Current Policy & Initiatives
UBCM Hosts Public Transit Forum
On June 16th, 2020, BC Transit and TransLink communities came together at a UBCM hosted Forum to discuss shared challenges with providing public transit during a pandemic; the impact on their communities and what is needed to ensure transit remains sustainable into the future. A presentation by BC Transit and TransLink officials lead off the session, followed by remarks from both BC Transit and TransLink mayors, then participants considered a draft principles and recommendations document as a potential way forward.
Province Announces Forestry Consultations
The Province has announced two forest policy engagement processes on:
Deadline for comments on the PMFLP review is July 22; and deadline for comments to the FRPA discussion paper is July 15.
Multi-Year Initiative Underway to Improve Forest Policy
The Province has issued a notice advising that a multi-year initiative is underway to make improvements to the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) legal framework. Initial improvements will begin in early 2019, and continue over several years. The process is in response to concerns and views expressed by many interested groups, including UBCM.
Understanding Thermal Energy Systems
The BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) has issued a fact sheet to help interested parties understand thermal energy systems – how are these systems regulated; guidelines for these types of systems and the implications for local governments.
UBCM Forestry Workshop Discussion Summary
At the 2017 UBCM Convention, UBCM and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations hosted a workshop called Forestry 101: Principles and Opportunities for Strengthening Community Interactions. From the round table discussions at the workshop, a summary report has been prepared highlighting delegate feedback on what improvements have been made in the area of communications/interactions between the Province, industry and communities in regard to forest policy decision-making.
Coastal Ferries Review
One of the identified priorities within the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure’s July 2017 mandate letter is to conduct a comprehensive operating review of the coastal ferry system. Special Advisor, Blair Redlin has been contracted by the Province to conduct the review.
UBCM had an opportunity to meet and present its submission to Mr. Redlin on April 4, 2018. UBCM’s submission is reflective of the policy positions adopted by the membership through its resolutions process and 2014 socio-economic impact analysis of BC Ferries.
Mr. Redlin is expected to report to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure with the results of his review by June 30, 2018.
National Energy Board Modernization
Expert Panel Consultations
The Minister of Natural Resources has been mandated by the Prime Minister to modernize the National Energy Board (NEB) and to ensure that its composition reflects regional views and has sufficient expertise in such fields as environmental science, community development and Indigenous traditional knowledge. An expert panel has been established to consult with intersted parties as part of the review.
UBCM has conveyed a submission to the NEB, based on the resolutions and policy positions that have been adopted by the UBCM membership.
At the 2016 Annual Convention, UBCM members endorsed resolution B76, asking UBCM to advance the use of social procurement practices by local governments. The Community Economic Development Committee is pleased to provide the following links as a starting point for interested communities. This list is by no means exhaustive, and we would encourage those interested to reach out to individual local governments for further information.
Private Moorage Policy
Amendments to Provincial Moorage Program
Notice of amendments to the Private Moorage Program- Jan 2017
Effective January 17, 2017, amendments to the Private Moorage Program will allow for more residential docks to be eligible to be authorized under a “General Permission” rather than an application-driven Crown land tenure. The conditions and requirements are outlined in a notification to UBCM from the Land Tenures Branch at the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.
Forest Policy Decision-Making
Round Table Discussion
Round Table Discussion Summary Document – Nov 2016
At the 2016 UBCM Convention over 200 participants from local government, the Province, forest industries and associations contributed to the discussion at the Monday pre-conference session on forest policy decision-making. A summary document of the round table discussion highlights the feedback from participants when asked the following question:
What steps or actions can communities, industry, and the Province take to improve consultation and engagement opportunities with respect to forest policy decision-making?
The summary document will continue to guide the Community Economic Development Committee in its outreach and engagement activities.
Communication Between Tenure Holders & Local Governments
UBCM surveyed BC local governments in December 2015, to learn about communication and consultation between forest tenure holders and local governments, and the impact of forestry decisions upon local governments. Responses confirmed that better forestry decisions could be made if communities were consulted, and that community engagement can help minimize negative environmental impacts, poor community-tenure holder relations, and land use conflicts. UBCM has conveyed its report on the survey data to the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, and shared the information with the Minister's Advisory Council on Forest and Range Practices.
Local Economic Development Survey
In June 2016, UBCM with the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training (MJTST) and the BC Economic Development Association (BCEDA), jointly released the results of a survey on local economic development. The survey data helps all three organizations better understand where we can support communities in their local economic development efforts.
The three partners (UBCM, MJTST, BCEDA) surveyed local governments on their economic development practices. With over 400 respondents, the survey data provides an excellent overview of different approaches to economic development; how communities support, plan and monitor economic development; and how they identify challenges, opportunities, and areas of focus.
This survey data can be compared to 2009 survey data from UBCM:
- Evaluating the Economic Development Role of BC Local Governments – 2010
- Summary Report: UBCM Economic Development Survey of Local Governments – 2010
The Community Economic Development Committee works on behalf of UBCM members to improve regional economic development opportunities for local governments. As such, the Committee continues to represent and acts as an advocate for communities on economic development issues by monitoring, developing and making recommendations on policy regarding fish, forests, energy, mining, agriculture and water; by connecting communities to emerging economic development opportunities (e.g. value-added, tourism, technology sectors, arts, culture and heritage); and advocating for greater provincial support for job and skills training and retraining efforts.