UBCM Executive meeting highlights

Executive members met for the first time in a virtual format for their quarterly Committee and board meetings. Executive members also met by teleconference with Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Honourable Selina Robinson as part of their Executive meeting.

Highlights of the May 22nd Executive meeting include

 

  • received a report on the President’s activities since the last meeting noting the extensive meetings with FCM and provincial officials and media inquiries in response to COVID-19 and its impact on local governments.
  • reported out on extensive advocacy work undertaken in response to financial challenges identified by members in response to the pandemic.
  • received a report on provincial legislation and policy of interest to local government; noting that a number of Ministerial Orders had been issued over the past few months to respond to the declared state of emergency.
  • received a report highlighting the details of the provincial legislation of specific interest to local governments.
  • received a report on the 2020 Advocacy Days initiative held as part of the February 2020 Executive meeting.
  • received a status and action report on a variety of policy areas that continue to be monitored by UBCM including: vessel operation restriction regulations; wrecked, abandoned or hazardous vessels; 911 emergency communications service delivery; RCMP auxiliary program; auditor general for local government; the Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act; federal additions to reserve policy; federal comprehensive and specific land claims policy; national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls; licensing of commercial dog and cat breeding; assessment appeals: special use properties; revitalization of the ALR; new RCMP labour relations regime and Emergency Program Act Review.
  • received a report and staff analysis of the provincial responses to the 2019 resolutions.  The provincial responses are assessed and placed into one of six categories. Further details on the provincial responses will be reported out in the Annual Report. Detailed provincial responses can be found here.  
  • received a report on the status of the Select Committee on Local Government Finance noting the Committee has focused on three strategic areas: housing, climate change and community safety.
  • received three reports from Presidents Committee summarizing directions taken via conference call to discuss virtual May Executive meeting plans; UBCM Operations; UBCM outreach to local government on financial challenges; FCM advocacy activities; 2020 Convention options; provincial actions in response to local government financial concerns and member response to provincial actions.
  • received an update on 911 emergency communications service delivery, noting CRTC requirements and deadlines that the Province will need to meet.
  • received an update on housing, detailing recent federal and provincial actions to put supports in place for renters and homeowners in response to COVID-19; the impact of the pandemic on housing prices, demand and supply; and confirmed that the work of the Short-Term Rentals advisory group is paused until September.
  • received an update on FCM’s International Programs noting that limited work can be undertaken with the suspension on international travel, but UBCM has continued to provide feedback on the Cambodian association’s work program.
  • received an update on the ALR/ALC since amendments were made through Bills 52 and 15 noting that staff have been engaged in a number of working groups with the Ministry of Agriculture.
  • received the financial report for the period ending March 31, 2020
  • received a staff report on recent activities and updates for the Local Government Program Services and the Gas Tax Fund noting that program delivery was continuing during the COVID-19 emergency; and that extensions were being provided to local governments unable to meet 2019 annual expenditure reporting due to the current circumstances.
  • received for information, correspondence from Capital RD and Powell River city related to infrastructure stimulus and from Port Coquitlam on UBCM’s decision on foreign sponsorship at Convention.
  • received a report on staff activities since the last Executive meeting.
  • received a report on UBCM sponsored and supported spring conferences.
  • received a delegation from the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and discussed the following matters: COVID-19 Pandemic with reference to BC’s Restart Plan; Local Government Finance Issues; Economic Recovery and Engagement with Local Governments and the 2020 UBCM Convention.

Highlights of the May 19-21 Committee meetings

Presidents Committee

Presidents Committee received a report on UBCM member outreach to determine the financial challenges being faced in response to COVID-19 and noted that feedback was shared with the broader membership and the Province. Recognizing the impact of the pandemic, adjustments were made to 2019-2020 work plan; approved direction for the 2020 Community Excellence Awards Program; approved co-hosting a webinar with FCM to update members on the Toward Parity initiative.  Members also received reports on staffing, quarterly financial reports, investment update, member services and group benefits and pension plan partners working group.

The Committee also met jointly with the Convention Committee to discuss the 2020 Convention and those recommendations are reported out under the Convention Committee.

Convention Committee

The Convention Committee met jointly with the Presidents Committee to receive a report on the 2020 Convention in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Convention and Presidents Committees recommended to Executive that a virtual format be approved for the Convention and that it be scheduled for September 22-24, 2020. The Convention Committee also received a report which outlined the elements that can be included virtually for Convention and recommended moving forward as presented for Executive approval.  The Convention Program was also revisited and the big blocks of time allocated to allow for the virtual format and shortened delivery days.  The Committee also provided recommendations on the preliminary budget and future Convention dates which were brought forward to Executive.

Environment Committee

The Committee reviewed a report on caribou recovery planning advising that the Province had amended the partnership agreement to clarify the role of local governments in caribou recovery. A report was also received on the Special Committee on Climate Action. The Special Committee has met eight times since August 2019; and is working to finalize the mitigation and adaptation recommendations that will form a roadmap for local government climate action.

Community Economic Development Committee

Committee members discussed the impact of COVID-19 on communities noting that the Province had established a Economic Recovery Task Force. Committee expressed interest in working with the Province, other economic development organizations to provide tools and resources to support local governments and will be seeking further information about the role of the Premier’s Economic Recovery Task Force. 

The Committee also received reports on the Caribou Recovery Plan; received a forest policy update; advised that the 2020 local economic development survey would be deferred to the fall 2020; noted a new funding stream had been added to the Connecting British Columbia to address network upgrades in underserved communities; and advised that UBCM would work with Commercial Energy Consumers Association to raise local government issues to BC Hydro’s Phase 2 Interim Plan review.  Committee members were advised of a meeting held between UBCM and federal Minister Monsef to discuss rural economic development, specifically connectivity challenges and needs in BC.

Health and Social Development Committee

The Committee reviewed a report on pre-hospital emergency care, which noted that the Provincial Health Officer has issued, and then amended, a public health order that affected the dispatch of fire first responders due to concerns over the transmission of COVID-19. The Committee also received an update on the Child Care Resource Guide, which noted that the project will be completed by June and a webinar will be developed for July. A third report was received on a vaping guide for local governments.

Community Safety Committee

The Community Safety Committee considered two referred resolutions pertaining to school bus safety, following the February 2020 release of a report from the federal Task Force on School Bus Safety. Members also received reports regarding emergency management; bylaw enforcement; liquor policy; cannabis policy; and, various policing issues including labour relations, auxiliary policing, federal policing resources; and items discussed by the Local Government Contract Management Committee.

Indigenous Relations Committee

The Committee considered reports on Indigenous community needs and responses to COVID-19, federal and provincial supports and the Wet’suwet’en MOU. The Committee also received an update on the Urban Communities Partnering for Reconciliation pilot program and correspondence with the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations regarding proposed legislation on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Resolutions Committee

The Resolutions Committee considered the implications of a virtual Convention on the resolutions process. The Committee will use the 2020 virtual Convention as an opportunity to introduce changes to the resolutions process; gauge member response to those changes; and use that response to feed into the overall resolutions process review that would carry over into next year’s work plan. The Resolutions Committee will also include a modified notation in the 2020 Resolutions Book that indicates if a resolution was submitted to an Area Association by their deadline, or submitted directly to UBCM by June 30. This change is in light of the fact that the Area Association Conventions were cancelled, so there are no outcomes (e.g. Endorsed, Not Presented) to note in the UBCM Resolutions Book in 2020.

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