Health & Social Development

Current Policy Initiatives

Child Care

The Union of BC Municipalities is pleased to offer the guide, Stepping Stones: Child Care Planning Guides for BC’s Local Governments, which was developed with funding from the Government of BC and written by project consultants, Sarah Huebert from SPARC BC and consultant Sandra Menzer.

Stepping Stones offers local governments promising practices in five key areas: 

1) Developing a child care strategy and plan; 
2) Local government’s role in facilitating, securing and financing child care; 
3) Local government’s role in designing and building child care spaces; 
4) Local government regulations and provincial licensing processes; and,
5) Working with child care operators. 

A webinar, based on the Guide, was held on February 23 and showcased child care planning in three BC communities: The City of Richmond, the City of Williams Lake and the District of Sicamous. 

The Guide, with its related templates and samples; and the recorded webinar and powerpoint presentations, can be found here: Policy documents and resources 

Poverty Reduction 

Responding to the provincial goverment's call for feedback on the development of a BC Poverty Reduction Strategy,  UBCM provided a submission in March 2018, which included a review of member resolutions on poverty reduction, child care, food security, homelessess and housing, and income and disability assistance. According to the government website, all feedback from stakeholders will be collected in a "What We Heard" document in June 2018, with legislation brought forward in Fall 2018. 

UBCM's previous work on poverty reduction included the Community Poverty Reduction Strategy that ran from 2012- 2015. The Strategy was a pilot project jointly initiated by UBCM and the Ministry of Children and Family Development in 7  communities- Cranbrook, Kamloops, New Westminster, Port Hardy, Prince George, Stewart and Surrey. A part time Family Consultant was appointed to each community to work collaboratively with community partners to build local teams, with the goals of identifying the key barriers families face, connecting families to the services they need, and creating community plans that innovatively work towards addressing the barriers of families living in poverty.

In September 2015, the Ministry announced that the Strategy would move from a pilot project to an ongoing initiative. Family Consultants will remain in the  communities to continue their work with families and the larger community. A summary of UBCM's Poverty Reduction Efforts and our involvement in the Community Poverty Reduction Strategies Initiatve was released in the Compass on October 28. Other documents and reports can be found in the left hand column under Policy Documents and Resources. 


Vancouver Coastal Health has published a policy discussion paper [PDF - 802 KB] on vaping for local governments. UBCM provided feedback on the paper, which outlines the population health concerns, discusses regulatory powers of different levels of governments, and examines different responses that local governments might consider.  

Healthy Built Environments

The Healthy Built Environment (HBE) Alliance includes representation from UBCM. The Alliance created a HBE toolkit designed to assist planners, health care professionals and local governments to include health as part of the discussion on land use decisions. The Toolkit is an evidence-based and expert-informed resource on the topic of health and the built environment and is available online.

Healthy Built Environment Linkages: A Toolkit for Design • Planning • Health

Policy Documents & Resources

Policy documents and resources relevant to the work of the Health and Social Development Committee.

Related Programs

Please refer to Funding Programs for information on funding programs administered by UBCM in support of community health initiatives.

Policy Scope

The Health & Social Development Committee oversees health related policy in the context of local government interests. The Committee's primary focus is on health promotion and disease prevention initiatives and policy directions that assist communities to be proactive in addressing community health problems. The Committee will continue to address a number of health issues including: health care funding, remote and rural healthcare, healthy built environments, and physical activity.


Marylyn Chiang
Senior Policy Analyst
604 270 8226 ext. 110

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