Highlights of the July 18-19 Executive Meeting

The UBCM Executive met in Richmond on July 18-19 for Committee and Executive meetings. Highlights included a presentation from the Select Committee on Local Government Finance on its work to date; adoption of the preliminary budget for 2013-2014; a review of the impact of UBCM's Election Advocacy Strategy; a delegation from the Chair of the BC Passenger Transportation Board; and consideration of 156 member resolutions submitted for consideration to the 2013 Convention.

Highlights of the July 19 Executive meeting included the following actions:

  • adopted the 2013-2014 preliminary budget. No dues increase proposed for coming year.
  • received the annual report on UBCM's compliance with statutory requirements and the annual review of MOU's, protocols and other agreements.
  • approved an Extraordinary Resolution to go forward to the Annual Convention to amend the UBCM Bylaws to change UBCM's fiscal year-end to May 31 from June 30.
  • received a delegation from the Select Committee on Local Government Finance; considered their report, and approved that their report be brought forward for consideration by the membership at the 2013 Convention.
  • approved the financial statements for the year ending June 30, 2013.
  • received an update from the Nominating Committee on the 2013 Executive nominations process. July 31, 2013 is the deadline for nominations.
  • received a report on the Jeff McKelvey scholarships approved for 2012-2013, and approved $5,000 to be made available for scholarships in 2013-2014.
  • approved the following appointments:
  • DFO's Aquaculture Management Advisory Committees:
    • AVICC Director Jim Abram, Strathcona RD (finfish); Director Bill Veenhof, Nanaimo RD (shellfish)
    • NCLGA Councillor Bruce Bidgood, Terrace (finfish); Director Des Nobels, Skeena-Queen Charlotte RD (shellfish)
  • Mayor Malcolm Brodie, Richmond, PRIME-BC Board of Directors
  • received a status report on Victoria Operations including provincially funded programs administered by UBCM under the Local Government Program Services and the federally funded programs administered by UBCM under the Gas Tax/Public Transit Programs.
  • received a report on the accomplishments achieved from the 2012-2013 work program, and approved the 2013-2014 work program for the year ahead.
  • approved the principles outlined in a consultants' report that would look to develop and implement a 911 Call Answer Levy on wireless services to improve the delivery of emergency services.
  • directed continued staff participation in the development of a new strategy for aggregate management.
  • received a report from the BC Transit Independent Review working group that is working with the Province and BC Transit on implementation of the recommendations coming out of the Independent Review.
  • received a report on collaborative work with FCM on the Rail Proximity Initiative to ensure that BC communities have an opportunity to address rail concerns through this initiative.
  • directed continued staff involvement in the development of a debris management plan through participation on the Tsunami Debris Co-ordination Committee.
  • received a delegation from the new Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, the Honourable Coralee Oakes.  A full report on this meeting will be in next week's issue of the Compass.
  • received a summary report of UBCM's Election Advocacy Strategy and its impact on the provincial political parties, and how they responded to local government issues during the campaign.
  • received a delegation from Don Zurowski, Chair of the BC Passenger Transportation Board to discuss the role and responsibilities of the Board in inter-city bus service, and more specifically, in response to its approval of Greyhound's request to cut service levels in BC.

Highlights of the July 18th Committee meetings include:

Presidents Committee

In its capacity as the Audit Committee, the Presidents Committee met with UBCM's external auditors to review the 2012-2013 financial statements.The Committee also reviewed the proposed budget for 2013-2014 that was later approved by the Executive, noting that no increase in member dues was proposed for the year ahead.  A number of matters were discussed during their meeting including: 2013 Community Excellence Awards judging process; member service and group benefit programs; a report on the 2013 member visits program; and intergovernmental relations in light of the new government and the mandates provided to each of the ministers. Appointments to the RCMP Contract Management Committee were also discussed, and Mayor Frank Leonard and Gary MacIsaac were appointed as the Primary Trustee and Alternate Trustee, respectively, to the Municipal Pension Board of Trustees for a 3-year term, expiring December 31, 2016.

Community Economic Development Committee

Committee members directed that member feedback be sought on changes to the Fisheries Act, and that comments be provided to Department of Fisheries and Oceans.  Information from the BC Film Commission was received highlighting their new pilot program to designate ‘film-friendly' communities; confirmation was received from the Province on their intent to proceed to implement its BC Trails Strategy; and the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training indicated that they are seeking feedback on the Business Attraction Toolkit designed to assist communities with their economic development aspirations.

The Committee received two delegations. Director Rhona Martin, in her capacity as Chair of the Southern Interior Beetle Action Coalition, provided an overview of the Rural BC Project, which was established to stimulate discussion and understanding of the challenges facing rural BC and the actions required to help rural BC communities succeed. The second delegation included representatives from NetworkBC (Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizen Services) and Telus who provided an overview of the work that is being done to bridge the digital divide and expand broadband internet service to all areas of the province. 

Community Safety

After discussing the new “Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulation”, the Committee will be requesting that Health Canada ensure that all applications to grow medical marihuana are in compliance with local government zoning, bylaws and electrical, fire, health, building and safety regulations before they are considered for a license. In addition, Health Canada will be asked to work with local government in developing transition measures between the old and new regulation to ensure that it is implemented in an effective and efficient manner.

Members met with Clayton Pecknold, Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Justice, who reported that the new RCMP agreement is beginning to show some positive signs (i.e. timely information on costs from the federal government, etc.).  However, some issues were identified that still need to be resolved, such as costs of Green Timbers; costs of federal severance package, future costs of First Nations policing, and pension costs to employers. It was noted that the Province would be releasing the BC Policing Plan shortly and in the fall work would begin with stakeholders to define policing responsibilities – what is the future structure of policing?  How should we pay for this service? 

Healthy Communities Committee

Committee members received a report on the Regional Community Poverty Reduction Strategy noting several staffing changes at the Ministry of Children and Family Development resulting in the strategy being moved into their practice division to utilize existing staff. Updates were received on the Healthy Families BC Communities Initiative, which included the development of tools and resources for local governments, an online healthy communities portal, a capacity building fund, and regional learning and networking opportunities. Members agreed to continue UBCM participation in the BC Healthy Living Alliance; discussed recruitment and retention of doctors and other healthcare professionals in rural and remote communities; and received information on the Ministry of Health's strategic priorities; the Convention walking tour on planning and health; the Canadian Medical Association's report on Income Inequality; and the Canadian Center for Policy Alternative's report, Poverty or Prosperity: Indigenous Children in Canada.

Environment Committee

A delegation from the Community Energy Association (CEA) was received, highlighting how CEA can assist local governments in energy and greenhouse gas emission reduction planning. A second delegation was received from the BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) to discuss changes to the environmental assessment process in BC and in Canada; the anticipated Department of Fisheries and Oceans participation in environmental assessments; and the EAO's compliance and enforcement program.

Committee members discussed packaging and printed paper (PPP), including the legal opinion that found that local governments were not producers of PPP under the Recycling Regulation, except in the limited and unlikely extent that they import PPP into the Province, and sell, distribute or use that paper in a commercial enterprise. A report on the Ombudsperson's investigation into the fairness and reasonableness of the administration of the Riparian Areas Regulation was received and noted that UBCM would be consulted as stakeholder in the investigation. Members discussed provincial initiatives on spill preparedness and response and approved the BC Land Based Spill Preparedness and Response Advisory Committee Terms of Reference; reviewed UBCM comments on the federal government's Marine Oil Spill Preparedness and Response Regime; and received information on the Ministry of Environment's strategic priorities; the Monday Convention Environment session; the Department of Fisheries and Oceans; Small Water Systems; and Stewardship Agencies of BC.
First Nations Relations Committee

The First Nations Relations Committee received two delegations during their meeting. The first was from David Stevenson, Executive Director, Intergovernmental & Community Relations Victoria, Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, who provided an update on the Off-Reserve Aboriginal Action Plan (ORAAP), including an overview of 2012/13 activities, and next steps for the program. The second was from Kris Johnson, Senior Director, Lands Modernization, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, who provided an update regarding the federal review of the Additions to Reserve (ATR) policy.

The Committee also discussed the status of Bill S-8: The Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act; Monday Pre-conference Session planning; and First Nations Relations Grant Programs. Members also provided feedback on a discussion paper, entitled Discussion on Proposed Intergovernmental Staff Joint Working Group on Aboriginal Issues, which will be forwarded to the Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation for further consideration.

Convention Committee

The Convention Committee met to make final programming decisions and receive updates on Convention planning to date.  The Committee reviewed over one hundred applications to host clinic and workshop sessions, and decided which proposals to move forward with. The 2013 Preliminary Program will be updated within the next few weeks to reflect these topics.

The Committee also received an update on sponsorship, noting that the budget goal has been surpass by 55% due to a revised sponsorship marketing plan, and additional staff resources. The Committee selected the organizations that would be contributed to through the 2013 Speaker Gift Plan, and set aside time for the presentation of LGLA Certificates within the Convention program.

Resolutions Committee

Mayor Gaetz presented the Resolutions Committee's comments and recommendations on the 156 resolutions received by the June 30 deadline, as well as one Extraordinary Resolution.

The Executive approved the Resolution Committee's comments and recommendations on the resolutions submitted to UBCM for consideration at the 2013 Convention.

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