Message from Mayor Maja Tait, UBCM president
It is my great pleasure to welcome delegates to the 2020 UBCM Convention.
We are doing things differently this year to uphold provincial health guidelines. While it is impossible to recreate the experience of an in-person Convention, we have made every effort to adjust the agenda for the annual meeting to work within an online format.
Our agenda this year highlights the key issues facing communities in British Columbia, and the steps that are needed collectively by all levels of government to address those challenges. Throughout the meeting we will be pleased to hear from the Premier, the Leader of the Opposition, and the Green Party. We appreciate the strong support by all parties for this year’s online format.
Evaluation is critical each year after convention, and it will be even more so this year given the new format for meeting. Please take time at the conclusion of the meeting to share your perspective to guide our planning for next year should pandemic health and safety guidelines still be in place.
I thank you for your participation this year, and wish you all the best throughout our annual meeting.
Mayor Maja Tait
Message from Premier John Horgan
On behalf of the Government of British Columbia, welcome to the 2020 Union of British Columbia Municipalities Convention.
This year, the Convention looks quite different. I want to thank the UBCM Executive and staff who worked hard to bring us together virtually and make sure this year’s convention is dynamic, interactive and engaging for everyone.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge us in ways we never expected. It also reminds us that the strong economic foundation and partnerships we built in better times will help us today. Now, more than ever, it’s important that we come together as provincial representatives and UBCM members to work on the issues that matter to British Columbians.
The landscape of our province has changed significantly since last year, but our government’s commitment to British Columbians has not. With your support, we are building a recovery that will get people back to work quickly, while also making our province more resilient and prepared for the future.
This year’s theme, “Diversity by Design” reminds us that we must listen to diverse perspectives, work with a broad spectrum of organizations, businesses and levels of government, and think innovatively, to build our province back stronger. My colleagues and I are here to listen to you, learn from you and share ideas on how we get there.
Just as we have gotten through this unprecedented time together, we will rebuild, together.
Honourable John Horgan
Premier of British Columbia
Message from Selena Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Welcome to the 2020 Union of British Columbia Municipalities Convention. I’m excited to attend my fourth UBCM convention as Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
Things will look much different than any other UBCM convention in history. I want to thank and acknowledge the UBCM Executive and the UBCM staff for the incredible task of taking the UBCM convention to a virtual format. It was a tremendous amount of work and I am grateful for their commitment to making this happen.
Our government recognizes that local governments across B.C. have been facing unprecedented challenges as a result of COVID-19, and we recognize the critical role local government councils and boards, and local government staff, continue to play in responding to this crisis, helping people in need, providing essential services and helping restore economic activity.
Given this year’s challenges, I think the conference theme, “Diversity by Design” is fitting. Now is the time for us to be open to new ideas.
I’m looking forward to hearing diverse perspectives on how to tackle the urgent issues we’re all facing. The pandemic has laid bare significant social issues that we were making progress on, but have become even more urgent as a result of the pandemic. We need to think diversely about our economic recovery and we certainly have to keep paying attention to the climate crisis. I look forward to hearing about the opportunities you see for us not just to return to a pre-pandemic “normal”, but to make things better. Our government will be listening to you so that we can respond quickly to the evolving needs of your communities.
We will continue to work with you because, together, we will get B.C. back on track, and ensure that every community recovers stronger than before.
I’m grateful for your ongoing partnership, for the important discussions to be had during the convention, and for your commitment to serving people in your communities.
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Minister Responsible for TransLink