Highlights of the November 26-27 Executive Meeting

UBCM Executive members held their first, quarterly board meeting on November 26-27, 2015. Seven committees met to set priorities and work plans; Executive members adopted their goals and priorities; an orientation session was held and delegations were received from the Auditor General for Local Government, Gordon Ruth and the Honourable Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community Sport and Cultural Development.

Highlights of the November 27 Executive meeting include:

  • announced and approved various UBCM Committee and external committee appointments. A full list of UBCM Committees can be found on the UBCM website.
  • approved conveyance of endorsed 2015 resolutions to the provincial and federal governments, FCM, and other organizations
  • referred sixteen resolutions to specific Committees as part of their advocacy efforts; the Committees will report back to the Executive on these issues at a future meeting
  • reviewed various announcements made at Convention including: New Auditor General for Local Government; $500,000 for Small Water Systems Funding; $5 million over 2 years to combat crime; $75 million over 3 years for the Rural Dividend; $10 million over 2 years to expand high speed internet service; confirmed $90 million in the Small Community Fund; $10 million for the Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative. Executive agreed to work with the Province as these announcements move to implementation.
  • advised that Bill 43 – Local Elections Expense Limits had been introduced as an ‘exposure’ bill to provide for additional consultation prior to moving forward to implement election expense limits.  While supportive of establishing expense limits, UBCM has signaled its concern with the different expense reporting periods for candidates and third parties and will be conveying comments to the Minister in an effort to seek changes to the proposed legislation.
  • received a report on recently introduced bills including the Local Elections Campaign Financing (Expense Limits) Amendment Act and the Auditor General for Local Government Amendment Act.
  • received a report on the status of proposed changes that address the gap in fire services.
  • received a report on a post convention meeting with the Auditor General for Local Government (AGLG). The AGLG will be sharing a draft of its service plan with UBCM for feedback on the plan’s proposed themes.
  • received a report on the 2015 federal election results and the Liberal Party platform commitments of interest to local governments.
  • received an update report on continuing UBCM-provincial discussions on a potential memorandum of agreement on compensation and an infrastructure bank.
  • 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; BC Ferries; Natural Resource Roads Act project; problem vessels; assessment appeals on special use properties; aggregate resource management; farm assessment; The Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act; Care Home Sprinkler Safety; Municipal and Regional District Tax; Community and Rail Proximity Initiative; federal additions to reserve; federal Comprehensive Land Claims Policy; assessment of medical marijuana grow operations; mental health and policing and the 9-1-1 Call Answer Levy.
  • received the financial report for the period ending October 31, 2015
  • received reports on the status of Local Government Program Services (funding programs) and a status report on the federal Gas Tax Program.
  • received a report on the UBCM’s involvements to date in FCM’s Sustainable and Inclusive Communities in Latin America (CISAL) program.
  • received correspondence from the First Nations Summit seeking UBCM support for the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations and from the Western Convenience Store Owners related to a campaign related to raising awareness of GHG emissions at gas pumps.  A letter was also received from Minister Fassbender in regard to the status of Jumbo, the new resort municipality.
  • received a report on staff activities including numerous post-Convention responsibilities.
  • confirmed upcoming conference dates

• RD Chairs and CAOs Forum – March 29-30, 2016
• Electoral Area Directors Forum – February 2-3, 2016
• LGLA Leadership Forum – February 3-5 2016
• Group Benefits Conference – March, 2016  TBA

  • received a delegation from the Honourable Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development where the following matters were discussed: Compensation and Strong Fiscal Futures, Election Expense Limits, Build Canada Update, E-9-1-1 Update, Electronic Ticketing and Fire Service Act.
  • received a delegation from Gordon Ruth the new Auditor General for Local Government who provided an overview of the changes that have taken place within the ALGLG office and the opportunity for greater engagement with UBCM as the office sets its work plans for the coming year.

Highlights of the November 26 Committee meetings include:

Presidents

Presidents Committee members confirmed their terms of reference; appointed Third Vice President Councillor Arjun Singh as the member responsible for the Financial Management portfolio; discussed the work plan associated with the Excellence Awards Program; received reports on member services and group benefits programs and discussed plans to undertake the UBCM Member Satisfaction Survey in February 2016. The Committee will also focus on efforts to enhance youth engagement and discussed a number of intergovernmental relations matters including UBCM’s outreach plans for engaging new federal BC MPs on local government priorities.

Community Economic Development Committee

Committee members reviewed and amended their terms of reference to include arts, culture and heritage as well as jobs/skills training and retraining as areas within their mandate.  Their work plan was confirmed for the coming year and members discussed a number of policy files related that comprise the ongoing work plan of the Committee.  In response to concerns about a lack of community engagement and consultation around forest policy decisions (mill closures, forest stewardship plans) the Committee will be undertaking a survey of members to identify what other forestry issues would benefit from greater community consultation.  CED member Councillor Brian Frenkel will be taking these issues forward to the Minister’s Advisory Council on Forests where he serves as the UBCM appointment.  Members also agreed to receive future delegations from the Province on the new BritishColumbia.ca website that promotes international investment in BC and from the Ministry of Forests, Land and Natural Resource Operations on a streamlining project for project referrals and approvals.

Community Safety

The Community Safety Committee reviewed, and endorsed their Terms of Reference and Priorities for the 2015/16 year. The Committee established a work plan and set of objectives that include an emphasis on collaboration with the Province and other stakeholders on a variety of policy areas, monitoring activities related to key policy issues (i.e. policing, liquor, marijuana), and participation in working groups and committees to advance the interests of local governments in British Columbia (BC).

The Committee received a delegation from the Ministry of Justice that sought to provide information on the review of the Police Act, as well as the ongoing consultation and review of 9-1-1 services in BC. A second delegation discussed the issue of contraband tobacco and its prevalence in BC. Updates on 9-1-1 services, DNA analysis services costs, provincial liquor policy, current policing issues, and medical and recreational marijuana policy were also received by the Committee.

Healthy Communities Committee

The Healthy Communities Committee approved the Terms of Reference and the 2015-2016 workplan. A report was received on the Community Poverty Reduction Strategies, which noted that UBCM is no longer participating in this initiative. UBCM also published a summary of our advocacy efforts on child poverty and our work on this initiative over the past 3 years. The Committee also reviewed feedback submitted to the Ministry of Health on the proposed regulations for the Tobacco Control Amendment Act. These regulations will introduce new requirements for the display, sale and use of vapour and tobacco products in BC.

Environment Committee

The Environment Committee reviewed the terms of reference and history of the Committee, and approved the 2015/2016 work plan. Priorities for the upcoming year include working with the Province on the Climate Leadership Plan, the Ministry of Environment on the proposed Land Based Spill Preparedness and Response regime, and the Province on enhancing water governance and management.  A report was also received on urban and rural deer management, noting that the Province would establish a Provincial Urban Deer Advisory Committee and provide up to $100,000 annually for future urban deer management operations.

First Nations

The First Nations Relations Committee established a work plan and priorities for the 2015/2016 year, including continued relationship-strengthening activities, and work related to the TRC ‘Calls to Action’. The Committee will also continue to monitor provincial and federal activities, policy and legislative changes, particularly regarding the federal Comprehensive Land Claims Policy, the federal inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls in Canada, and transportation and public safety along the Highway 16 corridor (Highway of Tears). The Committee will also continue monitoring the federal Additions to Reserve policy and Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act; joint-work with MARR; partnership activities with Reconciliation Canada; and work related to the PHSA Indigenous cultural competency training. Planning activities related to a 2016 Provincial Community to Community Forum are also underway.

Convention

The Convention Committee dedicated its inaugural meeting to reviewing attendance and delegate feedback from the 2015 Convention.  The Committee also received detailed reports on staff comments, media relations and catering. A full report on 2015 revenues and expenditures will be brought forward in February. Convention agenda details for 2016, such as preliminary program allocations, theme, elections and program format will be discussed in February.

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