Richmond Praises Federal, Provincial Partnerships

Recent federal and provincial efforts to support local government were acknowledged by UBCM President Al Richmond in his address Wednesday.

Mr. Richmond referenced the Government of Canada’s consultation processes for housing and infrastructure, and the commitment to expand funding for both in the 2016 federal budget. A national housing strategy and increased funding for local infrastructure had been the focus of UBCM resolutions. The president also highlighted involvement by the provincial government in developing a “made in BC” asset management program.  

Richmond noted that recent resolutions endorsed by the membership have influenced outcomes in over 70 policy and program areas over the past year. The move towards the legalization of marijuana, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Children, and provincial funding for wildfire mitigation, were among resolutions referenced by Richmond that have led to results sought by local government.

The UBCM president told delegates that UBCM has delivered its submission to the current federal infrastructure consultation. Key among the recommendations in UBCM's submission is the maintenance by the federal and provincial governments of a 50% and 33% funding commitment respectively.

The continuing stress on the system for local government finance was singled out by Richmond as area in provincial relations where further work is needed. In reference to the Strong Fiscal Futures framework endorsed at the 2013 Convention, Richmond said “there is pressure building on local government finances, and it has to be dealt with."  Richmond also said that new revenue tools are needed.

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