Tuesday, September 22, 2015

UBCM convention makes for five days of discussion on municipal issues

This week is UBCM week in Vancouver, as the province's largest city plays host to the annual convention and trade show, with municipal politicians from across the province, including the North Coast and Haida Gwaii making the journey south.

Registration and a few opening events took place on Monday, but the real heart of the agenda topics, planning sessions, speeches and meeting with Provincial officials kicks off today.

As you might expect at a gathering of politicians, speeches make up the marquee aspect the week with a number of keynote speakers set to address the delegates.

The speakers list looks as follows

Wednesday -- Dr. Roberta Bondar
Wednesday -- Address from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities President
Wednesday -- Address from Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development

Thursday -- Address by John Horgan, Leader of the Provincial Opposition
Thursday -- Address by the Leader of the Green Party of British Columbia

Friday -- Address by the Premier of British Columbia Christy Clark

The full UBCM Agenda of activities, seminars and various sessions can be examined here.

On the provincial side of the event, the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development will have a large presence through the next four days, hosting seminars on a range of topics that communities across the province may find of interest.

Among them information sessions on such things as, Infrastructure Planning Grant Program
the Small Communities Fund, the Community Employer Partnership program and Economic Development Programs and Services.

You can review the full list of items available with the Province here.

Of particular note for Northwest communities, tomorrow's session on Infrastructure Planning and Grant opportunities and Thursday's session on Transportation infrastructure improvements.

One key aspect of the UBCM get together is the morning set aside to discuss a range of resolutions provided by municipal and regional governments from across the province.

This year, the convention will focus on thirteen pages of resolutions for delegates to review
(see them here from page 77 to 87 of the Resolutions Book)

Of those eleven pages, a number of Northwest communities, regional governments and the North Central Local Government Association have submitted a range of items for consideration of the delegate.

The resolutions can be found below, the page number for further background follows:

Stewart -- Emergency Management BC Flood Protection Program ( pg 102 )
Stewart/Kitimat-Stikine RD -- Waiving Royalties for Gravel Extraction in Flood Hazard Areas
( pg 172 )

Telkwa -- Recall of Local Government Elected Officials ( pg 169 )

Terrace -- Poverty Reduction Strategy for British Columbia ( pg 131 )
Terrace -- Mental Health and Addictions drain on Policing Resources ( pg 210 )

Bulkley Valley - Nechako -- British Columbia Fire Service Minimum Training Standards  ( pg 99)
Bulkley Valley - Nechako -- Reforestation of Productive Agricultural Land ( pg 148 )
Bulkley Valley - Nechako -- Mountain Pine Beetle Impacted Communities ( pg 151 )
Bulkley Valley - Nechako -- BC Emergency Response Management System ( pg 161 )
Bulkley Valley - Nechako -- Rural Inspection and Enforcement of Fire Service Act Regulations
( pg 199 )

SQCRD -- Liquefied Natural Gas Sitting Standards and Best Practices ( pg 208 )
SQCRD -- Marine-Related Emergency Response Standards ( pg 208 )

NCLGA -- Increasing Rail Transportation Safety ( pg 107 )
NCLGA -- Human Trafficking ( pg 140 )
NCLGA -- Rape Culture in Canada ( pg 161 )

There are no resolution contributions from the City of Prince Rupert or District of Port Edward listed among those under consideration for the sessions taking place from Wednesday through Friday.

At the end of the convention, those resolutions approved by the delegates are forwarded to the provincial government for consideration, the response to those items forwarded for review from 2014 can be found here.

Delegates will also be electing the new executive for UBCM for the year ahead. Among the Northwest nominees for available positions are:

Councillor Phil Brienesse -- Smithers -- For Director At Large
Director Alison Sayers -- Central Coast -- For Director at Large
Mayor Galina Durant -- Stewart  -- For Small Community Representative

When they aren't taking part in the expansive schedule of events, delegates can wander around the Vancouver Convention Centre Hall and take in the various displays from the Trade Show which runs concurrent to the UBCM meeting.

As the week moves forward, we'll update our notes on UBCM developments from our archive page here.

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