Reginal Rundown: UBCM gives local government a voice

looking forward to the Union of BC Municipalities Annual Convention in Vancouver which will be held the third week of September.

I am looking forward to the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) Annual Convention in Vancouver which will be held the third week of September.

Elected officials from all the municipalities and regional districts in B.C. are invited to the convention and, because of the large number of delegates who participate, the convention is generally held in Vancouver or other larger centres.

The UBCM Convention is an important event for local governments because they can meet face to face with Cabinet Ministers and senior government staff who are there to listen to local issues and concerns.

In addition, all delegates have the opportunity to discuss and vote on a large number of resolutions that are sent on to the provincial government for consideration.

These resolutions are vetted by the UBCM Resolutions Committee and generally call for government action on matters of provincial or regional significance.

I find the debate and discussion during these sessions (which is often intense) of great interest because every mayor, councillor and regional district director in the province can be involved in shaping provincial policy through their votes on the resolutions.

Aside from the business side of the Convention, there is also a wonderful opportunity to network and exchange views with the delegates from around the province.

This year, the Convention’s theme is “Excellence in Action” and there will be many examples for elected officials to learn from as we look for new ways to maximize the value to taxpayers in the services and programs we provide.

An important forum for me will be a general discussion of our relationship with the First Nations in B.C., including: treaty negotiations, agreements, and especially reconciliation. Representatives of First Nations, and of federal, provincial and local governments, who have been working on this issue will discuss the importance of reconciliation and building relationships.

The Regional District of East Kootenay Directors (RDEK) are looking forward to hosting regional community-to-community forums later in the year with the Ktunaxa Nation and Shuswap Band in the interest of building our relationships and working together more effectively in the East Kootenay.

I’m also attending a forum on Backcountry Access Management. An overview of the recent Off-Road Vehicle Act, Natural Resource Roads (commonly known as Forestry Roads), legislation and implementation of a Provincial Trails Strategy will all be discussed. These issues are of particular concern in the Columbia Valley because, unlike other regions in the RDEK, we have no Access Management Plan and the intensity of outdoor recreation pursuits on the land base is ever-increasing.

The Convention is managed by the remarkable staff at the UBCM who work with the executive (made up of elected officials from all over the province including Invermere mayor Gerry Taft and Area F director Wendy Booth) to advance policies coming out of the Convention to the provincial government.

Gerry Wilkie is the Regional District of East Kootenay director for Area G, and can be reached at gdwilkie@cyberlink.bc.ca.

Just Posted

The end of an Echo
The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

Princeton wildfire phots courtesy of Debbie Lyon.
UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers
VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

Aerial view south of Williams Lake Friday afternoon shows dry lightning storm passing over, leaving fire starts behind. Lightning sparked more than 100 new fires Friday. (Black Press)
VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017
DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase
59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

(Flickr/Andreas Eldh)
Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage
Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds
UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Photo by: WeissPaarz.com
Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert
UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

A university study finds that about nine per cent of Canada’s Grade 11 and 12 students – roughly 66,000 teens – have driven within an hour of drinking and 9.4 per cent drove after using marijuana.                                 Photo: Now-
Leader file
One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records
Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read