Advocacy Days at the Legislature

UBCM’s Executive was in Victoria at the end of February to raise awareness of key policy priorities. Over two days, Executive members met with 27 MLAs from all parties, including Premier John Horgan, 10 ministers, the leader of the Official Opposition, and both caucus chairs.  Meetings focussed on cannabis revenue sharing, affordable housing, and climate change.

On cannabis, the Executive proposed a short and long term cannabis revenue sharing strategy to address local government administration and policing costs arising from legalization. UBCM advocated for revenue sharing that allows local governments to recover all costs associated with legalization, with no additional costs to the local government taxpayer.  It also called on the Province to provide 40% of the projected provincial excise tax revenue to local governments over the first two years of legalization.

UBCM advocated for continued provincial action on increasing housing supply and managing demand to restore housing affordability throughout BC. It also proposed the regulation of short-term rentals through platform accountability agreements with operators to increase long-term rental stock in communities and curb speculative demand, in line with its housing report.

On climate change, the Executive sought provincial support in building adaptation and mitigation capacity for local governments.  In particular, it called for new and sustained funding for capacity building tools that reduce the risks and impacts of extreme weather events, as well as new programs that support energy efficiency retrofits, electric vehicle charging stations and zero waste strategies.  UBCM also called on the Province to allow existing infrastructure programs to support capital expenses for emergency responses arising from climate change.

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