Highlights of the November Executive Meeting

UBCM Executive held their quarterly board meeting on November 17-18 2016. Seven committees met to confirm work plans; Executive members adopted their goals and priorities; an orientation session was held and a delegation was received from the Honourable Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community Sport and Cultural Development.

Highlights of the November 18 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 2016 resolutions to the provincial and federal governments, FCM, and other organizations.
  • referred 31 resolutions to specific Committees as part of their advocacy efforts; 18 of these were not considered at Convention due to time constraints; 2 were referred directly to Executive; 11 were endorsed at Convention and request UBCM action. The Committees will report back to the Executive on these issues at a future meeting.
  • reviewed various announcements made at Convention including:
  • joint federal/provincial announcement of the $450 million Clean Water and Wastewater Fund confirming the 50/33/17 funding ratio between the three orders of government;
  • Minister Fassbender announced: a new Grow Local BC program promoting sustainable agriculture at home; the Fall 2016 approvals under the Ministry’s Infrastructure Planning Grant Program and also confirmed the Province’s commitment to the Auditor General for Local Government;
  • Minister Lake announced an additional $500,000 in Age-Friendly Community Planning and Project grant funding;
  • Premier Clark announced $10 million in funding to set up an addiction research and training centre to combat the province’s overdose crisis; and profiled actions on key Government files such as housing, LNG development, climate change and Site C.
  • approved plans to hold the next Executive meeting in Victoria on February 22-24, 2017 in order to undertake UBCM’s pre-election advocacy strategy.
  • received a report on the UBCM’s presentation to the Provincial Commission on Tax Competitiveness that is examining business taxes amid a changing economy. UBCM’s presentation to the Commission focused on the local government property tax system and specifically those tax rates related to business.
  • received a report on the federal government’s plans for a National Housing Strategy and reviewed the UBCM submission to federal Minister Duclos which focused on key resolutions and policy positions from members related to housing matters.
  • approved the draft terms of reference for the Working Group on Responsible Conduct.
  • declined a request for legal assistance from the City of Nelson based on the advice of legal counsel that the case was so rare it was unlikely to be seen again; therefore not meeting the criteria of appeals that would affect all local governments or their employees in a substantial way.
  • 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; farm assessment; 911 Call Answer Levy; Legalization of Marijuana; Auxiliary Constable Program Review; The Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act; Care Home Sprinkler Safety; federal additions to reserve; federal Comprehensive Land Claims Policy; farm assessment – medical marijuana grow operations; mental health and policing; agri-tourism in the ALR; National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls; licensing of commercial dog and cat breeding; and DNA Analysis Costs to Local Government.
  • received a report on the recently announced federal Oceans Protection Plan that will include legislation in 2017 to address the derelict / problem vessel issue; as well as a commitment of $1.5 billion in funding over 5 years.  A subsequent announcement indicated that $100 million has been set aside to specifically deal with derelicts, wrecks and abandoned vessels that have already been identified.
  • received the financial report for the period ending September 30, 2016
  • received reports on the status of Local Government Program Services (funding programs) and a status report on the federal Gas Tax Program.
  • received correspondence from the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association regarding improved market access for Canada’s energy resources.
  • received a report on staff activities including numerous post-Convention responsibilities.
  • confirmed upcoming conference dates:
    • CAO-CEO Forum – December 6-7, 2016
    • Electoral Area Directors Forum – January 31-February 1, 2017
    • LGLA Leadership Forum – February 1-3, 2017
    • Province Wide Community to Community Forum – June 6, 2017
  • received a delegation from the Honourable Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development where the following matters were discussed: 2016 UBCM Convention, Local Government Executive Compensation, Protective Services Arbitration, Clean Water and Wastewater Fund and the Working Group on Responsible Conduct.

Highlights of the November 17 Committee meetings include:

Presidents

Presidents Committee members confirmed their terms of reference and made Vice-President appointments to the following portfolios:

  • First VP Director Wendy Booth - Best Practices/Excellent Awards Program
  • Second VP Councillor Arjun Singh - Member Services
  • Third VP Mayor Maja Tait - Financial Management

The work program and timelines for the 2017 Excellence Awards Program were discussed; reports on member services and group benefits programs were received and plans for holding the next Executive meeting in Victoria were confirmed to ensure that UBCM could undertake its pre-election advocacy strategy. The Committee also confirmed dates for future UBCM conventions to 2026 and received a preliminary report on referred resolution B109 requesting the development of a conference code of conduct.  Appointments were also confirmed to the FCM Travel Fund Committee that has been asked to review the criteria for the fund.

Community Economic Development Committee

The Community Economic Development Committee reviewed and amended its terms of reference to reflect the broadened economic development focus. The Committee considered a consolidated report on a variety of policy matters, received a draft report of the feedback and recommendations from members at the forestry pre-conference session and discussed correspondence received on resolution 2016-C27 on Old Growth Forests.

The Committee received a delegation from Tyann Blewett, Director of Arts and Culture at the Ministry’s Arts and Cultural Development Branch who discussed the importance of arts and culture to community economic development. Ms Blewett and Committee members also discussed potential opportunities to work together to profile best practices /success stories that could be shared with communities. 

Community Safety

The Community Safety Committee reviewed, and endorsed their Terms of Reference and Priorities for the 2016/17 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 BC local governments.

The Committee received a delegation from the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General that sought to provide information on the Province’s 911 Call Answer Levy initiative. Updates regarding the Province’s Emergency Program Act review; the ongoing federal Auxiliary Constable Program review; the process to legalize marijuana; the impending new RCMP labour relations regime; other policing issues relevant to local governments; liquor policy developments; and community safety grant programs administered by UBCM were received by the Committee.

Healthy Communities Committee

The Healthy Communities Committee reviewed and endorsed their Terms of Reference and Priorities for 2016/2017.  The approved priorities include undertaking advocacy and providing support for age-friendly, disability-friendly and child-friendly communities; ongoing participation in the Healthy Families BC Communities initiative; and involvement with the Raising the Profile, Community Paramedicine, and BC Healthy Living Alliance initiatives.

The Committee discussed opportunities for supporting improved physician recruitment and retention, including through work with the Divisions of Family Practice.  The Committee also received information on the Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and the Age-friendly Communities funding program, and received correspondence with the College of Pharmacists of BC.

Environment Committee

The Environment Committee reviewed and endorsed their 2016/2017 Priorities and Terms of Reference.  Approved priorities address ongoing issues including consultations on land based spill preparedness and response, assisting local governments in meeting their Climate Action Charter commitments, and the implementation of the packaging and printed paper program.  Additional priorities address new initiatives such as BC Brownfields Strategy 2.0. The Committee discussed the proposed creation of climate action working groups with the Province and received information on the recently announced Oceans Protection Plan.

First Nations

The First Nations Relations Committee established its work plan and priorities for the coming year.  The Committee will continue to focus on reconciliation and relationship – building activities; monitor a number of ongoing policy files such as Comprehensive Land Claims policy renewal process, 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 be seeking an opportunity to meet with federal officials on the new federal Additions to Reserve (ATR) policy and request that an information session on the new ATR policy be held for members. Committee members also confirmed June 6, 2017 as the date for the next Province-Wide Community to Community Forum jointly hosted with the First Nations Summit.

Convention

The Convention Committee dedicated its inaugural meeting to reviewing attendance and delegate feedback from the 2016 Convention.  The Committee also received reports regarding staff comments, media relations and catering. A full report on 2016 revenues and expenditures will be brought forward in February. Convention agenda details for 2017, such as preliminary program allocations, theme, elections and program format will be discussed in February.

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