Friday, August 13, 2021

Northwest Communities to bring range of Resolutions to UBCM convention for 2021

In just one month, British Columbia's municipal officials will log on once again for the 2021 edition of the UBCM Convention, the annual event once again to be a virtual gathering, as it was last year owing to concerns over COVID.

The five day event which his year takes place from September 13-17,  is normally an in person event, offering a chance for elected officials and their civic staff to share ideas and take advantage of the access offered up by a week of politicking to speak to provincial cabinet members and Federal representatives, an element that is still possible, though by remote virtual hook up, which probably isn't as desirable as the one on one in person opportunities of the past.

One element of convention week is when municipal governments across British Columbia provide for those areas of concern to them that they share with their municipal partners in the Resolutions part of convention week, which this year will come on Wednesday September 15 and 16.

The Resolutions Book, which charts the course for this years convention was released on Thursday and when it comes to those resolutions, the City of Prince Rupert will seemingly play the role of listener rather than provider of content, with no contributions for 2021 listed for Mayor Lee Brain and his Council membership.

They aren't alone when it comes to sitting out on the content development for 2021, with the District of Port Edward and North Coast Regional District also absent from the Index of Resolution Sponsors for this year.

Of the over 170 Resolutions which were received by the June 30th submission date, Six come directly from the Northwest, with another three a collective approach from the North Central Local Government Association.

The City of Terrace has two resolutions up for Consideration:

C22 related to Housing Models for Seniors -- Be it resolved that the UBCM lobby BC Housing to investigate new affordable housing models for seniors in northern communities. 

EB71 which provides for discussion on a Long-Term Strategy to address Homelessness -- Be it resolved that the UBCM lobby the provincial government to develop a long-term strategy to eliminate homelessness, and in the meantime, fund year-round day programming and drop in spaces for the homeless population.

The District of Kitimat is sponsoring two resolutions as well:

EB40 which explores CleanBC Support for Northern and Rural Communities -- Be it resolved the UBCM lobby the Province of BC to provide greater support of resources, training, and capacity-building for northern, remote, and rural communities as they work towards meeting the CleanBC Plan goals, in particular the aspects of Cleaner Transportation and Better Buildings. 

NR13 which will explore the topic of Dangerous Dog Legislation in British Columbia -- Be it resolved the UBCM petition the Province of BC and relevant Provincial Ministries to amend legislation in the Community Charter with regards to dangerous dogs to allow for conditional orders by judges, which would provide the Courts alternative means of dealing with dangerous dogs if they are deemed to not be an unacceptable risk to the public, and to also allow animal control officers additional powers to seize and re-home dangerous dogs, and to determine destruction when a serious injury and/or death has occurred. 

Bulkley Nechako Regional District has had success with two resolutions for consideration: 

EB 7 on the topic of a 911 Call Answer Levy -- Be it resolved that UBCM petition the Province of BC to enact a provincial 911 levy to include the collection of monthly charges from mobile devices, and provide these funds directly to local government 911 service providers.  

EB 61 that will address Adequate Staffing in Communities when it comes to Emergency Health Services -- Be it resolved that UBCM lobby the Province of British Columbia and BC Emergency Health Services to establish a staffing model that ensures adequate staffing levels are in place and remain within the rural community boundary before the BC Emergency Health Services prioritization model can be enacted. 

The North Central Local Government Association has brought three Resolutions to the Discussion table for convention time:

EB 2 on the topic of WorkSafe BC Coverage for Local Government Officials -- Be it resolved that UBCM request the Province of BC amend the WorkSafe BC health, safety and COVID- 19 regulations to provide coverage for local elected officials.

EB 5 which explores the need for Timely Information to Local Governments During Local/Provincial States of Emergency -- Be it resolved that UBCM lobby the BC Government to find ways/means to have accurate and more timely community-based information that can be shared with local governments and their residents during declared local and provincial states of emergency. 

EB 18 a Resolution seeking to strengthen Rail Safety in British Columbia -- Be it resolved that UBCM and FCM request that Transport Canada review and consult with local governments on the safe transport of hazardous goods by rail in BC, in order to strengthen safety requirements and reduce the risk to BC communities and the environment in the event they are faced with a rail emergency.  

The Central Coast Regional District also has Resolutions up for Review, they include:

NR 33 seeking Funding for compliance with Landfill Operation and Closure Legislation -- Be it resolved that UBCM call upon the Province of British Columbia to provide the necessary resources to local governments for landfill compliance related projects so that landfills may be operated and retired in an environmentally sound manner and obligations to First Nations may be better met in acknowledgment of Indigenous rights and title to impacted lands and water. 

NR62 which is looking to secure funding for small communities to attend UBCM -- Be it resolved that UBCM consider creating a fund to support local governments who experience significant challenges allocating funds to send representatives to the UBCM annual convention.  

You can review the details related to all of the Resolutions from communities across British Columbia from the UBCM 2021 Resolutions book here.

How the UBCM executive is approaching the Resolution portion of convention week is explained here.

Learn more about the 2021 Convention week planning here.

As we have in years past, we will chart notes on this years convention from an archive page which we have created and you can find here.

More notes on City of Prince Rupert themes is available from our Council Discussion archive page.

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