strategy since 2012, and advises that UBCM will no longer be participating in the initiative.

A request was received from the BC Healthy Living Alliance for a contribution towards their advocacy efforts. The Committee agreed to contribute for the 2015/2016 fiscal year. Information was also received on the Healthy Families BC, Community Paramedicine, Healthy Communities Committee Annual Report and the Physiotherapy Association.

Community Safety

The Committee discussed recent changes to the medical marijuana production and distribution landscape in Canada. In particular, the Committee reviewed the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) ruling that producing and obtaining only dried forms of marijuana violated the right to liberty and security; the pending SCC decision on whether individuals may grow medical marijuana for personal consumption; and, the proliferation of medical marijuana dispensaries in British Columbia, and in particular the City of Vancouver.

The Committee then reviewed items discussed at the April 30, 2015 Local Government Contract Management Committee (LGCMC) meeting. Also received was a report from the RCMP Pay Council, which focuses on eliminating the compensation gap that exists between the RCMP and the average of the top three of eight comparator police services in Canada (as chosen by the Pay Council). Currently, this compensation gap sits at 9.61%.

Committee members then discussed an update on recent liquor legislation introduced by the Province and other liquor policy developments. In particular, the Liquor Control and Licencing Act (Bill 27) received third reading. Furthermore, since April 2015, the Province has implemented two more of its 73 Liquor Policy Review recommendations, and the Special Occasion Licence online system has now been implemented throughout the Province.

Lastly, the Committee also received a report outlining Committee activities for the 2014/15 year, mandate letters for Minister Anton and Minister Lake, as well as several pieces of correspondence including a letter from Minister Lake to Mayor Jenson regarding enhanced support for individuals with addictions and mental health issues.

First Nations Relations Committee

The First Nations Relations Committee began by reviewing a draft joint response with the First Nations Summit and Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) in response to AANDC’s decision to decline funding for the C2C Forum program in 2015/16. The Committee also considered options for providing a response to the report, A New Direction, Advancing Aboriginal and Treaty Rights. The latter portion of the meeting saw members discuss the April 16, 2015 meeting with Minister John Rustad, and options for a follow-up meeting to converse about issues of mutual concern, including the BC treaty negotiation process.

Also received were updates on the LGPS Grant Programs; UBCM’s monitoring and response activities related to pertinent federal legislation; UBCM’s MOU with the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, and other joint initiatives; the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report summary and ‘Calls to Action’; the Province’s Guide to First Nations Engagement on Local Government Statutory Approvals; the First Nations landscape in British Columbia; the Committee’s activities during the 2014/15 year; cultural competency training for local government representatives; the approved Protocol on Cooperation and Communication with the First Nations Summit; and, preliminary planning for the upcoming provincial C2C Forum.

Resolutions Committee

The Resolutions Committee provided comments and recommendations on the 166 member resolutions received by the June 30 deadline. The Executive discussed the Committee’s report, and ultimately approved comments and recommendations on the resolutions for consideration at the 2015 Convention. These resolutions will now be published in the 2015 Annual Report & Resolutions Book, a copy of which will be mailed in late August to each local government elected official and CAO. The Resolutions Book will also be posted to the UBCM website at that time.

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