Friday, January 28, 2022

Province of British Columbia, UBCM team up for review of municipal finance challenges

The Province and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities are preparing to work together to review the local government finance system in British Columbia, a program that they hope will assist municipal governments in remaining resilient the face of economic change.

The initiative which was announced on Wednesday notes of the challenges from COVID and recent weather events as providing for disruptions and challenges at the municipal level.

“From the COVID-19 pandemic to recent extreme weather events, we are all facing new challenges that did not exist a decade ago,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “Through this new agreement, I look forward to making progress together on matters of mutual interest as we work to gain a greater understanding of local government financial resiliency.” --   Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs

The Memorandum of Understanding between the province and UBCM will include a review of the local government finance system, as well as discussions on about cost pressures local governments may be experiencing around attainable housing, community safety and climate change, and the impact of the new economy.


While the Housing component will be of high interest for the City of Prince Rupert,  when it comes to the impact of COVID on the civic treasury, areas which have seen challenges for the city include the Airport Ferry usage, port calls for the Cow Bay Marina and lost revenue on Prince Rupert Transit to name a few areas of note from past monthly financial reviews for Council.

As for a timeline for the work, the joint announcement notes of the following elements to be considered towards the project.

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The framework of their review came out of a UBCM membership endorsed report published in August of 2021

That document offered up 20 recommendations to strengthen the municipal and Regional District finance system.

The project has an initial timeline of three years, at which time it will be reviewed unless the two parties choose to an early review or termination.

More on Wednesday's announcement is available here.

Further items of interest from the province can be explored through our Legislature archive page.

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