UBCM Executive meeting highlights

The UBCM Executive held its quarterly Committee and board meetings virtually over May 18-21. Executive members also met with Cabinet Ministers and MLAs from all parties to share local government perspectives on three priorities - UNDRIP implementation; local government finance; and the response to the mental health and opioid crises - as part of UBCM’s eighth annual Advocacy Days.

Highlights of the May 21st Executive meeting include:

  • received a report from the President on his activities since the February Executive meeting.  The President also noted that board member, Councillor Laura Dupont, LMLGA representative, has taken a leave of absence from the Executive to seek federal office.
  • received a status and action report on a variety of policy areas that continue to be monitored by UBCM, including: wrecked, abandoned or hazardous vessels; cannabis taxation revenue sharing; 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 murdered and missing aboriginal women and girls; revitalization of the ALR and ALC; new RCMP labour relations regime; Emergency Program Act review; Police Act review; RCMP Auxiliary program – BC model; vessel operation restriction regulations; railway grade crossings; and, NAV Canada’s Level of Service Study.
  • received a report on new provincial legislation put forward in the current sitting of the House of interest to local governments.
  • received an update from the Working Group on Responsible Conduct.
  • received an update on the housing file noting relevant federal and provincial budget announcements, addressing the application of paramountcy in Penticton, and providing an update on the status of the short-term rental advisory group.
  • received a report and staff analysis of the provincial responses to the 2020 resolutions.  
  • received an update on the work of the Select Committee on Local Government Finance noting provincial participation moving forward.
  • received an update on UBCM’s involvement in the FCM International Program and specifically UBCM’s work with the National League of Communities in Cambodia.
  • received the financial report for the period ending March 31, 2021.
  • received reports on Victoria Operations including status of the Gas Tax Funding Program as well as various Local Government Program Services.
  • received a report on staff activities since the last meeting in February.
  • Approved legal assistance funding to District of Highlands in the appeal of OK Industries v. District of Highlands
  • received correspondence from the BC Urban Mayors’ Caucus regarding requests to the Province for a deadline extension for municipal and OTA tax collection.
  • received a delegation from Premier John Horgan and Minister of Municipal Affairs, Hon. Josie Osborne to discuss UBCM’s three advocacy priorities and the recent provincial announcement to end the Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program (CARIP).

 

Highlights of the May 18-20 Committee meetings include:

Presidents

The Presidents Committee received reports on the 2021 Excellence Awards Program, staffing, member service and group benefits programs, quarterly financials and approved renewal of the Asset Management BC Partnership Agreement. The Committee authorized the transfer of funds to cover a deficit incurred as a result of the 2020 Convention; approved direction to undertake a UBCM governance review; and will be seeking consideration of resolution 2020-NR6 at the upcoming Convention related to establishing an Independent Office of Integrity for Local Government. Members also discussed provincial action to invoke paramountcy to address a housing issue, noting a letter had been written to Minister Eby in response; and the recent provincial announcement to end the Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program (CARIP). Correspondence was received from the BC Urban Mayors’ Caucus and recommended the following term appointments to the Local Government Contract Management Committee:

Category 1 (Over 15,000, from LMD & Metro Vancouver) 

• Cecilia Achiam, General Manager of Community Safety, City of Richmond (2-year term)

• Dave Critchley, Director of Public Safety and Community Services, City of Burnaby (3-year term)

Category 2 (Over 15,000, from LMD & Outside Metro Vancouver) 

• Mike Younie, Chief Administrative Officer, District of Mission (3-year term)

Category 3 (Over 15,000, from Outside LMD) 

• Byron McCorkell, Community and Protective Services Director, City of Kamloops (3-year term)

• Mayor Al Siebring, District of North Cowichan (2-year term)

Category 4 (5,000 – 15,000) 

• Mayor Linda Brown, City of Merritt (3-year term)

• Mayor Ange Qualizza, City of Fernie (2-year term) 

Category 5 (Regional District) 

• Chair Brad Sperling, Peace River Regional District (2-year term)

Category 6 (Under 5,000)

• Mayor David Wilks, District of Sparwood (2-year term)

Community Economic Development Committee

The Community Economic Development Committee received reports on BC’s aquaculture sector; the Province-NDIT-UBCM Internet Speed Study being carried out; Regional Connectivity Knowledge Network (RCKN) activities regarding advocacy to improve Internet connectivity, and connectivity planning. Members also discussed forest policy noting UBCM appointments LNRO Roundtable and the Mass Timber Advisory Council and discussed ongoing conflicts related to old growth forests.  The Committee will be writing the Managed Forest Council to seek an update following a review of the Private Managed Forest Land Act Program. Discussed UBCM involvements related to BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) inquiry into local government energy utilities; BC Hydro’s rate application for LED street lighting; and UBCM participation in FortisBC Resource Planning Advisory Group. 

Community Safety Committee

The Community Safety Committee received a report and a delegation from the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General regarding the status of the ongoing Police Act review. Members also considered referred resolutions pertaining to various community safety issues. Other issues discussed included policing issues of relevance to local governments; the new Firearms Violence Prevention Act; emergency management; cannabis policy updates; changes to liquor policy; and the decriminalization of illicit drugs.

Health and Social Development Committee

The Health and Social Development Committee received a delegation from the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions on the development of the Province’s substance use framework. A second delegation was received from Honourable Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development & Poverty Reduction and Parliamentary Secretary Dan Coulter, to discuss the accessibility legislation and the impact on local governments. Reports were received on Health Canada’s proposed vaping regulations; the local government child care resource guide; and the national active transportation strategy consultation. Correspondence was received from Comox Valley Regional District on the Enhancement of BC’s Child Care System.

Environment Committee

The Environment Committee received a delegation from the Community Energy Association (CEA) to discuss the organization’s activities and initiatives, including the work of the BC Municipal Climate Leadership Council. Reports were also received on climate action and the federal Oceans Protection Plan. 

Indigenous Relations

The Indigenous Relations Committee received a delegation from the First Nations Summit, discussed the Community-to-Community Forum program, and provided direction the review of an MOU with the Province on engagement with local governments. The Committee also received updates on the Federal and Provincial Budgets.

Convention

The Convention Committee received reports on the Convention program, an overview of the virtual set up and planning, entertainment, and financial reports.  The committee provided recommendations on the budget.  The Committee discussed and gave feedback regarding entertainment, speaker gifts, and program elements.

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