UBCM Executive Meeting Highlights
Mar. 15, 2017
Executive members convened in Victoria over February 22-24 to hold their quarterly Committee and board meetings. Executive members also undertook extensive outreach with Cabinet ministers and MLAs to share UBCM’s 2017 Provincial Election Platform Our Communities: Building BC’s Foundation.
Highlights of the February 24th Executive meeting include:
- received a report highlighting the details of the provincial Throne Speech and Budget of specific interest to local governments.
- received a report on the President’s activities since the last meeting, including his meetings with the Premier, Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Green Party.
- approved the following appointments to the Local Government Contract Management Committee:
– Mayor Malcolm Brodie, City of Richmond
– Councillor Al Siebring, District of North Cowichan
– Milo Macdonald, CAO, City of Williams Lake
– Director Ray Boucher, Fraser Valley Regional District
– Mayor Neil Menard, City of Merritt
- received a report on UBCM’s presentation to the Provincial Commisson on Tax Competitiveness and potential next steps in regard to responding to the forthcoming recommendations from the Commission.
- received correspondence from the City of Vancouver confirming the re-appointment of Councillor Kerry Jang; and correspondence from the Lower Mainland LGA advising of the appointment of Interim President Councillor Jason Lum to the UBCM Executive.
- received a request to appoint a representative to the BC Seismic Safety Council which was referred to the April Executive meeting once further information around the requirements of the appointment were determined.
- received an update on the work underway by the Working Group on Responsible Conduct, comprising UBCM, LGMA and MCSCD to identify potential policy approaches to address the matter. It was noted that a summary report will be presented to upcoming Area Association conference and once feedback is received, a paper will be coming forward to the 2017 UBCM Convention for member consideration.
- received a copy of UBCM’s response to the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC discussion paper on regulatory oversight.
- received the report from the Ad-Hoc Committee on the FCM Travel Fund and approved the proposed recommendations to make some adjustments to the Fund.
- received a status and action report on a variety of policy areas that continue to be monitored by UBCM including; Natural Resource Roads Act; Problem Vessels; New RCMP Labour Relations Regime; Legalization of Marijuana; Electronic Roadside Ticketing; Farm Assessment Report; Auditor General for Local Government; The Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act; Care Home Sprinkler Safety; Farm Assessment – Medical Marijuana Grow Operations; Federal Additions to Reserve Policy; Federal Comprehensive Land Claims Policy; Mental Health and Policing Costs, Emergency Program Act Review; BC Ferries; Agri-Tourism in the ALR, National Enquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigeneous Women and Girls; Licencing of Commercial Dog and Cat Breeding; Auxiliary Constable Program Review; 911 Call Answer Levy; Assessment Appeals: Special Use Properties and the Off Road Vehicle Management Framework.
- received a report on UBCM’s future involvement in FCM International Programs and approved direction to pursue an application conveying UBCM interest in working with the National League of Communes/Sangkats in Cambodia.
- received correspondence from the Office of the Auditor General on proposed audit themes; the federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development confirming receipt of UBCM submission to the National Housing Strategy; and from the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development on local government compensation and cost drivers.
- received the financial report for the period ending December 31, 2016
- received a staff report on recent activities and updates for the Local Government Program Services and the Gas Tax Fund.
- received a delegation from the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, the Honourable Peter Fassbender and staff, at which the following were discussed: Clean Water and Wastewater Fund, Small Communities Fund, funding for local museums to support Canada 150 and the appointment of David Emerson as BC’s special envoy on softwood lumber. Executive members shared the UBCM’s provincial election advocacy platform with the Minister.
Highlights of the February 23rd Committee meetings:
The Committee provided direction on: the 2017 Community Excellence Awards program categories; 2016 referred resolutions and development of a youth engagement strategy. Reports on UBCM financials, member services and benefits and intergovernmental relations were also received by the Committee. In addition to receiving a delegation from Mayor Nils Jensen, Oak Bay and Chair, Mayors’ Caucus, the Committee approved development of an endowment agreement with the Local Government Leadership Association; development of a partnership agreement with Asset Management BC; and approved increased funding to the Jeff McKelvey Scholarship Fund, to support local government staff pursuing professional development.
The Committee completed its assessment of the 2016 Convention and reviewed programming items for 2017 such as the theme, keynote speaker options, provision of on-site childcare and banquet entertainment. Catering selections and financial statements for the period ending December 31, 2016 were also discussed.
The Committee received a delegation from the Executive Director of the BC Hazardous Materials Association, regarding resolution 2016-B143. It made recommendations on this and another referred resolution from the 2016 Convention. The Committee also received information on the new land based spill response regime, contaminated sites, and climate action.
Community Economic Development Committee
The Committee provided recommendations on four referred resolutions from the 2016 Convention; discussed actions underway to advance advocacy efforts around greater community consultation and engagement on forest policy decision-making; approved development of a submission to the Expert Panel of the National Energy Board on modernization; and received a report on old growth discussions with provincial staff.
Committee members received correspondence related to changes to private moorage policy and will be supporting Smithers in their request to BC Ferries to extend daytime summer sailings on the northern service route. In response to member concerns about two tier electricity rates a meeting will be held with the BC Utilities Commission. Members received information on: Connect to Innovate: a federal broadband program; a new tool called SpaceFinder BC to connect the arts and culture sector with studio space; appointment of David Emerson at the BC special envoy on softwood lumber and $150 million allocation to the Forest Enhancement Society for reforestation work.
Healthy Communities Committee
The Committee considered courses of action for three referred resolutions approved at 2016 Convention, and made recommendations on two referred resolutions that were not considered at the Convention due to time constraints. The Committee also received an update on the legalization of marijuana and considered options for communicating local government concerns on this issue to federal and provincial officials. Correspondence was also received concerning health care service delivery and a physiotherapy program at the University of Northern BC.
Community Safety Committee
The Committee received a delegation from the Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness, the Honourable Naomi Yamamoto. The Committee and Minister Yamamoto discussed floodplain management, floodplain mapping, and UBCM resolutions requesting flood mitigation funding, in addition to UBCM’s five advocacy priorities. A delegation from the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General provided a presentation on the Province’s Road Safety Initiative, which includes electronic roadside ticketing.
The Committee discussed updates on the process to legalize marijuana; the new RCMP labour relations regime; changes to the Auxiliary Constable Program; liquor policy developments; and referred resolutions and resolutions requesting UBCM action. In particular, Committee members considered options for engaging federal and provincial orders of government to convey concerns regarding marijuana legalization.
First Nations Relations Committee
The Committee considered two referred resolutions from the 2016 Convention; received updates on Additions to Reserve Policy; discussed follow up actions from their January 16 meeting with Minister Rustad and their continued work to support the partnership with Reconciliation Canada in providing the Reconciliation Dialogue Workshops. Members also discussed plans for the 2017 Province Wide Community to Community Forum set for June 6, 2017 at the Musqueam Community Centre; and requested receiving a delegation from the University of Victoria to discuss their proposal for an Indigenous Law Program.
Decisions on Resolutions Referred to the UBCM Executive
1. Resolutions requesting UBCM action
UBCM members endorsed several resolutions at the 2016 Annual Convention that request action from UBCM. UBCM members also referred selected resolutions directly to the UBCM Executive for consideration. The Executive made decisions on specific follow up action on these resolutions at their February 2017 meeting.
B2 No Forced Amalgamations
Executive decision: Write to all party leaders seeking confirmation of their commitment around no forced amalgamations.
B5 Fire Underwriters Survey Equipment Requirements
Executive decision: Write to the Fire Underwriters Survey to discuss the need for more flexible fire protection standards.
B53 Accessible Building Code
Executive decision: Contact the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development to determine whether tools or resources are currently available to assist local governments to incorporate accessibility guidelines into their official community plans.
B70 Integrity Commissioner for Local Government
Executive decision: Referred to the Working Group on Responsible Conduct (report coming forward to 2017 Convention).
B73 Gas Tax Holdbacks
Executive decision: Raise the issue of holdback when renegotiations of the Gas Tax Agreement next come forward.
B76 Social Procurement
Executive decision: Provide links to social procurement policies and templates on the community economic development section of the UBCM website.
B98 Transgender Rights
Executive decision: Identify existing local government best practices and share them with the UBCM membership.
B103 Code of Conduct for Conferences and Events
Executive decision: Referred to April Executive meeting, with staff to investigate and report back on legal and human resources implications.
B119 Income Assistance
Executive decision: Referred to April Executive meeting, to enable review of the provincial response to this resolution prior to deciding on a course of action.
B125 Saving Lives Through Organ Donation
Executive decision: Release a Compass article to outline steps that local governments can take to promote organ donation.
B126 Eliminate Fees for Prostate-specific Antigen Testing and Declare September Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
Executive decision: Promote prostate cancer awareness on the UBCM website annually during September.
2. Resolutions referred due to time constraints
Due to time constraints, certain resolutions were not debated at the 2016 Convention, and in accordance with the Convention Rules and Procedures for Handling Resolutions, the resolutions were referred automatically to the UBCM Executive for consideration. The Executive made decisions on these resolutions at their February 2017 meeting.
Resolutions endorsed by the Executive will be conveyed to the appropriate order of government or organization.
B129 Cigarette Butt Deposit Return Program – Endorsed
B130 Reinstatement of PST Exemption for Electric Bicycles – Endorsed
B131 Adult Education – Referred to April 2017 Executive meeting, with staff to conduct further research and report back on provincial funding for adult basic education.
B134 Bus Passes – Endorsed as Amended
Therefore be it resolved that the cost of transportation assistance not be deducted from disability assistance.
B135 Affordable Homes and Property Transfer Tax – Not Endorsed
B136 Housing Affordability – Endorsed
B137 Tenant Evictions Through Renovations – Referred to April 2017 Executive meeting, with staff to conduct further research and report back.
B139 BC Family Day – Referred back to the sponsor with additional information provided to consider resubmitting for 2017 Convention consideration.
B141 Highways Maintenance – Endorsed as Amended
Therefore be it resolved that the provincial government retain these skilled jobs by awarding maintenance contracts for highways, roads and bridges to companies that will maintain the employment and successorship rights which will benefit local economies; subject to the Province meeting its existing domestic and international trade agreement obligations, specifically recognizing procurement thresholds.
B142 Tax Exemption for Emergency Preparedness Kits – Not Endorsed
B143 Asbestos and Hazardous Material Removal – Endorsed
B144 Reflective Products for Non-professional Road Users – Not Endorsed
B145 Extending the Civil Resolution Tribunal to Tenancy – Not Endorsed
B146 Graduated Licensing for Motorcycles – Endorsed
B147 Unconditional Local Government Grants – Referred to the 2017 UBCM Convention for Member Consideration