UBCM Advocacy update

UBCM president Brian Frenkel and members of the Executive have been meeting with Cabinet Ministers to discuss issues identified in our election platform and the Minister’s mandate letters. Thus far UBCM has met with Minister of Municipal Affairs Josie Osborne; Minister of Indigenous Relations & Reconciliation Murray Rankin; and Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Katrine Conroy.

Minister Osborne noted several points of alignment between UBCM’s election platform and provincial priorities. UBCM raised the work of the Local Government Finance Committee and the need for a new conversation on the status of the local government finance system. The Committee began examining revenue tools that will help support LG and provincial action in the areas of housing, climate action and community safety. Once the Committee’s work is completed, UBCM will seek a conversation with the Province on the Committee's recommended options for new revenue sources that support shared local-provincial priorities.

The Minister thanked UBCM for its involvement in the design of Safe Restart funding and its participation in the Development Approvals Process Review. The Minister also recommended that UBCM provide a full briefing of its Climate Action Recommendations to a group of Ministers in the coming weeks.

In the meeting with Minister Rankin, UBCM reviewed the request of local governments for greater clarity with regard to the implementation of the B.C. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act. The delegation also spoke to the need for early consultation with local governments on matters impacting their jurisdiction, noting that they are recognized as an order of government in the Community Charter. Councillor Trish Mandewo, chair of UBCM’s Indigenous Relations Committee joined Councillor Frenkel for this meeting.

In the meeting with Minister Conroy, UBCM addressed the Ministry’s current structure (including Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development) and sought further information on the plans to transition ‘Lands and Natural Resource Operations’ from a Minister of State to full Ministry status, and the timing for that transition.

UBCM also highlighted elements of Minister Conroy’s mandate letter aligning with UBCM policy and noted UBCM’s history of active engagement on many forestry files and expressed interest in continuing to work in partnership with the Minister as she moved forward to implement mandate items such as: support the value-added sector, diversification of local economies and new small business opportunities; modernize forest policy and legislation; and support for rural communities affected by sector downturns and by impacts of the pandemic.

The Minister committed to continued engagement with UBCM and expressed her thanks for the work UBCM is doing to support communities with wildfire mitigation. Councillor Frenkel was joined by First VP and Community Economic Development Committee Chair, Councillor Laurey-Anne Roodenburg.

Meta Navigation