UBCM 2018 – The full report.

Final Updates – Meetings with EMBC and Ministers and the Plastic and Marine Response Resolutions.

This is the final update for this report. I ‘ve updated the whole document so that the headings are by day in reverse order, with Friday starting after this section and Sunday at the bottom.

Definitely the best part of the week came on Friday morning.  We went through a huge amount of Resolutions very quickly (which is an indication of unanimous support, or nearly).

Important Resolutions Considered:

Some highlights were the West Coast Marine Response motion that the City of Port Alberni brought forward in April to AVICC.  It received near unanimous assent from the provincial delegates. You can see more about that motion in my notes from AVICC and this news report.  I was also interviewed about it on CBC Radio on September 18.

There was also a very important motion from the Central Coast Regional District and backed up by a motion off the floor from Director Tony Bennett of Long Beach urging the Federal Government to initiate funding transfers to First Nations in order to make up the infrastructure deficit in rural communities. See more here:

“The CCRD’s resolution asks the federal government to make up the shortfall in its general operation funding by representing the residents that live on reserve and provide the remaining funds in the form of federal transfer payments.

The resolution carried unanimously with no speakers against,” said [Allison] Sayers. “It was followed immediately by an off-the-floor resolution calling on UBCM to hold a provincial community to community forum on the resolution with local government and First Nations governing bodies, as well as a three hour workshop on the topic at 2019 convention.”

And Finally I brought forward the Ocean Plastics resolution right after Director Bennet’s resolution. It passed very strongly.  

Friday – Hoping we can get through all the resolutions and get to the Off the Floor and our Plastics Resolution!

B118 Protection of Native West Coast Salmon 

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM urge the Province of British Columbia to enact legislation that would protect British Columbia’s wild salmon stock from the negative impacts of commercial salmon farms. – Motion Passed

B119 Upgrade Flood Infrastructure to Consider Fish and LMLGA Executive Access to Fish Habitat

Therefore be it resolved that the provincial government be requested to improve their oversight of flood infrastructure maintenance and improvements, to include consideration of ecological connectivity and aquatic ecosystem health; 

And be it further resolved that the provincial government initiate infrastructure funding priorities and partnerships that support the installation of fish-friendly infrastructure in those locations where aging or inadequate infrastructure requires upgrading or replacement. – Motion Passed

B120 Mine and Quarry Siting Restrictions 

Therefore be it resolved that the Province legislate enforceable and mandatory landfill siting restrictions in the Environmental Management Act so that no waste permit, approval, or Operational Certificate can be issued for filling a mine pit with waste over a porous or sensitive aquifer. – Motion Passed

B121 Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracking 

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM petition the Province to place a moratorium on any additional fracking wells and to actively promote conversion to alternative green energy development. – Motion Defeated

B122 West Coast Marine Spill Response Guarantee 

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM ask the provincial and federal governments to guarantee funding for the construction and operation of the marine response facilities including those steered by First Nations, so that those jobs and the world class ocean protection they provide are guaranteed. – Motion Passed

B123 Streamlined Process for Sediment Management – Flood Mitigation 

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM lobby the provincial government and federal government to work with local governments to streamline the regulatory processes and develop management guidelines, best practices, policies, and regulations to permit local governments to perform sediment and obstruction removal work, in the most minimally disturbing way to aquatic habitats, in streambeds in order to minimize flooding during heavy-rain events; 

And be it further resolved that the development of these stream-bed management guidelines, best practices, policies, and regulations be given high priority. – Motion Passes

B124 Reclaimed Water Use 

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM lobby the provincial government to implement provincial policy that requires, where reasonably available, the use of reclaimed water for operations such as dust control, agricultural irrigation, and industrial uses, prior to the use of potable or fresh water. 

B125 Water Conservation in New Buildings 

Therefore be it resolved that the provincial government update the Building Code to make the installation of waterless urinals mandatory in all new dwellings built.  – Motion Passes

B126 Provincial Single-Use Item Reduction Strategy 

Therefore be it resolved that the Province of British Columbia engage the package industry

develop a provincial Single-Use Item Reduction Strategy as part of a provincial Zero Waste Strategy, which would include but not necessarily be limited to plastic and paper shopping bags, polystyrene foam cups and polystyrene foam containers, other hot and cold drink cups and take-out containers, straws and utensils, but would exclude all single use items needed for medical use or for people with disabilities. – 1st AmendmentMotion Passes

B127 RecycleBC 

Therefore be it resolved that the Ministry of Environment intervene with Recycle BC in allowing clear bags and other customer supplied containers to remain an option for existing local government collection programs. – WITHDRAWN

B128 Climate Accountability for Fossil Fuel Companies 

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM and FCM on behalf of their member local governments write a climate accountability letter to the twenty fossil fuel companies outlining the types of costs that communities are incurring and expected to incur due to climate change, and requesting that the companies pay their fair share of those impacts. – MOTION DEFEATED (Electronic Vote 52/48)

B129 Strengthen Low Carbon Fuel Requirement 

Therefore be it resolved that the Province be requested to increase the Low Carbon Fuel Requirement to 20 per cent by 2030. – Motion Defeated

B130 Call for the Expansion of Provincial EV Incentives 

Therefore be it resolved that the Province of British Columbia take the lead across North America in providing the highest available level of provincial subsidy for purchase of electric vehicles. – Motion PASSED

B131 – Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate 

Therefore be it resolved that the Province be requested to develop requirements for Zero Emissions Vehicles to comprise at least 30 per cent of passenger vehicle sales by 2030. 

B132 Crown Lands for Cannabis Production 

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM petition the provincial government to develop an overall strategy that will support local cannabis producers and minimize the impact on prime agricultural lands; which could include leasing of Crown lands that would accommodate cannabis production. MOTION Passed

B133 Removal of Restrictive Covenants 

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM petition the Province to include a similar provision in provincial legislation, to Section 48(4) of the Land Titles Act, Revised Statutes of Alberta 2000 Chapter L-4, that allows for a local government to directly petition the court to remove a restrictive covenant or other instrument that conflicts with a provision of a bylaw enacted under Part 14 – Planning and Land Use Management of the Local Government Act [RSBC 2015] Chapter 1. Motion Passed

B134 Proposed Amendment to Provincial Mines Act and Other Relevant Articles of Legislation

Therefore be it resolved that the UBCM lobby the BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources and the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy to amend the Mines Act of BC and any other relevant articles of legislation to require approval, on future projects within 10 km of the municipal boundaries of established communities, by those local governments including the regional district in which the proposed project is located.  – 1st Amendment Passes – Motion DEFEATED

B135 Recreational Boating Access Infrastructure 

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM’s coastal, riverside, and lakeshore member communities incorporate existing boating access infrastructure into community planning and identify areas in which there may be potential to add boating infrastructure to their longer-term community plans. 1st Amendment Passes – Motion DEFEATED

B136 Update of Regional Growth Strategy Legislation 

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM request the Province to actively engage local government including First Nations in a comprehensive review and update of Part 13 of the Local Government Act and related regulations. Motion Passed

B137 Northern Resource Corridor Plan 

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM lobby the provincial and federal governments to develop a “Northern Resource Corridor Plan” to enhance and coordinate railway, road, pipeline and power infrastructure across northern BC with the goal of faster, safer and more cost effective resource transportation. Motion Defeated

B138 BC Commercial Fisheries 

  • Therefore be it resolved that the UBCM urge the Provincial Ministry of Agriculture to work with the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans on a fulsome coordinated review of fishing policy on the BC Coast;
    And be it further resolved that the Province work with the federal government on the implementation of a regulatory framework that would incorporate the principles of fleet separation, owner-operation, and adjacency;
    And be it further resolved that the changes to the Fisheries Act and Fisheries Regulations apply to the Pacific Coast so our working fishermen and BC coastal communities benefit from the fisheries.

B139 Business Licensing 

Therefore be it resolved that the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing be requested to recommend an amendment to the Local Government Act to provide business licensing powers to regional districts. 

Endorsed by the Southern Interior Local Government Association – MOTION PASSED

B140 Ambulance Services 

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM lobby the provincial government to initiate a full and in-depth review of BC Emergency Health Service (BCEHS)’s ambulance service in BC, with the intent of modernizing those services to consider additional duties to warrant more full time value and work for ambulance personnel; – 1st Amendment (very large, couldn’t include) – MOTION REFERRED (Chair Sustained)

B141 Mutual Aid Agreements Between Regional/Local Fire Departments and BC Emergency Health Services

Therefore be it resolved that BC Emergency Health Services initiate and enter into mutual aid agreements with paid on call regional/local fire service authorities so that each party can be fairly compensated when called upon for support. – Motion Passed

B142 Supporting a Comprehensive Public Health Response to the Ongoing Opioid Crisis in British Columbia

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM write to the Prime Minister, Federal Ministers of Health, Justice, and Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, urging the Government of Canada to support a comprehensive and culturally safe public health approach to the ongoing opioid crisis, beginning with the implementation of low-barrier opioid distribution programs for those most at risk for overdose death whilst initiating a review process for Canada’s legislative, regulatory, and policy frameworks governing illegal drugs to move towards a comprehensive regulatory framework for all illegal substances across Canada. – Motion Passed

B143 Review of BC’s Fee for Service Model 

Therefore be it resolved that the Province of BC be urged to undertake a review of the FFS model with a view to making the compensation of family physicians in BC more attractive to encourage new medical graduates to choose family practice and stay in BC. – Motion Passed

B144 Parity in Hospital Districts Capital Contribution 

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM commence discussions with the provincial government to work toward a system that creates parity in the capital contributions that hospital districts in BC provide to their local health authorities. – Motion Passed

B145 Community Health Centres 

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM affirm its support for the provincial government’s initiative to establish 20 CHCs across the province;

And be it further resolved that UBCM direct its staff to consult with the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the regional health authorities to develop proposals for implementing this commitment in local governments wishing to host new CHCs;

And be it further resolved that UBCM request that the MoH support local government initiatives to develop fully- fledged CHCs, which include a community governance board, the provision of interdisciplinary services, and community outreach programs that address the social determinants of health. – Motion 


Thursday  – Brief comments from Andrew Wilkinson and the meat of the Resolutions today at UBCM

SR1 – Therefore be it resolved that UBCM advance its short and long-term strategy for cannabis excise tax revenue sharing to the Province of BC for the purpose of negotiating a provincial-local government revenue sharing agreement. – Motion Carries Unanimously

B77 – Community Charter Definition of Parcel 18-11 Interior Lot Lines

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM advance its short and long-term strategy for cannabis excise tax revenue sharing to the Province of BC for the purpose of negotiating a provincial-local government revenue sharing agreement. – Motion Carries Unanimously

Therefore be it resolved that the Province of British Columbia consider revising the Community Charter to include the provision that is included in the Assessment Act in chapter 20, part 1, section 5:
Splitting and Grouping of Parcels
If a building or other improvement extends over more than one parcel of land, those parcels, if contiguous, may be treated by the assessor as one parcel and assessed accordingly; – Motion Carries

B78 – Verification of Submissions During Public Hearing Process

Therefore be it resolved that the Province bring forth an amendment to the Local Government Act which would assist local governments with the ability to verify the legitimacy of a submission where there is strong reason to believe that the submissions are false and dishonest and made to undermine the integrity and purpose of the Public Hearing process and UBCM work with the province to understand best practices. – Motion Carries

B79 –Rural Needs Act

Whereas provincial policy development tends to be focused on research obtained from the larger urban areas;

And whereas there can be a lack of consideration for the impact to the province’s rural communities when adopting legislative changes and policy:

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM petition the provincial government to adopt an act or policy that places a statutory duty on public authorities to have due regard to rural needs in the development of policy and legislation.

Discussion: The sponsor from Nelson indicated there is a great need for capacity building in rural communities so that they can do the work needed to make information decisions. Northern Ireland was given as an example of the only place in the world where the needs of rural communities are enshrined in an Act. Councillor McLeman spoke at the Con Mic to speak that he thought the motion should be more specific and be done more quickly, and that “Northern Ireland is not an example I think we should use.”. – Motion Carries

B80 Strata Utility Billing Legislative Change

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing be respectfully requested to take forward to the Legislative Assembly amendments to the Community Charter and Strata Property Act to afford municipalities the option of imposing utility services fees on either strata councils or on individual strata lot owners. – Motion Carried

B81 Autonomy and Authority of Local Jurisdictions with Respect to Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Activities.

Therefore be it resolved that FCM, the provincial government and the federal government create a framework to articulate and establish enforceable protocols and legally binding agreements to ensure that the Trans Mountain Pipeline must be in substantial compliance with all provincial and municipal permitting and authorizations prior to commencing with pipeline expansion associated works in any local area. – MOTION DEFEATED

B82 Full Disclosure of Financial Interests by Local Elected Officials

Therefore be it resolved that the Financial Disclosure Act be amended to ensure that all potential conflicts and financial interests of local elected officials are disclosed per the stated intent of the Act. – MOTION DEFEATED

B83 – Elected Official Disqualification

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM lobby the provincial government to implement legislation to require that an elected local government official be disqualified from office upon conviction of a serious criminal offense, not including convictions related to non-violent acts of civil disobedience;

And be it further resolved that an elected local government official be required to take a paid leave of absence from office upon Crown approval of charges until the court process is complete. 1st Amendment – Carries –

Good Discussion – Motion Carries

B84 –Disqualification from Holding Elected Office

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM lobby the provincial government to make whatever legislative changes are needed to:

• Require that an elected local government official be put on unpaid leave immediately upon conviction, during his or her current term, of a serious criminal offence (to be defined by legislation), not including convictions related to non-violent acts of civil disobedience until the expiration of the time to file an appeal or determination of an appeal; and

• Require that an elected local government official be disqualified from holding office upon conviction, during his or her current term, of a serious criminal offence (to be defined by legislation), not including convictions related to non-violent acts of civil disobedience upon the expiration of the time to file an appeal or determination of an appeal. – 1st Amendment

We had a long discussion about not including civil disobedience. The vote was called and the chair said it was defeated. That call was challenged so we went to electronic vote.

Here is some of the discussion on the amendment, the original vote and the electronic vote – The Amended motion Motion Carries

B86 – Seismic Early Warning System

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM request that the Province commit to making the earthquake early warning system operational by completing the development of access to this network for communities, and other entities in the public and private sectors, for public safety in all parts of BC vulnerable to earthquake. – Motion Carries

B87 Local Police Services – Amendments to Service

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM appeal to the Solicitor General to require the RCMP “E” Division to provide one calendar year notice to local governments when there will be a change in means of service delivery that will have a substantial budget impact greater than 0.5 per cent of the total RCMP Service Contract to the local government beyond historical costs. – Motion Carries

B88 – Provincial Policing

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM request that the Province of BC explore the roles of peace officers and sheriffs in other jurisdictions to determine if legislation could be enacted in BC to assist the RCMP by providing similar services, in an effort to increase policing services in the rural areas of the province. – Motion Carried

B90 Restorative Justice

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM request that the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General undertake a province-wide review of restorative justice services with a focus on previously endorsed UBCM resolutions (2017- B89, 2016-B8, 2014-B5, 2013-B10, 2008-B4, 2007-B3, 2006-B10, 2003-B2, 2001-B10, 2000-B7), i.e. funding standards and training plus re-open the list for communities to become part of the Community Accountability Program and to increase the funds while identifying gaps “…to enact a province-wide restorative- justice system…” in British Columbia. – Motion Passes

B92 Cannabis Legislation Enforcement

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM lobby the provincial government to take whatever measures necessary to regulate the consumption of recreational cannabis in the same way they do with alcohol and prohibit consumption in public places, vehicles and workplaces. – Motion Passes

B93 – Medical Cannabis Production

Therefore be it resolved that the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulation be revised to make the installation, operation and maintenance of ventilation systems that mitigate odour nuisances a condition of medical cannabis production licenses (including designated person or registered person licenses);

And be it further resolved that Health Canada inspectors have the authority to enter residences or production facilities where production is taking place and that the federal government provide adequate resources to support Health Canada in conducting regular inspections to ensure compliance and neighbourhood safety. – Amendment CarriesMotion Carries

B94 Priority Funding of Flood Prevention Capital Projects

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM lobby both the provincial and federal governments for small community priority funding of flood prevention capital projects for communities of all sizes. – Amendment DEFEATED – Original Motion Carries

B95 – Emergency Management Incident Commander

Therefore be it resolved that Emergency Management BC make available to small, micro communities with populations under 5,000, Provincial Incident Commander(s) to make the critical on-site decisions during emergency events. – Motion Carries

B96 Wildfire Mitigation Practices

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM support lobbying the provincial government to support and implement changes to its wildfire mitigation practices that allow for increased spacing of fibre stands, prescribed burning, larger fuel breaks around residential communities, and other methods to lessen the provincial landscape’s susceptibility to “mega-fires” and better protect our citizens and assets from this growing threat. – Motion Carries

B97 Wildfire Related Issues

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM requests the provincial government to enable the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development to become the lead agency for developing Community Wildfire Protection Plans, fuel management prescriptions for the Wildland Urban Interface (“WUI”), and fuel management treatments in collaboration with local government;

And be it further resolved that the Province provide sufficient funding to the Forest Enhancement Society to fully fund WUI fuel management treatments so they can be undertaken expeditiously. – Motion Carried

B98 – Wildfire Crime

Therefore be it resolved that the provincial government and federal government be encouraged to take whatever actions deemed necessary to enable and provide for more appropriate and meaningful penalties for such wildfire crime and/or other similar emergencies situations. – Motion Carried

B99 – Wildfire Firefighting Inventory

Therefore be it resolved that the BC Wildfire Service be urged to maintain current inventory listings of the local resources available for firefighting purposes and find ways to work collaboratively with them in the suppression of wildfires. – Motion Carries

B100 FireSmart Incentives

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM request the federal and provincial governments and the Insurance Bureau of Canada to provide incentive options for property owners and agricultural land owners to reduce the amount of forest fire fuel on privately-owned land through one or multiple options, including: reduced home insurance rates upon certification of adequate “fire smart” status; a tax rebate in correlation to the amount of fibre removed from the property to achieve “fire smart” status; and/or a reduction in property tax rates once certification of “fire smart” status is achieved. – Motion Carries

B101 Rail Proximity Issues

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM urge all local governments to adopt the FCM-RAC Guidelines for New Development in Proximity to Railway Operations. – Motion Carries

B102 Updating the BC Motor Vehicle Act to Improve Safety for All Road Users

Therefore be it resolved that the provincial government be requested to support modernization of the Motor Vehicle Act, addressing the recommendations in the Road Safety Law Reform Group of BC Position Paper entitled “Modernizing the BC Motor Vehicle Act” to enhance safety for all road users. – Motion Carries

B103 Reducing Excessive Driving Speeds in Designated BC Road Safety
Corridors, For All Drivers, All The Time.

Therefore be it resolved that the provincial government be requested to pilot average-speed-over-distance technology at one or more suitable locations in BC, including but not limited to the Sea-to-Sky Highway 99 at Lions Bay, the Malahat Highway 1 or the Coquihalla Highway 5. – Motion Carries

B104 Alternate Tax Sale Redemption Date

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM lobby the Province to establish the tax redemption deadline date to be no later than the Friday prior to the tax sale date in September, so that the bidders and local government staff are dealing with a listing of tax sale properties available for tax sale that is final. – MOTION DEFEATED

B105 Agricultural Land Reserve – Protective Taxation Reform

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM further encourage the provincial government to direct BC Assessment, and any other appropriate bodies, to promptly investigate and propose possible taxation reform measures to prioritize and promote the use of Agricultural Land Reserve lands for primary ‘farm uses’, as laid out in the Homes for BC companion document to the 2018 Provincial Budget. – Motion Carries

B106 Provincial Financial Support During a State of Emergency

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM lobby the provincial government to enact any legislative and/or policy changes necessary to ensure that local emergency organizations that are requested to and do assist during a declared State of Emergency receive timely compensation for their time and supplies used assisting the Province in this manner. – Motion Carries

B107 Downloading of Wildfire Mitigation Costs and Responsibility

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM lobby the provincial and federal governments to discontinue downloading wildfire mitigation costs and responsibilities onto local governments and First Nations through the SWPI program and take responsibility for wildfire mitigation costs on Crown land and areas surrounding local governments. – Motion Carries

B108 International Biodiversity Targets Commitment

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM request the provincial government to set aside dedicated funding for purposes of system expansion, ecological monitoring and research, and management planning to meet the quantitative and qualitative measures set out in the 2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets for Canada. – Motion Carries

B109 Amendments to Rural Dividend Fund Process

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM lobby the provincial government to provide a Rural Dividend allocation to local governments each year through a multi-year agreement, similar to the federal Gas Tax Fund, allowing the local government to effectively utilize the funds for local projects based on provincial criteria, and to complete the process through a simplified annual reporting structure. – Motion Carries

B110 Municipal Uplift Grant Program

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM petition the Province of British Columbia to establish a new capital infrastructure and operations grant fund which proactively identifies and supports those communities with high residential tax rates and low revenue due to a lack of commercial and industrial property taxation. – Motion Carries

B111 Grant Funding – Motion Carries

Therefore be it resolved that the provincial and federal governments restructure all their infrastructure and social and economic grant programs to mirror the federal gas tax allocation to local governments in order to provide ease of access to year over year incremental funding. – Motion Carries

B112 Community Gaming Grant Funded by eGaming Revenues

Therefore be it resolved that the Province of British Columbia be encouraged to establish a Community Gaming Grant program to financially support communities with populations of less than 25,000 to be funded from BCLC eGaming revenues. – Motion 

B113 A Call To Divestment – Aligning City Investments With The Future

Therefore be it resolved that the Municipal Finance Authority of BC be called upon to:

  • divest all investments from the fossil fuel-related companies and endeavours, or
  • move forward with plans for a Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) fund free from investments in fossil-fuel related companies and endeavours. – 

1st Amendment Passes – Motion Defeated after long debate.

B114 New Municipal Tax Classes

Therefore be it resolved that the provincial government amend the Community Charter to allow municipalities to create additional tax classes so they can each accomplish their own community goals. – Motion was Referred

B115 Supporting Independent Small Businesses Through Provincial Assessment and Tax Reform

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM request the Province of British Columbia to initiate a province‐led intergovernmental workgroup to address these assessment and taxation issues immediately to enable the long- term viability of independent small businesses in Metro Vancouver and the rest of British Columbia. – Motion Carried

B116 Southern Mountain Caribou

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM request that the provincial government consider the impact of actions proposed to assist with the recovery of the Southern Mountain Caribou will have on back country access, which is integral to the success of tourism in northeast BC;

And be it further resolved that the Province be requested to commit to involve the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in the process as they have significant knowledge regarding health concerns specific to the Southern Mountain Caribou and potential impacts to other domestic and wild animal species in the region;

And be it further resolved to urge the federal and provincial governments to give community health and viability high priority when pursuing the worthy objective of recovering the Southern and Central Mountain Caribou;

And be it further resolved to strongly urge the federal and provincial governments to enter into real consultation with all the affected communities before announcing decisions. – Motion Carried

B117 Intentional Feeding of Wildlife – Amendment to the Wildlife Act

Therefore be it resolved that the provincial government amend the Wildlife Act to prohibit the intentional feeding of problem wildlife. – Motion Carried

Andrew Wilkinson Speech

2PM – Minister Selena Robertson comments

She’s had 27 meetings with delegates so far this year.  She spoke about the reforms to the campaign finance act for local government elections.

The Minister also mentioned the wildfires and other emergencies we’ve had this year and the work their minister had to do to support the emergency agencies. “Affordability…. affects the very fabric of our province. It affects the people who are the most vulnerable in your communities”.

Over 2000 is in development. The Minister got visibly emotional talking about the housing created for women fleeing violence.

Provincial and Federal government will be funding 90% of costs for infrastructure to increase resiliency and 100% for communities under 5000!

Lots more information here!

  • For each project in the Rural and Northern Communities stream, they may receive:
    • up to 40% provincial funding of eligible costs for local government projects with populations of 25,000 or less. The federal government will contribute up to 60% for communities with populations of 5,000 or less (a combined 100% funding), and up to 50% for communities with populations between 5,001 and 25,000 (a combined 90% funding);
    • up to 25% provincial funding and up to 75% federal funding for Indigenous projects;
    • up to 25% provincial funding and up to 50% federal funding for not-for-profit projects, and
    • up to 15% provincial funding and up to 25% federal funding related to for-profit projects.

Lots more information here!

11AM – Resolutions start!  Emergency Resolutions to Amend the UBCM Bylaws “off the floor” resolutions.


“Extraordinary Resolution to Amend the UBCM Bylaws UBCM Executive Regarding ‘Off the Floor’ Resolutions”.

The UBCM membership passes unanimously to have “Off the Floor” resolutions be limited to Friday morning.

SR2 – will address the loss of Greyhound bus service and be published in the Report on Resolution Received After the Deadline. See also resolution C2. — Unanimously Passed

SR3 – Fire Safety Act – the UBCM support in principle “one standard for fire safety” throughout BC, but reiterate to the Province our established policy position as outline that UBCM does not support regional districts as the vehicle for implementing the Province’s direction regarding one standard of fire safety. — Unanimously Passed

A1 — Employer Health Tax Impact on Local Governments – 

Therefore be it resolved that, in the absence of tax breaks that have been provided to the private sector, the provincial government design the transition to the Employer Health Tax to be cost-neutral for local governments. — Unanimously Passed

A2 Protecting Local Waterways & Wild Fish Species (closed containment systems)

Therefore be it resolved that the Province of British Columbia consult First Nations governments, local governments, conservation organizations and industry on a transition plan to closed-containment aquaculture, including a just transition for affected workers. — Motion Passes Strongly

A3 Modify Speculation Tax: Local Government Vacancy Levy

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM urge the Province to replace the approach in the current proposed Speculation Tax with a provision to empower local governments to collect a levy on vacant residential properties and to require local governments that choose to impose such a levy to invest the revenues in non-market housing. — 1st Amendment Passes – 2nd amendment “that choose to impose such a levy” removed failsMotion Carries Strongly as Amended

A4 Short-Term Vacation Rental Listing Platforms’ Responsibility in Compliance

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM request that the Province negotiate a province-wide agreement with Airbnb and other regionally-active short-term rental platforms to assist local governments with compliance checks, whereby the short-term rental platforms agree to require their hosts to provide proof of a valid business license where applicable in order to advertise using their service. 1st Amendment – Passes – 2nd Amendment Fails to add “Local Government compliance” rather than business license. Failed as it would be less precise and trackable – Motion Carries as amended.

Section B Resolutions.

These are the ones where some are dealt with as a block because they are either all recommended to be endorsed or not endorsed.  We will see if any resolutions get “pulled out” for consideration. 

One was pulled out. 

B24 Underfunding of Public Libraries

Therefore be it resolved that the Province of British Columbia restore funding levels to the pre-2009 rates;

And be it further resolved that the Province of British Columbia commit to forming a Task Force to work with Public Library Associations to ensure that funding formulas do not allow urbanization to threaten Public Library Association sustainability. Amendment passes – Motion Passes

A Motion was brought to have a Late Resolution normally considered on Friday to come up now.  LR4 BCEHS Dispatching Protocols – Motion Defeated.

10AM Andrew Weaver Address to UBCM live.

9AM Keynote SpeakerArlene Dickinson live.

8:45AM Lt. Gov Address to UBCM

“I find myself increasingly concerned for the decline of civility in Public Discourse.”

Lieutenant-Governor of BC Janet Austin spoke briefly but very nicely about the need to have a fact based, respectful and fulsome discussion in politics.

7:30AM Recreational Trails Session

A Business case for recreational trails.  Trails are a “high value return on investment”.

Trails are “sticky” they keep people around. It’s not about tourism, the biggest opportunity is recreational and having active community.

Professional Trail crews are how you get the greatest return on investment even if it may cost more up front.

Williams Lake built a network of trails that connected campgrounds, businesses and multiple different trail systems and through the traditional Territory of the local First Nation.  Partnerships were created with the First Nation and members were trained to be the trail builders and benefited directly from that development, also provided with bikes.

Real stumbling blocks exist for community groups:

Below is a really great matrix to use for many consultation processes.

What makes a good trail?

Are they meeting the needs of the users? (Fun, challenging, meeting the need). Are they physically sustainable? (Are they degrading over time, weather or use impacting?). Managerial sustainability: (Are there people in place to maintain that trail)

Ways to help local trail associations: Grant in Aid (and you can give it a 3 year timeframe), a generalized service agreement (includes trail work in and out of boundary), professional project management trails coordinator, maintenance support (paid trail crew – City of Whitehorse has had one for 20 years), assessment training – municipal staff.

Funding sources: Blade Runners, Canada Works (for FN), Economic Development.


3PM – Childcare Session

Arrgh, apologies, there was a hiccup on the website and I lost some of my notes on the comments from Minister of State for Child Care Katrina Chen.

There have been great examples shown from a number of communities of childcare facilities. Including Port Alberni!  Mayor Ruttan is here to speak to our experience with the building of the new daycare facility at the Friendship Centre.

Mike Ruttan – “We have had to make sure it is low cost”.  The Mayor spoke about how important it is to invest into childcare in order to ensure the best success and future for children and the excellent facilities we have in Port Alberni and the work City Council did to ensure the land was available for the new facility at the Friendship Centre.

Comment from Whistler Councillor: Whistler only has 7% of the spaces needed.

Comment from Summerland Councillor on partnerships with School Districts and Child care.

Answer from Minister: We are looking at ways of combining childcare with other avenues, like seniors facilities, school districts, and others.

2PM – Minister Meetings on Overdose Sites and Cannabis regulations and UBCM Cannabis Session.

Meeting with Minister Darcy

We had a meeting with the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy. We brought forward concerns of our local overdose prevention site (OPS) and asked that the City and community be included in future consultations as we would like to both be aware of and be participants in the process.

The Minister’s comments: There is an RFP out for our OPS to be run in a long term way.  It was initially set up in an emergency healthcare process and they are now moving toward ensuring the site is functioning the best it can.  The RFP and contract will include community consultation expectations as well as good neighbour agreements. The Minister suggested holding a public forum on the OPS and what it means so as to inform the public.

It was short, of course, but a good meeting.

Meeting with Minister Farnworth.

There will be cannabis “inspectors” and can, and will seize product. Council also effectively has a veto regardless of whether a business license and zoning is being followed.

Edibles are on the radar but the federal government will be leading that over the year after the legalization takes place. The Minister made it very clear that they would be enforcing the laws strictly. Landlords will have the right to say no smoking or cultivation.

UBCM Cannabis Session

Tax will be $1 per gram or 10% of the retail price (whichever is higher).  Federal/Provincial Agreement has 25% of all taxation revenue (to max $100 Million annually). Federal share has been reduced from 50-25%.  They estimate $400 Million in excise tax revenue in first two years.  BC projected to receive $125 million ($50 Million in year one, $75 Million in year two).

9AM – Mid Size Communities – Focusing on Homelessness.

Small Communities — 1250 total homeless on average. (Port Alberni participated in the survey earlier this year). Over 50% of people have been in the community for 5 years or more.

It is worth noting that the “targeted populations” the speaker from BC Housing speaks about hit on every non-profit in Port Alberni that is working on homelessness including the Shelter Society, ACAWS, Kuu-Us and others.

8:30AM – Financing Reconciliation

Up early this morning listening to multiple people talk about  First Nations and a resolution coming to UBCM this week that would support transfer payments being implemented to First Nations as there is now to Province. John Jack, Huu-ay-aht councillor and Chair of the ACRD (far left) has spoken strongly for real common sense action like this.

See Chair of the ACRD and Huu-ay-aht Councillor, John Jack’s comments on political reconciliation for a concise view.

3PM – EMBC session

Unfortunately this session was not as good as it could have been even though the room was packed and the interest was high it was generally just an overview of the processes the Province used to manage the emergency flood and fire situations that we have had through the Spring and Summer.

1:40-1:55PM – Meeting with Minister Selena Robinson on Housing

The ACRD set up a meeting with Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to address the diverse needs of the whole Region, from Tofino, Ucluelet and the remote West Coast communities to Port Alberni, Beaver Creek, Cherry Creek and Sproat Lake.

Josie Osbourne (Mayor Tofino) and Penny Cote (Director Sproat Lake) lead the meeting for the ACRD.  We only had 15 minutes so they quickly outlined our request which was for capacity funding to ensure we could collect the data required by the Minister to get first in line for housing projects of all types, from low income and social housing all the way up to market.

The Minister and her staff said:

  • There will be funds acailable from the Ministry through BC Housing to help with data collection.
  • She emphasized working with the Housing Hub which is tasked to help small communities.
  • She acknowledged the challenges all communities especially smaller ones face to address the diverse needs that they face compared to larger urban centres.
  • They will be following up with the ACRD to help things along and ensure we don’t just come back in one year with the same asks.

Then the doors opened and we had to leave!

11AM – Housing Affordability – A Presentation

After the break I switched rooms to the Housing Affordability session and caught an excellent presentation from a researcher from Kwantlen College who determined to figure out if up-zoning single detached residential areas to more dense zoning actually helps affordability.  He had a lot more to say as well, and I video’ed it. It was very good, I recommend listening.  He was followed by an even better presentation which laid bare the fact that supply is not actually a problem, nor is density, as density has been increasing in Vancouver steadily for decades and did not prevent the current crisis.  Quote of the morning:

“The vacancy and speculation taxes are working and will work. They will take us away from the path we had going which was a resort province for the worlds wealthy.”

9AM Update Monday – Green Innovation and Clean Growth with Minister George Heyman

Here’s the agenda for the first session of the week.

Minister of Env. and Climate Change Strategy
George Heyman:

Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy

His comments:

“It takes focus and effort to engrain new habits”. “We’re here to start talking about how we create new habits.”

“Over half BC Municipalities have community energy and emissions plans… we in the provincial government are working in the next several months in doing what you [local governments] have done”.

“We’re trying to produce a vision for the future… using the term clean growth so people see it, as an economy built on innovation.” “It doesn’t matter where you go… indigenous nations who have a connection to the land that supported them… I was struck with the responsibility we have to build a better future before it is too late.”

On Trump: “The other thing I saw in Bonn: a group of cities and states in the US, who showed up in the banner ‘we are still in’ [Paris Accord].”

“There are countries that have very high of clean electric vehicles today that are higher than the goals we have set. There are other cities that have beautiful green spaces and active transportation networks. Small communities are realizing the economic opportunities of working on these issues.”

“There is $26 Trillion in economic opportunities”, in clean energy innovation according to a report today. The benefits of clean growth will include bringing greater stability to our rural communities from these initiatives.

Nice final comments from the Minister on his aspirations for the climate change strategy the province is developing.

Dr. Allan Winter – BC Innovation Commissioner

Dr. Allan Winter’s comments….

‘Green innovation can be encouraged in any community.’

The role of the Commissioner: 

  • Build – partnerships
  • Advocate – BC’s share of federal innovation
  • Champion – BC’s Tech Sector
  • Leverage – International and other inverstors
  • Connect – BC Tech companies to national strategy
  • Promote – implementation of mandates and strategies.

Tech Sector generates about 7% of BC’s GDP – 106,000 jobs and 10,200 companies. 93$ service focus.  Tech sector GDP increased 3.5% in 2017.

Notice Coulson Ice Blast is in that innovators list in the Clean Tech Sector!

Dr. Winter mentioned High Speed Internet Connection program to link rural and isolated communities.

One key way to encourage clean tech is to modify procurement processes to encourage and incentives clean technologies.

“Clean Tech is growing rapidly. Our kids are the ones that are paving the way for us…”

“If you put in policy and regulations, that’s fine… but if you make it uneconomic, and don’t make our own industry”, then we won’t be successful. 

Q&A Session

Kate Marsh (North Cowichan) – On extending the deadline for input on Climate Change Strategy Plan.

Minister Heyman: We’re working toward a strategy release in November/December.  But this is iteration 1 and will be seeking input and refinement.

Kate Marsh (North Cowichan) – Does the Province have plans to mandate the Step Code?

Minister Heyman: That is in another ministry so can’t address directly. But aggressive action on improving building codes will be pretty central to the planning.

Marlene Wright (Campbell River) – Has there been concerted efforts to bring in University and Trades to train young people in this venture (clean energy)? Bursaries? Scholarships?

Minister Heyman: Melanie Mark has been working hard to remove barriers for many groups of disadvantaged youth. We are working with the Minister to increase capacity in renewable energy and “train young British Columbian’s at every level”.

Dr. Winters: Just last week.. went to Camosun College. Will be meeting with the Presidents of the BC Colleges on just this topic.  The colleges could have an opportunity and we (innovation commissh) could encourage practicum type programs for community colleges.

Q: On Recycle BC strategy improvements noting China’s refusal of plastics

Minister Heyman: In area of plastics, we are the only jurisdiction that does not ship out of province. We have never shipped our plastics to China.So we are in a good position.

Dealing with waste generally will be a big part of the clean growth strategy.

Dr. Winters: Water and Waste treatment go closely together. Membrane technology tends to take toxins out of water and applies in every community. We have good expertise in BC and could do more in that area.

Q: Has thought been given to working with current energy providers (Suncor, fossil fuel etc) from carbon based to low-carbon and to specifically fix regulations that make it difficult to install electric charging stations.

Minister Heyman – I meet with energy companies and associations regularly. We work with them to meet emissions targets and to use innovative technologies.  The issue specifically about charging stations, is one that has been identified and is being studied.

BC Clean Growth Council 

Deputy Minister Env Climate Change Strategy Bobby Plecas ; Taylor Bachrack – Mayor Smithers ; Josie Osbourne – Mayor Tofino

Deputy Minister comments: Our intention is to work collaboratively with you after the election as they understand that it is a very busy time for municipal officials.

When the government is aligned with the Green Party as we are now in the Legislature, it does give us an opportunity to be innovative. 

While BC is a small percentage of global emissions. (less than 3% in world, less than 10% in Canada). What we are is a passionate government that has opportunities.  We have a clean electricity sector big advantage over other places. A big part of our strategy is going to mean collective action on individual choices (transport, building, etc).  We have all the gifts to be successful.  

Taylor Bachrach comments:

Many of the emissions reductions in BC come down to individual choices.

We are going to “blow by” (negatively) the 2020 emissions target set by Gordon Campbell. The Climate Action Charter has been good at “baking in” procedures at local government to count and be aware of our emissions.  What process lacks is real accountability. The targets we set as communities are voluntary. There are no set targets. 

Perhaps some of the things that will be required (by province) to set accountability will be counter to what local government often asks for, which is autonomy.

Smithers is working to build the first (possibly?) PassivHaus standard Library in Canada. If we only rely on the communities where local politics allow for climate action, how do we bake in accountability and asset management?  

The 2030 target is very ambitious. The current set of policies do not get us where we want to be.  

Josie Osbourne comments:

How do we move to this climate action be a foundational principle? So we can move to a place where there are no “green” sessions.. climate action is simply part of the normal processes?

After this first year on the council what I want to know is how we get back to our leadership position.

We need to ensure both urban and rural communities have the ability and tools to move forward.

Q&A and Comments

Q: Village of Clinton – Very small communty (650). We don’t have the expertise in our communities to be able to create business cases to move forward on projects. Is there talk of creating resources for staff communities.

A: FCM does have some resources available that will pay 80-90% of the cost for reports.

Q: Village of Cumberland – Carbon Credit Marketplace – There are a shortage of credits to acquire. Would like to see a marketplace where we can buy credits in local initiatives.

A: These are the kinds of comments we need to hear at the Council. There are two ways of doing this.. offsets, and carbon fund (Port Alberni uses carbon fund).

Q: Whistler – Worried that we will be focusing so much on adaptation that we are not focusing on mitigation.

A: (Deputy): The province wants to help you with that. Asset Management may be one place Province can ensure change occurs. Staff resources.

Great Comment from Taylor Bachrach: The asset management piece should also include the fact that 10% of the cost of a building are the capital costs and 90% are the operating costs over time. If there were good tools and resources to show the life cycle costs of buildings and other assets would clearly show the economic benefits.

Comment: Grey water and water storage… needs to happen now in order to conserve water.

Comment (East Kootenay): Cranbrook – More sunshine than any other area in the province.  We got an avalanche of requests for solar. We have to be very careful in our rush to adopt to be careful of environmental impact of that rush.  The essential element is to conserve.


Sunday night arrival…

It’s September and that means the Union of BC Municipalities conference is happening. I’ve arrived in Whistler (after a two sailing wait) from Nanaimo tonight at 9:30PM… I’ll update this space throughout the week as I attend meetings with Ministers, workshops and convention floor sessions debating resolutions (and presenting one of our own!).  Scroll down to see the latest.

First, below our general schedule for Ministers meetings through the week (it also includes some of the generic workshops.

On Monday we have two pre-conference sessions and a meeting with the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing on Rural Capacity to create housing. This was organizing through the ACRD but City Councillors are also invited.

Monday Schedule

On Tuesday we have three Minister meetings.  Mental Health and Addictions, this time on Overdose Prevention Sites. Minister of Public Safety on Cannabis regulations. And Minister of Forests (FLNRORD) on Community Forest, securing a fibre source for Catalyst and reactivating Somass Mill.

The convention itself will also start up on Tuesday with clinics and plenary sessions. You can see its full schedule here. I’ll blog more about it on the day of.

Tuesday Schedule

On Wednesday we have meetings with the Minister of Forests on Log Export (a ACRD initiated meeting) and with Emergency Management BC on BC Floods and Wildfires. And finally a meeting with Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction on reduced social assistance rates.

Wednesday and Thursday schedule

On Thursday (above) we have our last ministerial meeting with the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy for an update on the upcoming changes to the Open Burning and Smoke Control regulations.  I will be leading that meeting as I brought forward the suggestion along with the Air Quality Council and supported by the City to ban slash burning in and around our air shed. Hopefully this will be the last fall that that happens, but we’ll see what they say.

Gord Johns – Plastic Reduction Motion

Finally, the last thing I’ll add before ending this initial update and digging into the resolution book, is I was approached by our MP to bring forward a motion to the UBCM to have them endorse his efforts to have Parliament pass a motion on reducing plastic waste.  You can see information above.

Here is the Parliamentary motion MP Johns will be presenting to parliament in October.

This initiative only started to get rolling in the spring and summer so it wasn’t able to get into the regular resolution batch for this UBCM so it needs to ‘come from the floor’ on Friday.  The motion to the UBCM will be very simple.

Emergency Motion To UBCM 2018

ENDORSE M151 – National Strategy to Combat Plastic Pollution

WHEREAS local governments play a crucial role in management of plastic wastes and pollution under their jurisdictions,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the UBCM endorse and support the Parliamentary Motion M151 – National Strategy to Combat Plastic

If you saw me at the Transition Town booth at the Fall Fair on the weekend I was probably stapling the entire time you saw me :).  We had to get 800 copies of the information and resolution ready to hand out to delegates on Friday morning so that I could bring this up from the floor.

I do hope the convention passes the resolution. It is a great initiative by our MP and it will hopefully help the motion get passes.

That’s the update for tonight.  I’ll post more tomorrow.  If you have any questions about the conference don’t hesitate to leave a reply at the bottom of this blog.  I won’t be monitoring Facebook too much as there is just too much on the schedule here to do Facebook but I will likely have live videos periodically.

Now… off to read the Resolution book!

Sunday Night Homework!

Resolutions of Interest

As I go through the resolution booklet here I will post resolutions that I think might be subject to the most debate at the conference. There are over 200 motions, but only about two dozen are usually debated individually as the rest often align with policy, or are rejected as a block.

First resolution of interest:

ER1 Extraordinary Resolution to Amend the UBCM Bylaws UBCM Executive Regarding ‘Off the Floor’ Resolutions

The first resolution to be dealt will be very important both for me and for the UBCM in general. It is a decision on whether we consider resolutions “off the floor” (ie. ones that we aren’t notified of ahead of time) at any time, which is what happens now, or only on Friday mornings. This is to try to ensure we get through the resolutions that were submitted normally before getting potentially sidetracked.

The plastics resolution I am bringing forward is exactly this situation as it will be “off the floor” but I already intended to wait until Friday.  Below is the full resolution:

Whereas s.14(c) of the UBCM Bylaws provides for any delegate to put forward any motion which if duly seconded and receives a three-fifths majority of delegates support, will be admitted to the floor;

And whereas delegates have expressed concern that endorsement of such a motion can result in varying the conference agenda to provide for immediate consideration of the “off the floor” resolution, thereby disrupting the order of resolutions consideration:

Therefore be it resolved that s. 14(c) of the UBCM Bylaws be amended as follows (bold text) to provide for consideration of “off the floor” resolutions on the Friday morning of Convention, immediately after consideration of the Report on Resolutions Received After the Deadline:

14. SUBJECTS FOR DISCUSSION AT CONVENTIONS:
(c) It shall be competent for any delegate at an Annual Convention, or at a Special Convention if a majority of the members are represented, to put forward any motion, which, if duly seconded shall be dealt with as follows: The Chair shall put the question “Shall the motion before the meeting be admitted for discussion?” and it shall require a three-fifths majority vote before the motion can be put. At the discretion of the Chair any such motion shall be submitted in writing and copies may be required to be provided to all delegates present before consideration thereof. If such a motion is in regards to a new resolution introduced “off the floor”, defined as a resolution not printed in the Resolutions Book or Report on Resolutions Received After the Deadline, consideration shall take place on the Friday of Convention immediately following consideration of the Resolutions Committee Report on Resolutions Received After the Deadline.

And be it further resolved that the proposed amendments take effect for the 2019 UBCM Convention.

UBCM Resolutions Committee recommendation: Endorse

I believe I’ll be voting for this motion…

The next two resolutions will be very interesting. I won’t know more about them until I register and get my package on Monday morning.

SR1 – will address cannabis tax revenue sharing and be published in the Report on Resolutions Received After the Deadline. See also resolutions C10, C18, C19 and C20.

SR2 – will address the loss of Greyhound bus service and be published in the Report on Resolution Received After the Deadline. See also resolution C2.

Continuing with resolutions

A1 Employer Health Tax Impact on Local Governments

This is to see if local governments want to ask the province to make the changes to the employer health tax (away from MSP) cost neutral to local government.  There is a report on this available to us in our registration package so there will be more information on this then.

This next one will be interesting…

A2 Protecting Local Waterways & Wild Fish Species

Therefore be it resolved that the Province of British Columbia consult First Nations governments, local governments, conservation organizations and industry on a transition plan to closed-containment aquaculture, including a just transition for affected workers.

The UBCM recommendation is to Endorse. I would agree 🙂

And a few more before I call it a night…

A3 Modify Speculation Tax: Local Government Vacancy Levy

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM urge the Province to modify the approach in the current proposed Speculation Tax to empower local governments to collect a levy on vacant residential properties and to require local governments that choose to impose such a levy to invest the revenues in non-market housing.

A4 Short-Term Vacation Rental Listing Platforms’ Responsibility in Compliance

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM request that the Province negotiate a province-wide agreement with Airbnb and other regionally-active short-term rental platforms to assist local governments with compliance checks, whereby the short-term rental platforms agree to require their hosts to provide proof of a valid business license in order to advertise using their service.

That’s it for the “A” section which are always done individually.  If you want more detail you can find it in the book itself.

Section B is blocked resolutions… I won’t pick those out until the day of. (Wednesday or Thursday).  It’s now 12AM so it’s time to get to bed!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.