Executive Meeting Highlights

Executive members convened on April 20-21 in Richmond to hold their quarterly spring quarterly board meeting. In addition to the full Executive meeting, seven committees also met. A presentation on the status of the softwood lumber agreement highlighted the Executive meeting agenda.

Summary of the April 21st Executive meeting:

  • received a report highlighting the federal budget and provincial legislation.
  • received a report on the President’s activities since the last meeting.
  • approved the following appointments to:
  • Ministry of Education – Transportation Advisory Committee
  • Ministry of Justice – Provincial Advisory Committee – Specialized Courts and Justice Initiatives
  • Emergency Management BC and Natural Resources Canada – BC Seismic Safety Council
  • received correspondence from Minister of Community, Sport, Cultural Development and Responsible for TransLink, the Honourable Peter Fassbender, conveying provincial responses to 2016 UBCM resolutions; the Municipal Finance Authority responding to UBCM endorsed resolution 2016-B77; the City of Vernon regarding federal GST charges on Provincial Carbon Tax; and Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, the Honourable Mike Morris, regarding the legalization and regulation of cannabis.
  • received a report on proposed next steps to finalize UBCM’s partnership with the National League of Local Councils of the Kingdom of Cambodia (NLC) as part of FCM’s Partnerships for Municipal Innovation: Local Economic Development program.
  • received an update on the work underway by the Working Group on Responsible Conduct, comprising UBCM, LGMA and MCSCD to identify potential policy approaches to address the matter.  It was noted that a report has been shared with members and is being presented at Area Association conferences.  Once feedback on the report is received, a policy paper will be coming forward to the 2017 UBCM Convention for member consideration.
  • received a status and action report on a variety of policy areas that continue to be monitored by UBCM including; Natural Resource Roads Act; Problem Vessels; New RCMP Labour Relations Regime; Legalization of Marijuana; Electronic Roadside Ticketing; Farm Assessment Report; Auditor General for Local Government; The Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act; Care Home Sprinkler Safety; Farm Assessment – Medical Marijuana Grow Operations; Federal Additions to Reserve Policy; Federal Comprehensive Land Claims Policy; Mental Health and Policing Costs, Emergency Program Act Review; BC Ferries; Agri-Tourism in the ALR, National Enquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigeneous Women and Girls; Licencing of Commercial Dog and Cat Breeding; Auxiliary Constable Program Review; 911 Call Answer Levy; Assessment Appeals: Special Use Properties and the Off Road Vehicle Management Framework.
  • received the financial report for the period ending February 28, 2017
  • received a staff report on recent activities and updates for the Local Government Program Services and the Gas Tax Fund.
  • received a delegation from Vera Sit, Executive Director, Timber Pricing & Softwood Lumber, Timber Operations, Pricing and First Nations Division

Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.  Ms. Sit provided an overview of the history between Canada and the US on softwood lumber agreement, importance of the agreement, status of negotiations and BC’s role in those negotiations, estimated timelines for decisions regarding subsidies and anti-dumping duties and opportunities for Canada to appeal decisions through WTO, NAFTA or the US Court of International Trade.  Executive members found the delegation very informative and took the opportunity to ask a number of questions following the presentation.

Highlights of the April 20th Committee meetings:

Presidents Committee

The Committee provided direction on: two 2016 referred resolutions; a proposed partnership agreement with Asset Management BC; upcoming convention dates and locations; and requested that a committee be struck to review the role of alternate directors. Reports were received on staffing; member benefits and services; Excellence Awards categories and judging and received financial statements. Provincial party election platforms were reviewed to determine where there were alignments with UBCM’s Provincial Election Advocacy Plan.

Convention Committee

The Committee provided an update on Convention programming details, presented the 2017 budget and registration fees, and gave an overview of speaker gift and Partners’ Program selections. Catering decisions and preliminary space allocations were also approved. Childcare services at Convention were also discussed.

Environment Committee

The Committee received an update on discussions between local government representatives and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations regarding trapping. Information was received on: a potential Species and Ecosystems at Risk Charter, a submission to the National Energy Board, climate action, and contaminated sites.  Members reviewed correspondence received from the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and the Minister of Natural Resources, in response to 2016 resolutions. The Committee also received a delegation from Fortis BC on renewable natural gas and Municipal Climate Action.

Community Economic Development Committee

The Committee provided recommendations on a referred resolution from the 2016 Convention; ongoing work to advance advocacy efforts around greater community consultation and engagement on forest policy decision-making; and requested staff reports on two matters: impact of agriculture to the overall provincial economy and how local governments can support the development of the creative economy. Committee members also received a delegation from David Craig, Commercial Energy Consumers who represents the interests of local governments and other commercial energy users at rate hearings, integrated resource management planning processes and to provincial officials.

Healthy Communities Committee

The Committee received an update on the legalization of marijuana including information related to recently tabled legislation and a meeting between UBCM and MP Bill Blair. Members discussed implications of the proposed legislation for local governments, highlighting issues related to medical marijuana, retail, and testing of impaired drivers. The Committee received an update on the opioid crisis, and considered the need for alternate substitution treatments, affected populations, Bill C-37, small community impacts, and actions of the FCM Big City Mayors’ Caucus. Information was also received on the Board Voice Social Policy Framework project, the Emergency Medical Assistants Education Fund, and a BC Seniors Living Association plan to collaborate with local governments.

Community Safety Committee

The Committee received an update on the legalization of marijuana, including information related to recently tabled legislation (Bill C-45 and Bill C-46). Members examined new responsibilities for federal, provincial and local orders of government that may result from the legislation. Information was also received regarding UBCM’s survey on marijuana legalization and regulation, a meeting between UBCM and MP Bill Blair, and a recent Supreme Court decision upholding the ability of local governments to deny business licences to medical marijuana dispensaries.

Additional updates were received regarding liquor policy changes; electronic roadside ticketing; emergency management issues; and recent policing issues, including the status of Bill C-7, RCMP salary increases, the RCMP 5 Year Review, and new appointees to the Local Government Contract Management Committee.

First Nations Relations Committee

The Committee provided direction on a referred resolution from the 2016 Convention, and on support for a 2017 Walk for Reconciliation scheduled to take place in Vancouver the day prior to Convention. The Committee also recommended changing their name to the “Indigenous Relations Committee” going forward. Members received a delegation from the University of Victoria regarding a proposed Indigenous Law Program and an update on the 2017 Province Wide Community to Community Forum. Information was also received on potential local government involvement in Strategic Engagement Agreements.

Decisions on Resolutions Referred to the UBCM Executive

At the 2016 Annual Convention, UBCM members endorsed, or referred to the UBCM Executive, several resolutions that required follow-up action. The Executive made decisions on the remainder of these resolutions at their April 2017 meeting. Resolutions endorsed by the Executive will be conveyed to the appropriate order of government or organization.

B101    Non-Treaty First Nations Participation in UBCM
Endorsed as Amended

Therefore be it resolved that the Union of British Columbia Municipalities formally recognize that both treaty, and non-treaty First Nation governments may meet the following UBCM membership criteria:

a)    elected representation;
b)   
ability to tax; and
c)   
ability to exercise regulatory power or provide local services;

And be it further resolved that UBCM, in the spirit of reconciliation and relationship building, inform First Nation governments of the UBCM membership criteria; and advise those First Nations that meet the criteria and agree to pay annual dues, that they may apply to join the UBCM.

The UBCM Executive will now provide, to the broader First Nations community in BC, information about UBCM membership criteria and the process for seeking membership.

B103    Code of Conduct for Conferences & Events

The UBCM Executive decided to develop, and provide to Convention attendees, a “statement of expected behaviour/conduct” in advance of the 2017 Annual Convention. The UBCM Executive further committed to developing a process (e.g. mediator, ombudsperson) for addressing complaints related to inappropriate conduct, which would be implemented for the 2018 Annual Convention.

B131    Adult Education
Endorsed

B137    Tenant Evictions Through Renovations
Endorsed as Amended

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM urge the provincial government to address the problem of “renovictions” in an effort to maintain affordable rental stock;

And be it further resolved that the provincial government identify ways to encourage and incent building owners to re-invest in existing rental stock instead of downloading these costs fully onto existing tenants.

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